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Finding No Path

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Sometimes when you're really jamming, or at least when I am, all sense of timing flies out the window; intuitive timing takes over, based on bobbing heads, other players' hands, eyebrows and opened mouths, or simple musician error (or momentary inspiration). Sometimes half measures get dropped or added, 16 bar sections turn into 20, etc. That happened several times in this take, which ended up being the best take, so...

I have two questions. This track will be toward the end of my upcoming jazz ensemble album. I have two worries I'd like listeners to address:

1) Is the level of the organ ok? In my headphones, its a tad soft. In the studio speakers, it sounds just right, perhaps too loud at times. I tried to find a middle ground.

2) Do the multiple timing issues bother you? If they do, if you can list the approximate time so I can identify which ones bug you the most, that would be great. Not sure if I can do anything about them, since, truly, this is the most dynamic take of the 5 "on tape."

We tried to be free with the complexity of these rhythms. The counting that is required is exhausting, as you can imagine, and requires a certain amount of luck.

The middle build is longer than usual, longer than what the chart included; we shortened it in subsequent takes, and it is a little repetitive, but it felt so good as a player, the self-indulgent bliss of the moment, which is why I said "keep it going" with a twist of my neck during the take. Communication between excited players is one of those things that's hard to separate from more objective musical decisions.

This tracks also features a bass solo in the intro and a drum solo toward the end.

By the way, this chart is based on my song "Dressing For Death" from my musical CREATURE. The original demo of the stage version was shared by Suzanne here. Check it out, it's fun to hear how songs change over the years.

Only one more song to record and the album is complete. 13 tracks in all, I think. Here are draft mixes shared so far...

RAIN BATHER draft mixes on MJ:
I Wanna Fly
Lightning Strikes
Caught In The Current (feat. Bill Barner/Komdrade K)
Finding No Path
Seven Buttons On A Nehru Jacket
Acid Hopping (extended version)
Last Song On Vaudeville (feat. Bill Barner)

If you would like to purchase a copy of the CD, which is pressed on a cool disc that looks like a mini-LP, feel free to contact me, or see:
Rain Bather on CDBbay
Rain Bather on iTunes
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Song Stats
Hits: 6102
Comments: 70
Fans: 38
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Downloads: 189
Votes: 16
Uploaded: Aug 27, 2008 - 07:27:16 AM
Last Updated: Jan 12, 2010 - 01:40:39 PM Last Played: Mar 05, 2019 - 07:07:57 PM
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Tobin Mueller: B3 Organ
Chris Mueller: Piano
Jeff Cox: Bass
Dane Richeson: Percussion
Peter Greenstone said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Dig it
Great piece, Tobin. I'm not any good at jazz analysis but this is really lively and dynamic and conveys wonderful communication between all the players, speaking as one very complex voice.

Everything sounds good to me. If I search for something to pick out I guess the organ does seem a tad loud in the section at about 3:12-3:20 where it first steps forward. Just a little. The rest of the time it seems to be a just the right level.

I really like those breaks and time jumps and slips. The break at 4:56 is a little jarring but only because it sounds like you guys didn't hit it as together as you did in the others. Minor, but that was the only one that put me off balance at all.

Dig it much.
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TobinMueller said 3717 days ago (July 16th, 2009)
Thanks. I have taken yours and all observations/suggestions to heart, gone back in to adjust, and hopefully have brought out the best mix/master on the CD, RAIN BATHER. Hope your are able to check it out. (It's on CDBaby now!)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
guitapick said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Can see why you want to put this one out there...wonderful take, Tobin.

1) Listened on speakers and phones. To my ear, the organ needs to come up during the solos. More noticeable on speakers...but on the phones, too. Not a lot...but enough to be equal to the solo sound of the piano. I noticed it right away, just after the intro. Was waiting for another instrument to come over it and play a solo. That's to my ear, at least...

Seems just right when playing as part of the full ensemble, but a bit subdued on it's own. Interestingly, though: I thought the beginning of the second solo was nice, coming in a bit soft. After that I missed the extra kick. Maybe find the spots where you want to have the dynamics lower/higher and work from there, instead of making a blanket change throughout?

You know you'll get it right in the end...

(Incidentally: the band's smoking and I love what Chris is doing on the piano).

2) Time signature: you're asking the wrong guy. I loved Yes, Monk, Stockhausen, etc. Been playing a lot in 5, lately, with a very good trumpeter/composer. The changes in this piece have a great deal to do with what it is. I'd be afraid of getting too much into the stock "Latin" feel if you pared it down. This is perfect as is...a very, very cool jam. Lots of feeling and variations to keep it fresh.

