44 Minutes Of Love

Even though love & passion are primal, essential forces in each of our lives, it is very difficult to treat them in a musical way that does not appear trite or cloying.  Fueled by the appreciation I have for having my wife, Nona Leigh, in my life, I spent many months in research – reading & listening to everything on the subject that I could get my hands on.  My goal was to try to capture the process of being in passionate love – the real feelings.  I ended up deciding to incorporate the work of 3 others into the album’s  44 minutes.  First, I chose a rare Bob Marley song (from his Exodus LP) – one that has been relegated to relative obscurity since his death because it was allegedly written for a woman other than his wife. Then, I decided to take on Al Green‘s dauntingly perfect recording of Let’s Stay Together.  Any one who tries to do it like he does is doomed to failure – so I changed it up & tried my best to make it mine.  Lastly, I had the idea to plug in a little French poetry from Jacques Prévert.  And I wrote 6 new songs of my own.
It was such a fun, charged project to work on, & I drew ideas & energy from all of the inventive friends in my circle.   I pulled in drummer/producer Cliff Almond to oversee much of the music.  His creativity is so innate & musically pure. My friend photographer Dennis Reiter & I would meet almost weekly for a beer & kick around packaging & presentation ideas.  We conceived the limited edition handmade suede & crinoline pillow package – which his sister-in-law Jeanne Skeen designed.   We also came up with the idea for a signature logo patterned after a Japanese chop stamp.  One of his associates,  Cathy Kniess, researched & designed it,  & Hiro Ikezi had an actual stamp hand-carved by Masayoshi Miyata for me on his next trip to Japan.  My wife Nona was excelling in her creation of Sumi watercolor bamboo, so I chose one of her paintings to grace the  cover.  Jamie Kim & John Paul Jones of Shadowlight Studios perfected the packaging graphics.  It was a real family affair.

When I put my arms around your waist
and pull you close
my universe expands
and life becomes a lush jungle
teeming with abundance
and when I watch you move
the rhythms of existence all fall into place
oh and I am one with the world
free to lose myself
to wander wild in the wilderness
where the waters are cool and the fruit is ripe.

Yes and when your lips brush mine
and glaze my mouth with soft sensation
then my cosmos clicks into focus
clear and defined
and I know I know I know
You’re everything I want
and everything I need