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Carl Filipiak and the Jimi Jazz Band: “I Got Your Mantra”

(Art of Life AL1029-2)

Discography | MP3 Digital Downloads | About the Music | Liner Notes | Selected Quotations

Carl Filipiak and the Jimi Jazz Band: "I Got Your Mantra"

Carl Filipiak: acoustic & electric guitars
Dennis Chambers: drums
Paul Soroka: keyboards, lyricon, tenor saxophone
John Thomakos: drums
Steve Zerlin: electric bass, vocals

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A Day in the Life
(Listen to MP3: hi-fi)
(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

Memphis Walk
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Into the Sea
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I Got Your Mantra
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14-15-16
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Bold As Love
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(Listen with Real Audio: lo-fi)

Francesca
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Wakan Tanka
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Hey Jimi (Slight Return)
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Too Much TV
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MP3 Digital Downloads {top}

About the Music {top}

Art of Life Records is proud to present Maryland based guitarist Carl Filipiak's seventh studio recording as a leader and his first release as a leader for Art of Life. Joining Carl on "I Got Your Mantra" are drummer Dennis Chambers, keyboardist/saxophonist Paul Soroka, drummer John Thomakos and bassist Steve Zerlin. Inspired by the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the ’60’s, "I Got Your Mantra" features eight new originals written by Carl Filipiak in addition to a version of “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles and “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix. "I Got Your Mantra" was digitally recorded and mixed at 24-bit by John Grant at Secret Sound Studio in Maryland from November 2006 to August 2007. All tracks have been digitally mastered using 24-bit digital technology.

I'd like to say hello to everyone and thanks for your interest in my music. Over the years I've been hearing friends and fans tell me to record a CD of Hendrix inspired songs. As a result of adding a few more Hendrix tunes to our set list and writing material with that spirit in mind we've come up with a brand new CD and sound. One way I can describe it would be to imagine bringing a 60's vibe into the 21st century. I'll give you a description of each song and what went into recording them.

"A Day in the Life" — One of the best Lennon-McCartney songs ever and hard to believe it's been 40 years since Sgt. Pepper's was released. We worked hard to make this this one fly since the original uses a full orchestra for the middle section. I think you'll like what we did with it and we're obviously using lots of slide guitars to get a similar effect. The melody was double tracked and played on slide guitar and has a Jeff Beck/George Harrison vibe to it. We stayed true to the alarm clock and other effects as well. Instead of trying to make the last chord ring out forever, we waited just until it died out and reversed everything. We took a few liberties to make this our own with the realization that we're never going to top the Beatles! Not our intention anyway, but the bar line was set way high on this one. I basically just love the song and hope you like our version of it. That's John Thomakos on drums at the end and his flanged solo on the way out is killing.

"Memphis Walk" — A song I wrote as a teenager in an extremely popular and unknown group called the Deluxe Martini Band. It's about a dream I had of walking down a street in Memphis and dancing, which is something that's way out of character for me! In the dream someone asks me what the dance is called and I tell them it's called the Memphis Walk. Why can't I dream up songs like "Yesterday"? Features rapper Master Re Re d Rumm and the Jimi Jazz GospelChoir. And I'm not kidding.

"Into the Sea" — Inspired by two Hendrix tunes. One is more obvious than the other and I think I'll keep this one to myself for a while. If you figure it out let me know. Features the drum tag team of Thomakos and Chambers on one song.

"I Got Your Mantra" — The title track. Got this by playing with members of Facing East, one of my favorite groups. It's time signature is in 8 and a half. I really don't do it in a traditional way and it actually sounds like a funk tune at first until you try to dance to it! Features tablas by Greg Hatza who also happens to be one of the baddest B3 players in Baltimore. The title was inspired by an episode of Larry David's show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. The main character gives his mantra away to a friend and then later on, wants it back. And yes, the show is funny and the title fits the vibe of the song. I love Indian music and you'll notice that I'm using some scales that I play in a way that were influenced by Eric Johnson. I've opened for Eric years ago and even called his management a while back to have him play on this record. Since it didn't work out, I played some "koto" parts that will sound very much like him. While I do it in a different way the effect is the same and I'd like to give credit where credit is due. There are some cool E-Bow parts and reverse slide guitar parts in this one as well.

"14-15-16" — Loosely based on "Norwegian Wood" but sounds nothing like it. I like that process of writing a lot when it works out well. Trippy backwards guitar on this one and an overall Middle Eastern vibe throughout. I've been eating to much Persian food! The title is musical shorthand for the one chord, four chord and so on. Now you know.

"Bold As Love" — This one speaks for itself. We're not trying to make this one our own because you probably can't! This reflects the sound of the band when we go out and play Hendrix tributes. As close as we can get and as true to the vibe of the original as possible. I think Steve sounds great on vocals and he was literally thrown into doing it! Dennis Chambers on drums sounds Hendrix approved and I dug out the Marshalls for this one. Just ask the Axis.

"Francesca" — An acoustic piece that I put on tape at the end of the sessions. I don't think of myself as an acoustic player but John Grant made me sound good on this one. A Taylor tuned down a whole step. Goes out to Rikki Harris. My aunt that bought my first amp and got my band our first gig. Some things you never forget.