Looking forward to the CD, man.
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TobinMueller said 3790 days ago (May 4th, 2009)
The CD
Thanks for the detailed listen. And for buying the CD before it even came out! I hope the remastering of the entire song set was an improvement in your ears.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
This stuff is really great
but what I am about to say is probably not that important because this stuff is of high caliber.

Ya in in places you could use thicker coating with the organ, maybe tweak a bit of (Logic's) Fat EQ in place were it is competing a bit with the piano. As I get older, i am not so much into any kind of percussion. I always look for more depth in the metal section of drums. So any time you can get some fat eq in anything that is too trebly is fine by me. Remember I am an acoustic fanatic and treble stuff like in the high pitch tones of cymbals, crashes is always a bonus when there is more depth, (more bass, spread < logics delay designer etc.

I am not listening is speakers but earphones. CAuse of the situation I am in so take it for what it's worth.

But please understand, again your stuff is always of very high caliber, at least it seems to me.

Way to Go! When I spotted your email I was already on your page. With the intriguing title I just had to take a listen!

Thanks for sharing tobin and being such a GREAT part of MJ!
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Jim Bouchard said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
I suppose
the organ could be louder, but it's such a little nit and on speakers it sounds fine. I might be wrong, but it seems like the piano is the real lead instrument in this and the organ is mostly playing supporting lines. When I think of it that way, I think the organ is just right level-wise(even in headphones); but that said, I feel like the piano should be more centered in the mix and the organ panned to the side, perhaps. Is that a real B3 or a virtual one? I like the stop combinations. Great playing, of course, and I love the drum solo; well, really, all the solos. I thought at first the piano might have a bit too much reverb on it, as it sounds like it's in a different space than the drums.
Multiple timing? What's that?
I only play in one time, Jim-time. LOL
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TobinMueller said 3790 days ago (May 4th, 2009)
I always encourage my guys to play with polyrhythms, to experiment with chord substitutions, and general make things as complex as possible. This particular song, with its stops and starts, is intuitive and visual, and would have a very different feel if it were played to a metronome, for example. Kind of like breathing when something exciting is shifting gasps and exhales.

Thanks for commenting on the organ settings. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find ones that fit the moment. And, yes, the drum solo thrills me whenever I relisten. The other panning and reverb issues are mostly on tape, since everything was bussed at the main board before remix. But the live feel of the piece enables a certain suspension of perfection-expectations, I hope.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Joanna said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
I don't have much to add to the others who've already weighed in on this. I agree that the organ can come up on solos. The timing worked for me (though I am far from an expert on this. I have a feel for the vocal side of things in a mainstream kinda way as opposed to instrumental).
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Rebsie said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
No complaints here
The organ sounds just right to me (in headphones). It's soft, but it cuts through because it's tonally different from the other instruments. But I know how it is when you start wondering about tiny details of a mix and can't hear whether it's too loud or too soft no matter how many times you listen to it!

I don't hear any timing issues either, everything holds together as it should. Again I think it's one of those things that only bugs you because you're too close to it to hear it as others do.

Really accomplished bit of jamming all round and superb crisp production. The triumphant melodic bit towards the end leads in beautifully to the (very tightly played) final notes. Beautiful work.
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said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
alive, bold, splashy
I like the fluid complexity and the organ sounds fine at the present level, except from 6:40-7:30 where it needs to come up considerably. I know Peak 4 has a feature called "ducking" which brings down the level of the background instrumentation when a lead voice (or instrument) is sounding. I wonder if you could do that with organ. I haven't learned yet how to do ducking.

This is very fine music -- alive, bold, splashy.
TobinMueller said 3720 days ago (July 13th, 2009)
Thanks. I use PEAK all the time and never noticed this feature...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Ibstrat said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
I listen for feel more than anything- this sounds fantastic! The 1st few chords reminded me of "Meeting of the Spirits" by the Mahavishnu Orchestra but then it went in a totally different direction- more like the song "Little Flamenco" by Chick Corea and Origin.I don't think the time sounds weird.Really 1st rate music!
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kassia said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Finding No Path
Wow - the synergy of the musicians here is just palpable. Who needs strict timing when y'all were SO on the same page? This is fabulous. Really love the stop gaps, building anticipation. Solos all exceptional. I think I'd agree that except for the organ solos, piano feels like the main instrument to me and wanted to be a little more center in my headphones. Just after the 7:00 mark, organ felt like it could be a little louder there for me, as it opened up that transition into the next section of the piece. But then around 8:00 I felt like maybe the piano could come up a touch as the ending builds.

