Best known as the Hammond organist for Root Doctor (1999 - 2009), organissimo (2000 - present), and Janiva Magness (2010 - present) Jim Alfredson's first solo album is not a blues or jazz album. Nor is there any trace of the familiar Hammond sound on the record. Alfredson's In Memorandom
is a collection of electronic/ambient music composed entirely on digital and analog synthesizers, Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, and drum machines.
The genesis of the project began shortly after the completion of organissimo's third album, Groovadelphia. As Alfredson explains, "Part of my musical upbringing as a kid was via my dad's fascination with sound and his love of electronic music. In his LP collection he had music by artists like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Tomita, and Wendy Carlos right next to Jimmy Smith, Dave Brubeck, Groove Holmes, and so many other artists. He taped every episode of Hearts of Space off the radio and I used to fall asleep listening to those recordings. He loved odd sounds and once he retired from playing gigs, he also partly retired from playing guitar and bought a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, a Yamaha RX21 drum machine, and a four-track cassette recorder. He made hundreds of hours of his own ambient music and I followed suit. I still have tapes of my earliest songs from when I was 7 years old, which are nothing more than bleeps and bloops and echoes!"
Jim's father passed away unexpectedly in the spring of 2008. "Just a few weeks before his death, he came over to give me another piano tuning lesson and he was excited about getting back into writing music again. He asked me for advice about the new breed of digital multitrack recorders and also if he could use the Yamaha SY77 synthesizer we bought together in 1991. The synth was in rough shape, having been gigged hard and forgotten, so I told him I'd fix it up for him and we picked out a simple desktop digital recorder that he was going to order. He died before we had a chance to make his small studio."
After his father's death, Jim found himself drawn to that old forgotten SY77. "I ordered new parts for it, fixed the broken keys, the non-functioning floppy drive, and replaced the screen. I felt it was something I had to do. I also started playing around with it again. I found some internet user groups, downloaded a bunch of sounds. I even found some sounds that I had uploaded to an FTP site way back in the Telnet days, before the world wide web!"
"The organ has taken up so much of my musical life that I had forgotten about my love of synthesizers and odd textures and sounds. My father's death caused me to reflect on my childhood, the loss of my mother in 1997, the music I loved as a kid, and my father's continuing influence on my musicianship. And suddenly I found myself writing around the synthesizer again. I feel I've come full circle."
In Memorandom is a tribute to the spirit of Jim Alfredson Jr (1940-2008), Verna Lou Alfredson (1951-1997) and the random memories of childhood.
2) Jibber Jabber
3) Empty Sorrow
5) Passing Through
7) This Too Shall Pass
8) Pilgrim Traveler
13) Certainty Within
All music composed, performed, and engineered by Jim Alfredson.
Mixed by Jim Alfredson & Glenn Brown.
Mastered by Glenn Brown at GBP in E. Lansing, MI, November 2009.
Cover art features original digital photographic imagery by Jim Colando.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 28 October, 2009.