Drummer Wally Schnalle Releases "The Suit" on Retlaw Records


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THE SUIT. What is it? It is simply a metaphor for a myriad of musical constraints such as: idiom, genre, common practice, expectations, bag, style, and convention. Each of these, and more, I find can impose severe limitations on creativity. And so the straight jacket (Suit) image. While there are artists who find comfort in and become very talented at adhering to a certain convention, style or era of music, I find those boundaries frustrating. It's been done already and usually to a very high level of mastery. That excellence is what typically draws one to aspire to walk in those footsteps. Surely we should learn from great music and musicians. That is what informs and broadens our musical voices. But the quest for something new is the part of the creative journey I really enjoy.

The music on this CD is purposely not limited by idiom. It takes its influences from all over. The jazz greats whose music I've enjoyed, Scientific American, Hip Hop, DJs, world events, Cuba, Stravinsky, computer technology, Electronica, Progressive Rock, Fusion, Blues, and Avant-Garde are just a few of the influences that have had a hand in creating my artistic outlook. And while this recording may not include direct reflections of all of those it certainly does not deliberately exclude any. It is influenced and informed by pretty much all that I experience. Shouldn't that be the way it works? These nine tunes do not demand to be defined by one label like jazz, fusion or rock. They are only defined by the performances on this CD.

I was lucky to have great musicians breathing life into my musical creations. Jeff Massanari, Jeff Pittson and Peter Barshay are all great musicians and composers. This music lives thanks to them. I am deeply appreciative of their willingness, musicianship and friendship. Another key performer in this music was my laptop computer. You may hear sounds you don't recognize from the typical jazz bandstand. Those sounds were performed or triggered live in the studio performances of this music. Technology should be embraced when it can expand our creative boundaries but not when it constrains or defines those boundaries.

I hope you dig my music

Beware of The Suit!
Wally Schnalle

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