Really, overall just an incredible piece of music and amazing performances by all of you. Totally engaging - did NOT feel like 8 and a half minutes at all. Great piece to add to the album, Tobin.
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Feter said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Finding No Path
Theatrical as ever ...as I let this piece of music
grow with time with me I didnt judge much more than
sence it ...the B3 just in time and right there on
my humble headphone ..on the very beginning the bass
was too high ..but it was the main anyhoo ..the live
feeling here is just a killer ..real a warm feelin
all around this song ...great great job thnx alot for
sharin such gem !!!!!
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sloparts said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Here's the deal Tobin,
I may have somehow missed the point of it all because I kept waiting for one instrument to step out and put down a melody line of some kind. Maybe a really hot sax part or a great horn player doing his thing. Maybe the Hammond should stand up and take a solo loud and hot while the rest of the band supports the B3. I'm not sure what, but to me it needs something to solidify the piece into a complete work.

I love what you've got here so far, it's a great jam with some very fine musicians doing excellent work. But there doesn't seem to be anyone telling the story (musically that is) it's just one hell of a great jam session. There's nothing wrong with that mind you as it can be the most fun for the musicians and sometimes the audience too.

As for the organ part, I feel it was a little too low in the first 1/2 of the song, but about right during the last 1/3 to 1/2 of it. The Bass and Drum solos are very good indeed

Never noticed any timing errors that mattered as the piece just jammed along fine.

Don't misunderstand, I think what you've got here is fantastic in all respects. It's just not done yet.

Be well and be cool,

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TobinMueller said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
Pushing the solos
After reading most of the early comments, the general consensus was that I needed to up the organ in several spots, which I then did, creating a new mix. Then several guys weighed in saying don't mess with the balance and a few saying the organ was burying the piano in spots and should be lowered. I truly think the level depends on the EQ curve of whatever speakers or headphones one is using, so it is a losing battle perhaps.

But then I read your comment - "I may have somehow missed the point of it all because I kept waiting for one instrument to step out and put down a melody line of some kind" - and thought perhaps the main problem is identifying the melody. Yes, there is a lot of noodling going on, but in my mind the melody we are noodling around in jam-like variations is always in my head and the organ needs to be pushed to identify that.

So I pushed the organ in spots where it needs to be identified as the lead voice to avoid the sense that this is merely a jam piece, which, in my mind, it certainly isn't. I also push it i other places. What I ended up doing is not really burying the piano (maybe because it is separated so clearly panned left), but instead covering the hi end of the drums. So, not I am going back to do another mix in which I find some sort of compromise between what I hear in headphones and what I want people like you to hear: a lead voice.

Thank you all for your input. I continue to monitor comments as I try and find enough satisfaction with the mix to let go and move on to the next track...
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HenriROGERsoloandbands said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)

I would push in front each soloing instrument a little .
When the piano or the organ are comping they could be lower , especialy the piano left hand.

Few people will mind the timing issues , but it would be great
if you could work on this some more (Easy to say :-)).

Great music anyway .

TobinMueller said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
Low end on piano
One of the annoying things when listening on tape is the gathering of low end sounds as Chris fails to lift his foot off the hold pedal in the opening section. I have rolled off the low end in the opening and it helps make it less oppressive. Thanks.

This was recorded in a choir room at a university, tons of bleed. It was bussed down to a few tracks and I have limited ability to change much besides EQ and compression.
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HenriROGERsoloandbands said 4035 days ago (September 1st, 2008)
Low end piano

I'm glad it helped .

It's nice to have the infos about how and where it was recorded.
I listened to the song "Dressing For Death" , I think your organ playing has kept the great vocal feeling and expression of this song in
this version.

TobinMueller said 4035 days ago (September 1st, 2008)
Dressing For Death
Thanks for listening to the original stage tune. It opens the show, Creature. (The woman kills herself in the opening scene and then her eyes are used by Frankenstein for his creature...) I am glad you can hear the vocal aspects to what I was trying to do on the organ.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jiguma said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Before I start, I see "B3 Organ" and I know I'm going to love this.

Re your specific questions: The B3 sounds softer generally than I'd like to hear - even in the solo section it sounds like a background instrument compared to the piano. Having said that, I'm not sure how much more gain it could take - probably a very marginal amount. Maybe the piano could drop off slightly when the B3 is "on".

"Multiple timing " - I have absolutely no problem with anything in the timing department - it all sounds planned to me. I certainly wouldn't attempt to jump in and change anything in that department.

Tobin, the recording here - especially the piano and percussion/kit - is probably the best I've heard here at MJ. I'm listening on 'phones, and the sound is simply amazing.

I don't really think it is essential to do anything here - sounds awesome to me.

Love the playing - what a bunch of pros!

Thanks for posting this one - possibly my fav of yours so far.

