Original music written by Stephen Gislason and new arrangements of many different styles have been produced under the title P2500 Band. P 2500 refers to the EMU Proteus 2500 Sound module, workstation that creates all the instruments in the P2500 Recordings. The recordings cover many different styles from different countries. Stephen says: "A good arranger wants to add a personal touch to a well established piece of music. I have been interested in eclectic music and explore a variety of styles in my arrangements. My goal is not the faithful reproduction of the originals but the creation of new arrangements with new instruments and new compositional ideas that become interesting in their own right. When I switch to recording engineer, I have high standards. I strive to achieve the highest audiophile quality for the recordings. "
All the recordings are completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history are explained in the book, Sound of Music.
Jazz The band has followed the path of modern jazz, starting with bebop as invented by Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The path leads to Miles Davis and the extraordinarily talented musicians that played with him and then proceeded on their own innovative paths. Stephen is a trumpet player as well as a keyboardist and synthesizer expert; his arrangements favor trumpet, flugelhorn and electronic keyboards. Jazz players take pride in improvisations on the base of old tunes, often leaving only melody fragments and some chord changes. There has been a remarkable proliferation of musical styles, partly because of "crossovers" that merged blues, country music, rock, and jazz. Latin American, African and Caribbean music merged, especially rhythmically with American and European music. The idea of popular music grew to include this variety of ethnic styles.
Pan American Music Stephen is fascinated by the music of Mexico, Central and South America. In Brazil, Tom Jobim, de Moraes, Mendonça, an others developed Samba and Bossa Nova styles that spread to the US and Europe. Argentina contributed the Tango. Dances, rhythms and melodic styles emerged as energetic fusion elements in jazz and popular music in the rest of the world. Bolero refers to dance music that originated in Santiago de Cuba in the 19th century. The Cuban bolero traveled to Mexico, Puerto Rico composer, and other Caribbean islands. Different bolero styles have been identified such as the son (rumba), bolero-mambo and the bolero-cha. We explore some of these rich musical traditions.
Popular Tunes One ongoing project is to recall, rearrange and perform some of the "classics of popular music." Several motivations combine in an interest to arrange and record popular songs of the past 60 years. Bands often emerge with a repertoire of cover tunes that most audiences know and enjoy. Popular songs are played by in countless venues daily by amateur and professional musicians. Often, singers and bands get started by recording popular tunes with their own inflection and stylist changes. Some tunes become standards that are performed and recorded thousands of times.
New styles evolve from seed songs that acquire fan bases. Elements of every successful composition are copied into "original" compositions that follow, often multiple copies that create new stylistic groupings. Sometimes a new arrangement renews a songs appeal or changes its appeal so that its popularity moves toward a new group of listeners. Several of the songs we have recorded have been reproduced many times in recordings by many groups. John Denver's Annie's Song, for example has been recorded a 100 times by different singers and groups. We have treated the songs as classics that exemplify an aspect of popular music that emerged in the 1950s. Many bands and musicians that were popular in the 60s and 70s have been resurrected to play concerts for the "baby boomers' who feel strongly about popular songs they heard as teenagers and young adults. We all have grey hair and have more wrinkles, but musical enjoyment is ageless.
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