The saxophone trio format rewards risk-taking, empathetic listening, and a collective intuition to follow the music wherever it may lead. Fortunately, a deep sense of trust and compassion underlies the songs and improvisations of Possibilities, who release their debut recording on April 7th via DAJ Records after almost ten years of making music together.
Get 'Em is a long time coming; the trio met at the age of eighteen and rehearsed almost daily for several formative years. Eschewing the conventional roles of soloist and rhythm section, Possibilities found their voice in the spirit of interplay and discovery. Despite regular performances in the midwest, these early years are remembered for the band's commitment to sonic refinement - exploring saxophonist Tim Bennett's compositions and nurturing a playful yet focused and coloristic approach.
After a few years apart (Bennett lives in Chicago, while bassist Dan Stein and drummer Peter Manheim are New York-based), a musical and personal void was felt on all accounts. "We realized this was something special, and needed to make it a priority," recalls Stein. While the trio's members maintain busy freelance careers, the last two years have seen a newfound dedication to Possibilities, with Get 'Em serving as a document of this commitment.
Possibilities has made many trips between Chicago and New York in the last two years, touring between the two cities and making time to develop new material. Get 'Em was recorded at the culmination of one such tour - after a performance in Cleveland, the band drove through the night to New York, arriving just in time to begin recording. Where some bands fail to translate the energy and looseness of their performances into a studio setting, Get 'Em maintains a spirited, organic atmosphere. "After that all-night drive, we were exhausted to the point of being relaxed. We recorded all three of us in one room and simply played together, bringing our friendship into the music. It's true to who we are and what we do - imperfect, even, but honest," says Stein.
The compositions on Get 'Em - all penned by Bennett with the exception of a beautifully exploratory take on the classic "Pure Imagination" - lend themselves to the interplay and dynamics the trio has spent years cultivating. From the jagged phrasing and driving beats of the opening "Vibin'" to the gently swinging unison of the final track "Untitled," Possibilities' debut release explores a new landscape in each song without losing sight of its collective sound.
For Manheim, Get 'Em is just the beginning. "Just as our friendship evolves with time, this band continues to evolve as well," he notes. "After time apart, our commitment to the music and to each other is stronger than ever."
Possibilities celebrates their release with performances in New York, Cleveland, and Chicago.