Solerovescent Behind the Scenes


Tom Wolfe, guitar/guitar synthesizer 
Ken Watters, trumpet/flugel horn 
Tim Goodwin, bass 
Chris Kozak, bass 
Danny Gottlieb, drums 

Solerovescent.... "... or having the intangible quality of 'magnetism' for no obvious reason, brings acclaimed guitarist Tom Wolfe together with an incredible group of musicians on a tightly woven, extremely tasty and accessible jazz recording." 

A Brief History... 

In 2006, I made my first trip to Havana, Cuba as part of a delegation from the University of Alabama's College of Arts & Sciences. It was during this trip that I was told that I needed to meet a particular person, because she had 'solero.' "What is solero?", I asked. It is "je ne sais quoi," that intangible magnetism that some people have for no explicable reason. 

Later, in 2008, I began working on a production of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice with Prof. Seth Panitch, faculty member of the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Alabama. Prof. Panitch was directing the first American-based Shakespearean play in Havana, Cuba since the revolution. The theatre group featured Cuban actors/students and University of Alabama students. I composed and performed the music for the production. 

The main theme was written for the primary character, Portia. She was beautiful, with a sweet soul. Everyone came from all over the world to court her. She had 'solero,' that intangible quality that attracted people to her. It seemed apropos to name the song, "Solerovescent." The original version was written and performed on classical guitar.  The staging was small and intimate, and the acoustic guitar fit nicely in the production. Here is a link to the original recording for rehearsals I made when we were first working on the production: Solerovescent Classical Guitar.  

After the production ended, I found myself returning to this song occasionally to play it and muse over the melody and harmonic progression.  I found it to be a simple, yet beautiful character that invariably attracted me to play it time and time again. As I continued to return to the song, I began to re-work it as a jazz composition, in the loose stylings of a waltz. 

In November, 2012, I was fortunate enough to bring together some incredible musicians and record the CD.  Consisting mostly of original compositions, I also included two jazz standards that I am very fond of.  Summit Records picked up the CD and we began preparing the graphics and layout of the package. 

At that time, I contacted my Cuban friends to confirm the spelling of solero as I wanted to make it the title cut.  I quickly found out that after all of the years of using this term, it didn't exist in the Cuban vocabulary! I also checked with my colleagues at UA who had experience in Cuba and they didn't know the term either. 

I had used Solerovescent so long in relation to the song and its significance, that the word couldn't be changed.  It had taken on that meaning in my own mind, in my music and in the way I view things in my life. 

So I hope you the listener, will also hear the Solerovescence in the music and enjoy the CD as much as I have enjoyed recording it for you!  Below you'll find a few sound bites to whet your whistle! All the best... 



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