PJCE Records Showcase for the PDX Jazz Festival

Much obliged to PJCE who helped me release my debut album with Dan Duval, then they featured me at the Portland Jazz Festival with some amazing musicians. I love having new friends in Portland.


Dan Duval talks Portland Jazz Festival and PJCE on OPB radio

IndianSummerRelease1Dan Duval talks with OPB radio and PDX Jazz Program Director about his role as a Festival Director for the Portland Jazz Festival.  Dan also runs PJCE records which released its 13th offering last week, “Indian Summer” by Richards / Duval.

We are in preparation for a show Feb 28th at the Mission Theater for our CD release.

Richards / Duval “Indian Summer” available from PJCE Records

crops are kneeling down

in the red gold of autumn

harvest come and gone

ahead, behind lies

long of winter, but for now

indian summer

Pianist Graham Richards and guitarist Dan Duval present their debut album, “Indian Summer,” an ambient jazz painting. The album begins before birth, and concludes, after a journey through various seasons and climes, with a return to stillness and silence. This meditation on our beautiful but fleeting time on Earth features ubiquitous Portland rhythm section Bill Athens (bass) and Stephen Pancerev (drums).

Like other PJCE Records releases, this is a brand new band comprised of musicians who have a rich history of playing together in a wide array of settings. Bandleaders Graham Richards and Dan Duval first met during their youth in California, worked together in Boston where they both attended Berklee College of Music, and have now reunited to collaborate on their debut album of original music. Drummer Stephen Pancerev has worked extensively with Duval in the award winning chamber jazz ensemble The Ocular Concern, and bassist Bill Athens and Duval have worked together with a wide array of musicians from the Portland jazz and improvised music community. This new ensemble is informed by all of this shared experience. They way the group breathes together as a single voice exudes a distinctly west coast flavor throughout the suite of expansive, unhurried mood pieces.

Co-leader Graham Richards has played a key role in the production and programming of the album. This is his first record as a leader, and his playing and writing are featured here to great effect. He contributed the following thoughts on the concept of the name and the album:

‘Indian summer’ is a name for the period after the ground has frosted and the summer crops have died, but the sun shines defiantly in the sky for a ‘second summer.’ The concept for this album, in short, is that we all live in this brief period of grace. Winter is already upon us, but for now the sun shines. The title “Indian Summer” is not chosen lightly. My motivation for using it refers to the following:

  1. my favorite time of year (note: bonus-summer, not pretend-summer)
  2. the ‘grace’ period of our lifetime (In-dios, in God, etc.)
  3. the mourning of loss, the end of era, the cycle of life and death, the changing of seasons as perceived by those who live with the land.
  4. an acknowledgement that great harm was done to our Native brothers and sisters and their tribes. It is the story of the end of a culture, the end of all things, and this music is mournful and nostalgic for the last of summer before the long cold winter set in forever. ‘Indian Summer’ does not refer to stereotypes ascribed to a people; rather, it is a metaphor for our communal sense of ‘borrowed time’.


released 15 February 2014
Graham Richards – piano
Dan Duval – guitar
Bill Athens – bass
Stephen Pancerev – drumswith Justin Kagan – cello
and Dave Richards – trumpet, flugel, trombone, piccolo trumpet, and recorder

tracks 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 by Graham Richards (BMI)
tracks 3 & 5 by Daniel Duval (BMI)
track 4 by Andrew Boxill (BMI)

Recorded 10/20/2013 and 11/16/2013 at the Map Room in Portland, OR
Engineered by Josh Powell
Mixed at Troll House, Redwood City, CA by Anthony Caruso
Additional recording & mixing at Blanketfort, Livermore, CA by Graham Richards
Mastered by Josh Powell
Special thanks to G Koop, Fuzz Deluxxe, Oakland, CA
Thanks to Alden Lane Nursery for wind & water sound effects

Graham would like to thank: my lovely, talented, and patient wife Crisman. Dave, Dad, Mom. Dan, & the band! Anthony, G Koop, and everyone who put time into this album. Andrew Boxill, and all my teachers & students & their families, past, present, & future. And you. Thanks!
Dan would like to thank: my families in California and Oregon for the love, support and inspiration. The PJCE Records family, PJCE Board, and greater Portland, OR creative music community. All of my talented students. The recording artists who inspire me. And Graham Richards, old friend – I can’t wait to start work on our next record!

“Indian Summer” by Andrew Boxill

My student and friend Andrew Boxill wrote a beautiful tune that I will be recording later this year for my upcoming album.  I wanted to capture his performance of his composition, so I grabbed a camera.

Please forgive the shaky audio quality and the rough camera-work.  I love this piece, and I love Andrew’s performance.  Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c62TKwVaLb0&feature=youtu.be]


Student Recordings #1

Logic SessionAlthough it may seem as though it is just fun & games, recording a piece of music is actually a vital part of the creative process.  In order to get a quality recording, students must:

  • play accurately and in-time with a metronome
  • consider phrasing and volume
  • make orchestral decisions about instrument choices
  • repeat music over and over again until it is comfortable to record

In short, the recording process is a not only the end result of a dedicated practice schedule, it also mirrors the practice process.  I try to record my students once every month or so.  Here are five pieces that I thought were recorded and orchestrated particularly well.  More to follow as we continue our recordings.

Students ages in this recording series range from 7 to 12 years.

“Harmony Bird’s Song” by Graham Richards, recorded by Isaac Scears

(here is the sheet music, 3 different versions)

“Scarborough Fair” by Traditional, arranged by Faber, Piano Adventures level 3a
recorded by Iffy Nwebube

“Tropical Island” by Faber, Piano Adventures level 3b
recorded by Isabella Tokarz

“Luigi’s Mansion” by Shinobu Tanaka and Kazumi Totaka
recorded by Joe Stempien

“The Library” by Dennis Alexander and Martha Mier, Alfred’s Premiere Piano Course level 1b
recorded by Kirk Stempien

International Fascination of Plants Day

I conducted the interviews, shot the video & photographs, recorded the audio, composed and recorded the music, and edited this charming short featuring the kids of Livermore Valley Charter School.  Music only link below.  Enjoy!

Harmony Bird’s Song

a lonely bird sings
rain, thunder, mountain echoes
where are you my love

written by Graham Richards
recorded by Graham Richards & student Isaac Scears
artwork by Katie Weber

download sheet music below (three different versions)