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guygrooves said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Sounds good
to me, although I would agree with the organ coming up a tad in the first half, it sounds a bit under the mix up to 1:45 after that it might need a touch more only when everybody is playing, you can still hear it nicely though. It gets a little lost in the mix sometimes, between 4:10 till 5:33 just before the drum solo. Just previous to the solo it sounds like the organ is fighting a losing battle with the drums almost like the drummer was anticipating the solo and the dynamics went up as a result. The organ is perfectly in the mix after the drum solo, but when the drums and bass come back in it gets lost a little again around 7:40. This is after 3 listens, first on the Imac speakers, then on phones,and lastly on studio monitors, all telling the same story more or less. The timing is interesting to me because, I am one of those straight bpm from beginning to end kind of guy's. I'm gonna change that one day though. Thanks for the free bee
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TobinMueller said 3340 days ago (July 28th, 2010)
Great notes
Thanks for the careful ear, man. And, yet, freeing yourself from click tracks is not only good musically, it lets the music live in a moment inside you instead of on the tape (or alongside the metronome). Sometimes a more fulfilling experience.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ktb said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
can never
have too much B3. And the way you play it I'd say it double. however, in the spirit of your request somewhere around the 4:40 mark I thought the organ just a tad on top of the piano solo. I agree with Jim on the verb for the piano, just a little wetter than the rest. Still a remarkable comp and just outstanding performances. In awe cuz i completely fall apart in odd time signatures.
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perceptualvortex said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Wow... this is really amazing. I tried to listen with a critical ear, but honestly I just enjoyed the ride and found myself loving every little thing. There were a few spots--mostly near the beginning and the end--where, yes, I thought the organ could be louder. There was nothing at all about the timings/mis-timings that bothered me; it all fit in well with the shape and character of the beautiful monster you created. You guys all sound great, really great performances.
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peacepiano said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
Great tune. I did listen before reading over some of the comments on my second time around. My initial feeling is still holding, the solo play up to about 4 min needs to be louder. The organ in the middle of the piece seems to be right on. And the organ in the last minute or so needs just a little when you are playing more melodic. The timing seems natural enough that anything you might hear as a miss timing is not noticeable to me or anyone else who wasn't looking right at the chart.

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macoco said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
"Communication between excited players is one of those things that's hard to separate from more objective musical decisions."

What would be the music for if not for that?

This is my first day in here... and you made it a great place for me to come back for more!

Congrats to all the band!


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ElPeruano said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
ahhhh yesssss
the organ sounds good on my monitors. swingin jam. has a bit of a latin feel to it. then straighter. props to all musicians involved.

love the changes from section to section. love the interplay between piano and organ. sometimes i feel like they compete a bit, but whenever that happens it resolves itself quite nicely.

I love the multiple timing. not bothersome at all. the force of the song just takes the listener along for the ride. great.

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paul f. page said 4040 days ago (August 27th, 2008)
You've got...
...a lot of pretty sophisticated commentary already before I chimed in, Tobin. I'm just thinking that this is a complex number that feels "right" in so many ways. I wouldn't mess with levels. Organ is fine...I am not much of a fan of this particular sound, but you play in the style beautifully and the volume is not in the slightest painful. You have kept it very much under control. If there are glitches in tempo here and there, I didn't notice at all. It all sounds so natural. ... No doubt you will have a hit on your hands with your CD because of such high production values and creativity. You continue to push the envelope and inspire the rest of us with your work.
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TheWhizzies said 4040 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
Hey Tobin
The organ sounded fine playing quietly on my so-so speakers... and the timing issues didn't bother me... in fact, I liked the looseness of it all. I love how it got so energetic near the end. Overall a delight, through and through.

Eric (Stun Nutz)
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lavalamp said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
intuitive timing
Chris is just excellent, so are you and the others, of course.

Really Pro Quality stuff.

I saw mention that the organ was too low in the mix. Don't agree. I think people were listening for you too much. If that's the case, yeah too low.

But, this is balanced and sounds simply excellent.

Sorry, I don't visit you much, but sometimes genres don't cross worlds. Here it did. Always appreciate jazz artist.

Great stuff, once again,

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FlatRock2 said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
I dig the symbol and high hat hits and what ever else your banging on! fantastic piece Tobin!
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Skean said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
One of the best
I've heard here in a long time the mix is top notch.
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kclements said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
Man, There is no better feeling than being in the middle of some really great music making - and this track really shines. I really love the feel of this tune and the poly-rhythms/multi timing just add to the tune for me. I have to say that I would like more organ in the beginning solo, up to around 4 min. It sounds great after that, under the piano solo - which kicks some serious #$&*^@. (Listening again through headphones, and seems right in the thick of things, around 4:55 ish, the piano and organ seem to be fighting each other a little.)

The kit sounds really great, although may be just a bit too strong.