"Wakan Tanka" — Dedicated to and inspired by my native American friend, James Branham Runs with Wolf. The title means the Great Mystery and I'm honored to use it for one of my songs. This one has an obvious Hendrix, Stevie Ray vibe to it. Until the left turn at the end and we get to hear Paul do his thing on lyricon. Features John Grant on acoustic guitar.

"Hey Jimi (Slight Return)" — Hard to believe I recorded this eleven years ago! Features Will Calhoun on drums and Gary Grainger on bass. Based off the chord changes to "Hey Joe", this one was remixed to sound like it was done this year. Hope you like it.

"Too Much TV" — Based on the chord changes to Gershwin's composition "I Got Rhythm". A form called "rhythm changes" used in countless Jazz tunes and television theme songs. The Flintstones and Leave it to Beaver borrowed from these popular changes. That's where the similarity ends. Don't think you'll be hearing this on any family TV show real soon. My version sounds more like a freak out song. Ornette meets Jimi. Not meant for American Idol. Squeal like a pig. I never want to hear smooth Jazz again! This song should have a parental advisory on it. We are emitting sounds that you may not want to hear twice in your life. I like it.

Dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the spirit of the 60's.

Carl Filipiak

Liner Notes {top}

Rewind.
I was fortunate to have had the experience of witnessing Hendrix play live. It's always been on an eternal tape loop in my minds eye. Looking back, I had no idea that those sights, sounds and memories would manifest themselves into this current project.

Fast Forward to the 21st century.
It has inspired me to write and record in a way that reflects the vibe of the sixties and to also resonate with the decade that I live in. This CD is dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the spirit of the sixties.

Now hit Play. And turn it up.

Carl Filipiak

Selected Quotations {top}

A versatile fusion guitarist who can also play fiery rock and straight-ahead jazz, Carl Filipiak dominates his CD I Got Your Mantra. Sometimes he plays with the power of an Al Di Meola or Buddy Guy, and at other times he sounds more lyrical. Most of I Got Your Mantra showcases Filipiak in a quartet with keyboardist Paul Soroka (who also has an excellent spot on tenor), electric bassist Steve Zerlin and either John Thomakos or Dennis Chambers on drums. Guest musicians are heard in spots and "Memphis Walk," which has a brief rap and three background vocalists, is a change of pace. But otherwise Filipiak stars throughout. While "A Day in the Life" is a sleepy opener, the music soon becomes intense with Filipiak seeming to create different tones on each selection. His explosive playing on the closing "Too Much TV" is humorous and throughout I Got Your Mantra, Filipiak shows that he is one of the leaders of 21st century fusion.
Scott Yanow - All Music Guide

I just wanted to tell you that your new disc “I Got Your Mantra” is simply fantastic. Man, you seem to really be inspired on this one because I have almost all your releases and this one is by far one of the best (aside from the amazing ‘Hotel Real’ – which is still a major favorite of mine). I really thought your cover of ‘Day In The Life’ was stellar and I dug the fact that your retained the vibe of the Beatles recording and added some really wonderful textures. Also, the slide part was amazing.
Marc B. — Lexington, MA

I received my copy of Carl's newest CD and as expected it does not disappoint! Carl never ceases to amaze me with his talent. I've listened to this CD 4 times already today and it keeps getting better! Carl as always has assembled a great band of musicians! You can not go wrong with Dennis Chambers behind the drums and John's no slacker either! Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying this CD and I try to get out to see him live whenever I can! I hope you and Carl have a long satisfying venture together - with Carl you really can't go wrong!
Dennis A. — A long time listener and admirer of Carl's great guitar work!

The opening cut takes you on a Beatles trip where Carl gets his guitar to sing all the lyrics of "A Day In the Life" by bending his strings to perfect pitch and tone even pronouncing the "r" when Lennon sang, "I sar a film today, oh boy". I could not sit still to the next cut - had to get up and resonate to the groove and let the "Memphis Walk" take over. Then, as your mind wanders while listening to the rest of Carl's latest release, it will come back to the music thinking it is hearing a previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix tape for the first time. Remarkably fresh. Thank Carl and his band mates for half a CD of 'new Hendrix material' and some fresh new Filipiak material. The 7th cut, "Francesca", had me wondering who the virtuoso was fingering the acoustic guitar and when was Carl going to join in with one of his electrics? Surprise!! Carl's right hand has an acoustic touch equally as fascinating as his techniques with whammy, slide, tone controls and switches. Hope to hear more acoustic in the future. The last cut on the CD sounds like George Martin and Frank Zappa helped in the production - a perfect song for Side 2 of "Yellow Submarine" or Side 3 1/2 of "Freak Out!". Not since Crack The Sky's "I Am A Walrus" have I heard such a great and dramatic representation of one of the later Beatle/Martin songs. Your live version is awesome too.
Craig Angle

I have to commend you on the Jimi Jazz album - quite a phenomenal piece of work. It is a bit early to have absolute favorites, but I have found "Into The Sea", "14-15-16", "Wakan Tanka" and of course, "Bold As Love" to be the big contenders. We are talking about some really seriously good stuff here. I'd love to know if you are doing that backwards-tracking stuff in real-time (with an Eventide H-3000 or some such). The tones are phenomenal - you've really outdone yourself on this release. I just need to see you do your thing live.
Andy S.



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