Mike Effenberger – Composer, Keyboards
Chris Klaxton – Trumpet
Chris Gagne – Trombone
Matt Langley – Reeds
Rob Gerry – Bass
Mike Walsh – Drums
released October 1, 2017
Engineered and mixed by Joey Pierog
Mastered by Pete Weiss at Verdant Studios
Album artwork by Katrine Hildebrandt
Design by Greg Glasson
Weird Turn Pro is a music group that plays the music of Mike Effenberger. Their name is a nod to Hunter S Thompson who, among many things, saw the value in both chaos and process. Those two forces are alternately employed by or yielded to by WTP as they create music that is both like water eroding granite over the millennia or the momentary of an open flame.
Effenberger on “the repeatedly answered question” (from an article in Edge Magazine by Chris Hislop):
EDGE: What is the repeatedly answered question?
Effenberger: The record title worked for me on a couple levels. It primarily references Charles Ives’ piece from the early part of the 20th century, “The Unanswered Question,” which I love and which made a variety of good points about the nature of unity, discord, possibility of communication between sides that are not to do with each other, and opposition. In it, there is a sort of timeless hymn-like string orchestra continuum with a question put forth by a trumpet in an unrelated time and key, with a group of winds responding in increasingly disparate ways. All the while, the strings continue to operate with Switzerlandian wanton disregard for both the question and the answer. I am interested in the layers of meaning that juxtaposition affords. There is no reason to restrict ourselves to only agreement or disagreement.
The title also plays into jazz in 2017 overall. The music on this record is at least jazz-ish, or at least couldn’t exist without jazz having first existed. For all its emphasis on contrast and unpredictability, jazz is a music founded on repetition. Soloists play the same chord changes and melodic phraselets over and over and over, chorus to chorus and song to song and record to record, painting instantaneous portraits of themselves and of their perceived realities. There are minimalist influences in my music, too, coming from a perspective that embraces repetition as a form of change (thank you Brian Eno) and examines what happens when things cease to change either for a time or forever. The question is answered repeatedly, not once, or it would be no answer at all.
Also, less seriously, concerning self-funding and attempting to promote an original jazz-like record in 2017: is it worth it despite questionable-at-best interest in jazz compared to other more popular music? I hope that musicians never stop answering that one.