The material on Two Pretty Songs was originally recorded in 2014 during the sessions that would yield the Michael Mull Octet album Source Code. The tracks omitted from the album to favor of a more concise and focused playlist.
For the 8th anniversary of the Source Code album (released December 4th, 2014), I have released the remaining two tracks from those sessions, under the title Two Pretty Songs. A limited run of 50 CD's are available for $5.00 USD + shipping. It's taken me a long time to get these tracks out there, but I am as proud of them today as I was when we recorded them in 2014. More about the individual tracks below. Thanks for listening. - Michael Mull
About the songs
"A Notion" is a rolling, warm piece that is meant to evoke a feeling of exploration and self-actualization. The decision to feature Greg Uhlmann on the acoustic guitar (rather than electric) was relatively last-minute, but it provided a beautiful pointed texture that weaves in and out of the ensemble playing. Allow your focus to shift freely throughout the recording, as there are many moving parts, colors, and counter melodies to enjoy under the surface.
I'd like to dedicate this track to my long-time friends and colleagues, Emilio and Marissa Terranova. I did a smaller arrangement of "A Notion" for their wedding and since then I the piece always makes me think of them.
CAUGHT UP IN YOU
"Caught Up In You" is a heartland rock song by the band .38 Special, released in 1982 on A&M. I grew up hearing it on the classic rock radio stations on the central coast of California, and never thought much about it until hearing it again sometime in 2011, when I formed the Octet. Beneath the down-home-rock-n-roll surface of the recording was a longing and naive melody that struck me.
The arrangement is a re-imagining of the original, meant to highlight those longing and naive qualities with a relaxed and spacious exploration of a 12/8 groove, set up against persistent groupings of 4. The harmony is changed very little from the original, but treated with a balance of functionality and modality typical of rock music, then exaggerated with the careful use of 4- and 5-part harmonies to bring out the color and emotional content of the chord progression.
The recording features Greg Uhlmann on slide guitar, playing the vocal melody alongside the tenor saxophone of Frank Silva, who is featured in a winding solo that builds to the peak of the arrangement.
This was the third chart I ever wrote for the Octet and it remains one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoy this excellent performance by the group.