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Why the Sea Is Salt

by Graham Reynolds Music

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The Handmill 02:55


The second album from the Golden Arm Trio finds sole constant member Graham Reynolds expanding his already formidable stylistic range to new eclectic heights while retaining his ear for strong, memorable melodies. Reynolds is often pigeonholed as a jazz artist merely for lack of a more appropriate term, but his classical compositions for the Tosca String Quartet belie such a designation once and for all. Ironically, the most poignant and beautiful string composition on the album, "The Old Woodcutter," was originally written for two saxophones and drums. This sad and lonely lullaby is presented with living-room intimacy, and it will put a lump in the throat of anyone with a pulse. The album's two main themes, "The Ship" and "The Ship at the Bottom of the Sea," also resonate with uncommon emotive richness. Reynolds juxtaposes the string compositions with everything from a klezmer/exotica hybrid ("Finster Crowley") to a Hammond organ-infused rock instrumental with violin in place of guitar ("Swift Ship Sailing"). This approach showcases the album's diversity, but frequent melodic reprisals unify the album as a more cohesive statement than the Trio's self-titled 1998 debut. If that weren't enough, Reynolds' exquisitely furrowed performances on both piano and percussion continue to be just as awe-inspiring as his compositions. Is there anything this man can't do? -Austin Chronicle


released July 1, 2000

Graham Reynolds - piano, organ, drums, percussion

Featuring the Tosca String Quartet:
Leigh Mohoney - violin
Lara Hicks - violin
Ames Asbell - viola
Sara K. Nelson - cello

Additional Performers:
Thad Scott - saxophones
June Rhee - violin
Laura Phelan - vibraphone
Jefferson Keyton - upright bass
Bruce Colson - violin
Kim Hill - cello
Ben Barnes - violin
Erik Metzger - upright bass
Paul Klemperer - saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet
Buzz Moran - triangle
Jay Rozen - tuba
Jeff Viaclovsky - tenor saxophone

Produced by Graham Reynolds

Recorded by Buzz Moran at Shamrock Studio and Andrew Barron Studio, Austin TX

Tracks 2, 10, 13 recorded by Ben Burton
Track 2 mixed by Bryan Nelson
Track 10 mixed by Chris Payeur
Tracks 5, 14 recorded by Desmond Shea at Division Hi-Fi, San Francisco, CA

Mastered by Russ Smith at Chocolate Media

Artwork and Design by Buzz Moran

Layout by Buzz Moran and April R. Litz

Album originally Co-Released by David Wilcox

Song Title Assistance: Justin Hennard, Ruth Margraff, Kim Hill


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Graham Reynolds Music Austin, Texas

Austin-based composer-bandleader-improviser Graham Reynolds creates, performs, and records music for film, theater, dance, rock clubs, and concert halls, with collaborators ranging from Richard Linklater and Jack Black to DJ Spooky and Jeffrey Zeigler. Graham recently signed with London-based label Fire Records and released his score for Hitchcock’s silent classic, The Lodger, in October 2020. ... more

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