Praised across the board for his sophisticated approach to merging eccentric pop, jazz, soul and avant-garde experimentation on Psychic Temple’s 2013 offering Psychic Temple II, band/cult leader, Chris Schlarb, returns with an immersive new LP Making The Saint.
Chris Schlarb has said about the record:
“Making The Saint is my new full-length album.
“I recorded it inside a cabin in the San Bernardino mountains of California. The owners told me to keep an eye out for ghosts. When I started driving up into the mountains, I didn’t have any new music prepared. I’d just finished an East Coast tour with my Psychic Temple band; six members strong on the road and twelve musicians back at home. A big band for sure. We’d already booked another tour with the guys, all of whom are professionals in their own right. As I drove, I found myself yearning for an intimate, unpolished sound.
“Even though Psychic Temple is a big deal, I love small records. When I say “small record,” I think of Sandy Bull’s Fantasias for Guitar and Banjo, Bill Evans trio recordings at the Village Vanguard, Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting or Thelonius Monk’s sublime Solo Monk. Each of these albums is simple. They’re direct. Making The Saint is a small record too. I didn’t belabor it. The recording and mixing came quickly. I followed my instincts.
“This album is also a spiritual retreat for me; a healthy and necessary separation after so many strong collaborations. If you’re Sufist, you’d call this khalwa. In Japanese Zen Buddhism, it’s called sesshin. The Santerian process of Asiento requires the initiate to dress in white garments and avoid physical contact for one year. Like so many have done before me, I forced myself into a state of inner solitude to find something new.
“I hope you enjoy it and you experience something similar while listening.”
Making The Saint will be out on May 27 on Asthmatic Kitty.