I just love the stops. Very cool and just really clues you in to what a group of great musicians can do when you put them in the same room. I don't think the middle is too long at all. Maybe if I heard the other takes, but it really moves along and doesn't seem to stall anywhere. I like the way you bring it down and build it back up after the drum solo. And i love the way the piano hints at the groove before really getting back into it.

fantastic work -
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12parsecs said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
this IS musicianship. wow again, tobin. 3rd listen and still enjoyed every minute of it. great performances all around (though i especially like the drumming... but please don't let that detract from my earlier statement... really top notch playing by everyone.) ok, on to your technical questions.

1) the organ level sounds ok in the headphones and on the genelecs (even outside the room, as i put my coffee cup in the dishwasher)... but maybe a little thin or piercing. i fiddled on my board and i think the frequency on the organ that could use some reduction is around 1800 Hz. or maybe the organ could just use some more bottom, but careful not to step on the basses toes.

2) the timing issues don't bother me at all. if all of you think this is the best take with the best feel, run with it! i think it feels very live and jazz clubby. i totally dig it.

ok, something you weren't asking about, but i'll mention anyway. i noticed (mostly in the headphones) that the drums are very wide. i'm not sure how the kit was mic'd, but if you have both overhead and room tracks to play with - leave the room panned wide and make the overheads less wide. it sounds like the cymbals and toms are placed all the way around the room - all the way around the piano and organ even. :) great sounding room, btw! i listened to some of the track mono, and it doesn't sound like there are any phase issues.

of course, if changing the panning on the drums breaks the continuity of the album, don't bother. everything else sits really well. the limiter you have on the entire track gets a little crunchy at times, but not offensive. (of course, this is probably just interim mastering.)

again, great track! when's the cd coming out?
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12parsecs said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
you also mentioned the varying organ levels. you may have to automate, i suppose. otherwise, do you have an LA-2A (real or plugin) you can throw on it? just have it pushing down the peaks maybe 3dB in the loud parts. i donnow, just an idea.
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TobinMueller said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
When is CD coming out?
I hope to have it out before December, but my art director is going blind (Alimar) and I am not sure how long it will take to get the art ready. The music master will be done around September 15. I will undoubtedly make an announcement when the CD is ready for sale and appreciate your support!
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SmokeyVW said 4039 days ago (August 28th, 2008)
latin influenced?
a fun listen! i liked the full stops sprinkled throughout. impressive coordination among the performers to pull that off so many times.


1. the organ seemed low on set of my speakers. then i brought up my alternate pair - those are more mid-rangey - and then the organ sounded great. I don't know if that helps any? Maybe there's an EQ issue lurking there.

2. being a fan of Yes, where some songs had different time sigs on each measure, the rhythmic changes don't bug me: I like them. maybe it's prog-jazz? perhap something is hinky around 4:50 - I'm not sure.

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cchaplin said 4039 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
Hi Tobin
What an excellent piece ! And some sterling musicianship !

Since you ask, I would say that the organ feels just slightly in the background. I'm not sure if it's the organ, or the fact that maybe the piano is a bit to prominent throughout.

For example, I feel that in the staccato sections where the rhythm is sort of syncopated, the organ's short accentuated chords could be more prominent.

But really it's only because you asked for an opinion. I wonder if I really would have noticed it otherwise.

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cchaplin said 4039 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
to be precise
The staccato syncopated section I'm refering to starts at 5:33.
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Scott Carmichael said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
stellar musicianship
what strikes me is the drama... sometimes jazz seems like a tonal exercise to me, with no intent or direction (not all).... but this dramatic and dynamic... ALL the musicianship is killer, but that drummer Dane (great name) is off the charts... and I love how the drums were recorded.. they sound so natural... impressive interaction and capturing of those moments...
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Moviz said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
All sounds
good to me, though I think the organ could be a smidgin' higher. I did find the drum sticks alone (separate from the kit which is fine) a bit loud (jarring?) in various parts and for me that was distracting from the rest. I agree with what Jim says about the piano being the lead and the organ supporting.... and in that role all is well, though it does come a little more into it's own later about 7.03 after that terrific drum break. Great music though as always, like a jazz concerto, cheers M.
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TobinMueller said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
like a jazz concerto
Thanks, cool comment. Everything I do ends up verging on overly dramatic, so I'm glad you liked it. This album runs near to 80 minutes... lots of mini-concertos going on. Altho I try and play accompanist most of the time.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
damiengh said 4038 days ago (August 29th, 2008)
Live !
This was terrific, had much the same feelings a if I was at live performance at an outdoor jazz festival.

Here are my short of impressions:

Nice changes to stretch out on

Attention Grabbing intro

Bass recorded nicely

Liked the combo sound of organ and piano (organ levels are fine)

Flows organically (no pun intended).

