A Zooneyan Birthday Party!

Happy Birthday to James Carter “Saint James” “Pank” THE Pank” “Pankenstein” “Bunky” et al, Pankow!

Saint JAMES!

That’s right, everyone’s favorite rock-trombonist goes deeper into his 60’s today while retaining a body and creative heart that any 20-something would be seriously proud of. By this point in time, I have fully established in print just how much I admire the writing and performance persona of Chicago-The-Band’s composer-vocalist-t-bone man-deluxe…but now (What? you didn’t think this was going to be completely altruistic didya? This is MY blog, after-all) I have the joy of showing the world said veneration via “Zooneyan Reunion” and “The Neither Zone.” What-WHAT? Two tracks from my soon-to-be-released ArtistShare® project “Concerto for Folded Space.”

First-off: “Zooneyan Reunion.”

The whole of “Concerto for Folded Space” (CFFS) is programmatically informed by my sci-fi novel The Dover Stone (You have now officially entered the Narcissism Zone…) with each track being a musical analogy to the ten stories in the book. “Zooneyan Reunion” gets so deep that it needs two tries at explaining before you check out the track.

1. Here is the page on “Zoony” from the CFFS Liner Notes Booklet:

8. Zooneyan Reunion

Click on the thumbnail above to see a larger version where you can read the delicious prose…

2. Check out the program notes on this FREE PREVIEW SoundCloud track and then enjoy the music!


And now, a bit about the making of this cinematic workout: First of all, Daniel Pardo and I went to Nashville Tennessee to record both Jimmy and his band mate Keith Howland (Chicago guitarist-EXTREME!) this past May. What a hang! Totally righteous in it’s hilarity, frivolity and deep-pocket groovatious music.

Three Cats

The Cats! At “Sniggy’s Studio” Nolensville, TN U.S


An example of the session’s serious demeanor. (something about “bubbles”)

Keith absolutely DESTROYED it on the track titled “E’Vol” (a performance worthy of its own blog post…) and Jimmy recorded some classic solos for “Zoony” and “The Neither Zone” As you read in the copious liner notes, we tracked 8 different Pankow offerings and then I had the distinct pleasure of editing them all together into a “Pankenstein Choir.”


That’s what I’m talkin’ BOUT!

Now you KNOW Homeslice had fun chopping up Pankowian masterworks and pasting them into a landscape of crazy-cannons, fabulous fugues, and monster-motiffs…why YES I did! The results absolutely reflect my imaginings of what Hyp Zoon-ee does in the Dover Stone story (WHAT! You haven’t ordered your copy yet? Fear Not!)

And Saint James’ solo on “The Neither Zone” is simply one of the most soulful improvised melodic offerings I have ever heard. All of us in the studio were amazed but not surprised.  But of course, you will need to pre-order and-or purchase your copy of CFFS on September 1 by going to my website.

In the meantime, I offer The Pank my favorite birthday salute: As Gil Evans once said to Miles Davis:

“I sure am glad you were born!”




About swiest2

Steve Wiest is a Trombonist-Composer-Cartoonist-Author and Coordinator of The 21st Century Music Initiative at The Lamont School of Music: The University of Denver
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