In Sleep a King is a set of pieces written for singer/actor/writer Rinde Eckert by Clark Suprynowicz, with an ensemble comprised of Rob Sudduth, Andy Laster, Sheldon Brown, Peck Allmond, Jai Uttal, Ward Spangler, Pete Perfido, Michael Spiro, and Suprynowicz on bass. The music integrates electronics with an acoustic ensemble. The CD includes Paramus, New Jersey, from the show of the same name.
The Daily Californian wrote of this show: "Clark Suprynowicz's score, played live by an ensemble of seven, is the best body of music I've heard in a theater setting for a long, long time. Rhythmically complex, with wonderful wind and horn fills, the score ranges beautifully over a lexicon of textures and styles, from driving funk to '50's style cool jazz. Suprynowicz goes all over the musical map, yet keeps things taut and surprising at every moment." And Jesse Hamlin, in the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote "The clincher was Clark Suprynowicz's "Paramus, New Jersey" ... it was a funny, maniacal piece that built obsessively beneath Eckert's punk surrealist ravings about a Checker Cab ride to Paramus. No explanation required."
This CD was selected one of the best ten releases of the year by Larry Kelp of the East Bay Express.
recorded Oakland, Ca., August 2011 with Ian Stahl, guitars & Jim Kassis, drums featuring Dawn McCarthy, vocals lyrics & music C. Suprynowicz.
OZ is a long-awaited, oft-delayed compilation by the San Francisco-based band, featuring Michael Bluestein (piano), Dave Phillips (pedal steel), Jim Kassis (drums & percussion), Clark Suprynowicz (bass) and a small raft of guest artists, including Tracy Silverman, Irene Sazer, and Rob Sudduth.
Aina Kemanis is the singer, known for an extensive ECM touring/recording career with Marilyn Mazur, Barre Phillips, John Surman, Alex Cline, and others. Most recently, OZ recorded the theme music to Outright Radio, syndicated nationally on National Public Radio.
Tom Waits soundtrack to the Jim Jarmusch film,
"A Night on Earth"
In 1992 I got a call from Tom Waits. I'd been recommended by my friend Matt Brubeck (Dave's youngest son), who was living in the Bay Area at the time, and had played cello with Waits previously. I sent Tom a recording from a gig I was doing, and he liked it. We played and recorded together for two weeks at Prairie Sun Studios in Petaluma. This became the soundtrack to the Jim Jarmusch film "A Night on Earth," with Winona Ryder and Roberto Benigni, later released on Island Records.
Joe Gore played guitar (and banjo), Matt was on cello, Josef Brinckmann on accordion, and Ralph Carney on a smorgasbord of reeds and brass. Tom played percussion and, as I recall, at least some of his vocals were done live with the band.
At one point after doing a take of a waltz, Waits listened to the playback, then came back into the studio and said to us "Could you make it a limp a little more, boys?" and he pantomimed someone with a clubfoot. On another occasion, he said to Ralph Carney "Sounds good, Ralph, sounds good, but you could you make it a little more antisocial?" So something I learned from the session was the value of directing a band theatrically.
My favorite scene in the film depicts Benigni giving his confession to a bishop he picks up while driving a cab through Rome at midnight. Benigni's confession gets more and more lurid as Benigni drives faster and faster. The Bishop has a heart attack, and Benigni is forced to dispose of the body (this is "Dragging a Dead Priest") We did this the old-fashioned way, playing along in the studio with the projected film.
Bass Player magazine unexpectedly reviewed the soundtrack and said that I "Swaggered" my way through the proceedings, or something like that. I am proud of the fact that the first thing you hear as the film starts is the bowed bass. There are these explosive rhythmic bursts. I threw all my training out the window to get the sound Waits wanted, a kind of Gypsy thing. I pointed out the difference between the way you usually hold the bow, and what I was doing. Waits approved, said "Now you're fisting that bass."
The Island recording has gotten hard to find. These recordings are not to be uploaded or distributed, please. They're just to share a rather special chapter in my bass playing life.