SPAGA (2019)

In early 2012 Lenny Sideman, curator from longstanding Philadelphia performing arts center the Painted Bride, called myself, trumpeter Josh Lawrence, and drummer Anwar Marshall. He asked us if we would be interested in being commissioned by the Bride to put together a 10 piece band, write new music, and put on a debut concert later that year. Of course we accepted and took the opportunity very seriously. The first thing we did was got together as a trio and play. I had worked a bunch with Anwar in a philadelphia jazz group called the Wade Dean Inspiration, and Josh and Anwar had a history, but Josh and I had actually never really met or played together. The first thing that we played was a Charlie Parker blues, and we looked at each other afterward and said “OK! this is definitely going to work!”. We then sat down to decide on the other seven musicians. I think we did a great job of pulling from each of our worlds and from within our different histories of musical relationships, and thus we put together an incredible and eclectic blend of Philly and New York musicians. We then wrote for about a month before we scheduled the first rehearsal. This group was very special to me because it was the catalyst for my biggest and most ambitious composition to date entitled the Mothers’ Suite. The Mothers’ Suite was released on FCO’s debut record ‘From the Vine’ which came out on Ropeadope records in 2015. A second record entitled ‘Mind Behind Closed Eyes’ is set to be released again through Ropeadope Records in August of 2016, and FCO’s third record ‘Life Mosaic’ should be out in early 2017.