Take it on the road!
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Norman Goodman said 4037 days ago (August 30th, 2008)
Sounds great
Excellent piece. The balance of the instrumentation is fine although I would bring out.....noticed I said out...the organ a bit when it is not comping.....the level is ok but it does not cut through the mix....makes sense given its tonal characteristics.....on the other hand it does dominate during the piano solo.....again obviously due to your attack, and the space your chording occupies in the mix during that section. things are much more balanced after the break. Really cool piece....kind of Return To Forever with killer organ playing....dont ever recall Chick Corea playing organ....btw i wouldnt sweat any timing issues everything resolves and it adds a little tension and excitement.
All in all exceptional.....from the perspective of a general listen ( I have listened several times ) the song flows well and there really is nothing that HAS to be fixed. enjoyed the listens!
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Dj French Toast said 4036 days ago (August 31st, 2008)
Tobe no smoke
I wouldnt change a thing . I like the mix I like the organ I like the drums and the bass rocks . Well mixed and a great listen . listened on both my Grado headphones and my monitors and they both sounded awesome . I listen to alot of jazz . I didnt find any element off putting .Good stuff man .
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VicDiesel said 4035 days ago (September 1st, 2008)
and-ah-one and-ah-two
I must admit, I've never been able to feel the underlying pulse in drum solos, so I can't really be bothered by a couple of counts extra here and there. I'm just grooving along.

Nice piece. Somewhere in between jazz fusion and prog rock? Or maybe I'm only having prog associations because of that organ. Speaking of which, on my headphones it's indeed just a db too soft. Also, on headphones that drum set is panned rather unrealistically wide.

Other than that, great playing. A pleasure listening to this. Very impressive to consider that this was played live.
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TobinMueller said 4004 days ago (October 2nd, 2008)
Somewhere between jazz fusion and prog rock
Yes, that's me. Thanks for noticing the prog influence. It was even more a pleasure to play, I dare say. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
DWL said 4035 days ago (September 1st, 2008)
I've been beaten to it
by everybody else...

Amazing work. Accomplished, funky, endlessly entertaining. You could tweak it here and there but I'm not sure it will really make it significantly better.


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Cori Ander said 4034 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
This music LIVES! There are interesting things happening all the time. Really dynamic.

Secondly it is musically very special. Brilliant. I don't know if I've heard anything close to it. There are strong themes %u2014 harmonius yet not predictable.

Thirdly the emotional undercurrents are really interesting and catching. And this is for me a most important factor in music. And maybe for that reason no timing issues bothered me. It is living! It is also love, hope that doesn't sound too high-flown for you, but I mean that I hear something down there under it all which I want to desctibe as love.

Finally the recording is really well done. I am listening in AKG K240 headphones and it all sounds really well made. Even here very LIVE.

Alltogether, this makes me a tenbomber.
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TobinMueller said 4033 days ago (September 3rd, 2008)
I appreciate more than you can know that you identify LOVE at the core of this rhythmic, vibrant work. Emotion pours out of me (when everything is working correctly) when I write/play, and I nearly always have love at the core of what I am doing, love as some fundamental aspect, not that I love the music or the sound, but love as integral to the living that is at the creative foundation of the musical concept. Thank you very much for feeling this and expressing it so thoughtfully.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
cdilmore said 4032 days ago (September 4th, 2008)
Finding No Path
Just lovely.
Thank you for sharing this.


BossHook said 4030 days ago (September 6th, 2008)
I first want to say that the performance level of all musicians is inspiring. Nothing like live ensemble jazz recording happening in a room.

The organ concept for this piece is great. I think the piano definitely weighs heavier in the mix than the organ. The piano feels right in the mix so maybe the organ just needs to be a little more powerful in volume at the front part of the tune before the drum solo.

I think the percussion can actually be faded down a bit. It is such great playing, the rudiments on cymbals and the stops are so energetic.

You guys are monsters on this recording and the recording quality is great.
TobinMueller said 4004 days ago (October 2nd, 2008)
The organ concept
I have raised the organ in several places to maintain what you call the "organ concept" across the tracks. Altho in my mind it is always a duet, I am trying to keep the overall concept in mind as I remix. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
harisahn said 4028 days ago (September 9th, 2008)
Thank you for being on Macjams. Your home page is a bit intimidating my friend! Jimminy Crickets, you have a ton of material. I can only aspire to be so productive. Like the ideas in this piece.
Love the piano solo. The little breaks are cool. A few of the kicks during the piano solo sound a bit un-together, but hey that's what gives it humanity, yes? Some comment mentioned the organ sound;something sounds not quite as thick as it could be with that organ sound. Sounds like a patch. I mostly don't dig organ patches on synths... mostly. Nit-picky stuff however. Great work and great energy. Thank you for the comments on my MJ submissions. You da' man.

