Deep dish: Matt White on Fight the Big Bull’s new record

With the release of their second album, some things have changed for Fight the Big Bull. Matt White talks about those changes, the album, and more in an audio commentary over the entire new record, All Is Gladness In The Kingdom.

With the release of their second album, some things have changed for Fight the Big Bull: they’ve captured the attention of a worldwide audience, they’ve had the collaborative help of an A-list out-of-towner, and they’ve recorded their longest and most adventurous work yet.

Because the album was recorded over a year ago in February 2009, let’s put it in historical perspective. Bandleader Matt White had been talking to a trumpeter, composer, and arranger whom he admired, and made a couple trips to New York to study and hang out with the man. The musician was Steven Bernstein, and this budding relationship only marked the beginning of his influence on Matt and his work with Fight the Big Bull.

Bernstein came to Richmond for several days to play three gigs with the band (including the first RVAJazzfest), rehearse, and record the band’s next album. Bernstein would talk about how luxurious it was to have more than two days in the studio, and it’s that long recording session that would produce All Is Gladness In The Kingdom.

Somehow, I convinced Matt to record an audio commentary over the entire album. To my surprise, it actually wasn’t that difficult; he was enthusiastic from the beginning, and later even said something to the effect of, “I would want to hear something like this for all my favorite records.” Matt provides us with incredible insight into the details of the music, the recording process, and Bernstein’s time in town.

If you want to hear the album in all its uncompressed glory and without our yapping, purchase the album from Clean Feed Records on Amazon or iTunes.

Listen:

All Is Gladness In The Kingdom was officially released yesterday. The band is in the middle of a three-day celebration and live recording session at their home of Balliceaux, which will be released as their next album.

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Dean Christesen

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