Out of this world and as deep as the ocean: On Space Squid, drummer Bill Stewart reaches for the sky and plumbs the depths with a group of like-minded musical explorers, saxophonist Seamus Blake, pianist Bill Carrothers and bassist Ben Street. Ten Stewart originals and one standard run the gamut from irreverence to revelation.
Bill Stewart is in the vanguard of the music's contemporary player-composers. His playing and writing has absorbed the lessons of past masters and built on their foundations to create his own musical language. For Stewart and his fellow musicians, the playfulness, the musical pranks and sheer joy of playing is serious business. They have made it their life to put their thoughts and feelings, their conception of beauty with all of its intimate idiosyncrasies and vagaries, out in the open for all to hear. The musicians caress and attack the music from every angle. Each new listening detects and fosters new perspectives, new insights. Bill Stewart says that he named the CD Space Squid because "I like the sound of the title and I am slightly fascinated with squid and octopus. They can also be delicious." One can imagine the twinkle in his eye when he said this. Fascinatingly delicious, this music is serious fun.