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TobinMueller said 4004 days ago (October 2nd, 2008)
It's a tough call to thicken the organ, cuz doing so interferes with other instruments. In my first mixes, the organ had a much wider pan, to capture the fabulous Leslie feel, but I found that it ruined the visual sense of where players are seated and made the space taken up by the piano too small. A trade off to maintain a sense of player balance. I'm hoping the mastering process brings a larger sense of depth to every instrument.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
macapa said 4013 days ago (September 23rd, 2008)
Tobin, you probably already know I'm a fan of your work. This is another stunning piece which I had started downloading before I had finished listening to it in it's entirety. Great work, as always.
TobinMueller said 3976 days ago (October 30th, 2008)
Thanks for checking in
Its so great to see you checking in, you were such a cornerstone member for those first years. And thanks again for all your help on the podcasts in the summer of 2007 - they ended up going into several blog postings (see Blog in the upper menu). Glad you enjoyed this piece. Even tho it is the 11th track on the RAIN BATHER CD, it is one of my favorites, especially among the breakout quartet tracks (as opposed to the larger ensemble octet tunes). Again, thanks for stopping by.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Bob6stringer said 4012 days ago (September 24th, 2008)
Oh, the humanity
That's fine, thank you for this hit of live studio inspiration. Quickly because others are smarter studio heads, I'll say that I thought the Organ might have been soft in the beginning but seems to come up well in the middle (using over-ear lower-end Sennheisers).

To my listener's ears, timing is absolutely no issue. It's good to hear humans play.

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KellyMarkSmith said 4010 days ago (September 26th, 2008)
I wish I could play like that!!
You've got it goin on....

Jazz, Rock, everything!!

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TobinMueller said 4004 days ago (October 2nd, 2008)
Jazz, Rock, everything!!
Thanks. I was tapping the kitchen sink with my elbow the whole while, as well!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Enrique Gil said 4010 days ago (September 27th, 2008)
Myself not being a professional musician...
I am afraid I can not give you useful input. The recording and your composition are excellent. The performance is just awsome.
The organ would sound better (to my ears) if it were a little fuller.
As far as the rythm goes, it sounds perfect to my ears. Very engaging.

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ChristopherCihon said 4005 days ago (October 1st, 2008)
In my phones, the only little part that I here the organ a "tad" bit loud is at around 4:30 over the piano for just a moment. Besides that I think its fits just fine.

As far as timing, I love it. I feel that "live" energy of everyone working off of each other.

Overall, its wonderful in all aspects. I think this would make a great addition to your album as is.


BTW: Thanks for the DL.
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thoddi said 4005 days ago (October 1st, 2008)
arriving a bit late...
Man this was a treat to have tonight. I've just listened to some Stan Getz music, and I sense a relation. This has much more uncontrolled energy floating between the ones involved though, and it must be the bonus from the live recording. Its kept alive all the way, never a dull moment. Just pure art:) BRAVO!

I have no fingers to point on the technical areas here. It all sounds perfect in my ears. I'll take it - just wrap it up!
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TobinMueller said 4004 days ago (October 2nd, 2008)
Wrap it up!
I have sent the final mix in for mastering, since I am unable to equalize all the tracks to each other on my own. I hope to have something to share in 6 weeks. Thanks for your encouraging comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
timothy devine said 4003 days ago (October 4th, 2008)
Tobin, Great song writing
I have finally mad it over to your tune. I think the organ is cool. Any louder and it will be a lead sounding instrument. I think you blend it in well.
My first thoughts of this during the intro was that it sounded like Eberhard Weber and Jack Dejohnette backing you up with the fine cymbals keeping time and the slipery bass solo. Cool Stuff.
Your drummer here is a very hot performer. Great playing.

On the timing issue, I think if the music took you to a place with different timing, then, that was how it felt to the players at the time. When I listen it all workes for me. The structure is sound with the tight rhythm section and great playing from all.
What a really great freekin song
I like the feel that it was spontaneous and from the hip.
All music at one time was an inspired moment, an improvisation. To me all music should be salt n peppered with this reality.

great listen
thanks my friend
peace out

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TobinMueller said 3985 days ago (October 21st, 2008)
All music at one time was an inspired moment, an improvisation
What a great, true comment. And to let go in performance as everyone tries to recapture, or create anew, this moment is a joy. So different from performing musical theatre that needs to be the same every night. Thanks for your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Kori Arashi said 3928 days ago (December 17th, 2008)
Pure Awesomeness! :D
Tobin! It has been forever since I've had free time to listen to any of your works from being so busy with college this quarter. This piece is totally awesome! I love it! I'm no expert with jazz like Peter but everything flows together beautifully! I can see this being on a new Liquid Tension Experiment album with Jordan Rudess and all. You are god like with your music and I'm not worthy. Keep it up and happy holidays :D
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TobinMueller said 3775 days ago (May 19th, 2009)
Liquid Tension Experiment & Jordan Rudess
Wo, two of my all time favorites. Thanks for the comparison. BTW, college is a great time. Hope you cram as much into your time and brain as humanly possible. Life may never be as simple again. thanks for taking the time to check in.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
rsolorio said 3916 days ago (December 29th, 2008)
Monsters all
No comments just awe.
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VicDiesel said 3914 days ago (December 31st, 2008)
Yes, it needs to be turned up. It's like someone is playing along with a band, rather than being part of it. Starting at 2:10 or so that's an organ solo, so it needs to be heard as a solo, not as a minor part of the ensemble.

