The Seeds of Fulfillment by David Drazin (November 2018)
Andrew Venson founded Seeds of Fulfillment (SOF) in early 1978. In the 1960s he had played electric bass with Arthur Conley, and later the original Peaches and Herb. On the same bill with Big Brother and the Holding Company, he hung out backstage with Janis Joplin. Yes! Vince was hoping SOF would get all of us to the top. He composed three tunes for the band, and we always had a ball playing them.
Roger Myers is a marvelous drummer. We co-composed Namaste. Roger would settle on a drum pattern of four measures at a time that he wanted to keep, and I'd put chords and melody right on top of his pattern. When he layered a second drum pattern on top of the first one, we'd get two melodies at the same time. We thought we were going to collaborate on more songs this way, but it didn't happen.
Lee Savory is a very inventive jazz man. He's musically literate, and wrote excellent transpositions. I remember Lee's asking for my input while he was composing Tight Squeeze, but it was clear he had it down. Once when I was visiting a DJ who played the album in a local radio station, the total of checks next to Tight Squeeze for number of plays was by far the highest!
Randy Mather's sax playing always knocked me out. I could hardly wait to hear him solo. When he left SOF to go with Woody Herman's orchestra it was amazing, but true.
Jeanette Williams had recorded 45s for the Duke and Peacock label when she was 17 years old. Her powerful singing was incredible to me. When we needed an original for Jeanette, Vince composed it, and Roger's wife Linda wrote the lyrics.
In 1978 I was in my senior year at Ohio State University when I met Vince. He came into a bar called My Brother's Place where I was playing with a trumpet player named Bobby Alston. When I was a freshman at OSU I'd played in an off campus band called Akadama. Before that I played in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio in the Brush High School Stage Band and a jobbing band called The Midnight Combo.
Everyone in the band contributed something to Egg Cartons in a composition jam session. We rehearsed in Vince's basement, and he had covered the walls with egg cartons to make the room sound more like a recording studio. The Provider was inspired by Country Preacher by Joe Zawinul. In those days I especially admired the way Zawinul would get his soulful feelings across, but also loved Herbie Hancock and to a lesser degree Chick Corea too. It took two years (with a break of several months) for the band to conquer Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. It shows you what consideration and dedication is, that ultimately they felt it was worth learning.
We recorded at Fifth Floor Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio. While we were there I got to shake hands with Bootsy Collins, who was recording in the rooms downstairs at the same time. Years later, Fifth Floor burned down and all the master tapes were destroyed.
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