Btw, what's that first chord. It's on some CD I have, but it would take me a long time to find it. Maybe something by Return to Forever.

Check out my latest song called Frippery
TobinMueller said 3890 days ago (January 24th, 2009)
Return to Forever
I love Return To Forever. Some of my inspiration for a few of these tunes came from TIME WARP, an album with arranged-through songs... as opposed to jazz tunes where the ensemble plays the head and then jams for so many bars. I have always thought those jazz albums begin to sound alike after a while. So I wanted to amass a bunch of tunes that were more arranged, showcasing the writing. I hope you'll like the mix I settled on for the CD...
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Doadars Uncle said 3899 days ago (January 15th, 2009)
Aptly titled! This has a real mysterious sense to it. I like as it settles into the organ part as it passes the lead to the piano. The organ is fine on my little work speakers. I don't allow myself to turn it up at work! No issues stand out. But then again, I believe in imperfections in recordings. It makes it more lifelike/realistic! I like the cooperative rests in the middle as well as the ensemble conclusion of the percussion solo. I really like the dynamic shifts throughout. It enhances the drive of the whole piece!

Like it!
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TobinMueller said 3793 days ago (May 1st, 2009)
Thanks for enjoying the variety of dynamic levels and movement. That opening bass solo is based on the moment on the play that a character sings about committing suicide. Most of the song is about her journey to this moment in her life, all the desires and regrets, betrayals and dreams. She kills herself at the song's conclusion. But since it is also a play about body parts coming back to life (based on Frankenstein), she gets to sing reprises and such. This version has much more upbeat feel than the original, reveling in the music, which I enjoy even more. but I wanted to keep the sense of journey, of searching for answers that don't come, of always moving. Glad you liked the piece's drive.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
egobandit said 3890 days ago (January 24th, 2009)
I think it was found.. Chris is amazing on the drums some of the complex timing during the solo just blew me away .. I really have no opinion about your mixing because I could never mix this well let alone mix anything live! A real beauty filled with energy melody and soul LOved it!
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TobinMueller said 3755 days ago (June 8th, 2009)
Path found
Thanks. Yes, I love the drumming too. Man, drums are hard to mic and record. Just a note: my nephew Chris is on piano; Dane Richeson, current head man in the percussion department at Lawrence University, is on drums.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Doug Somers said 3875 days ago (February 8th, 2009)
Snappy and Tight
Great interplay amongst the group - it sounds so alive. I'm just getting back to MacJams after a long hiatus so my comments are late and have also been well stated by many already. For my ears (and with my headphones) I think the level of the organ is low considering it's contribution to the whole, especially before 2:30 or so. Still, if you hadn't asked I probably wouldn't have noticed :o) Brilliant tune!!

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TobinMueller said 3873 days ago (February 10th, 2009)
Raising the level
I have sense raised the organ's level, for the CD the came out last week. So I agreed with you in the past, as if one or the other of us were a time traveling. But the difference of levels in headphones and in speakers is one of those things that continually concerns me, since there can be quite a difference in perceptions, as well as from one set of speakers to another. Thanks for listening. Better late than never!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
btransue said 3793 days ago (May 1st, 2009)
Tobin, this is wonderful. Ok to play on the show Wed? By the way, I'm taking a bit of a sabbatical from radio...probably starting in a few weeks...after the Jazz festival of course.
Check out my latest song called Guitar & Piano, Minus the Piano
TobinMueller said 3790 days ago (May 4th, 2009)
Radio play
Yes, you can play this track on your show. I will mail you a promo CD with slightly better mixes so you can play the higher quality versions any time...!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
richardhowardjones said 3741 days ago (June 22nd, 2009)
2 minute intro
Are you sure? Really liked it when it got going, though. Un poco Latino. Loved the bass.
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TobinMueller said 3740 days ago (June 23rd, 2009)
We like to think of the intro as a "bass solo" moment, which enables us to indulge our bass player and his nice melodic articulations. But I know what you mean. Not to be played at the start of a set, for sure...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tonestones said 3608 days ago (November 2nd, 2009)
Love the timing transitions.
This is a really beautiful, majestic piece. Everything turned out great. The piano is beautiful. Really nice!
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igorbass said 3005 days ago (June 28th, 2011)
music here.
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Name: Tobin Mueller
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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