In the liner notes on their self-titled debut CD, the Icarus Ensemble—Butler University School of Music faculty members Jon Crabiel and Gary Walters and three members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra—thank their fans.
“You’ve waited a long time for this,” the group writes, “and we hope it was worth the wait.”
Their followers have, in fact, waited more than seven years for the group to record its first CD, a mix of sprightly jazz, progressive rock, and touches of chamber music under song titles such as “Pepperoni Grande con Queso Mas,” “Buffalo Shuffalo” and “Oopsey Daisy.” (Listen to “Oopsey Daisy” below.)
They’ll get their first crack at the recording on Sunday, March 8, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. when the group hosts a CD release party at the Jazz Kitchen, 5377 North College Avenue, Indianapolis.
The disc also will be available through iTunes and CD Baby.
“We had enough songs, we had enough money to record, and we had fans asking” for a CD, Walters said. “We’d been together long enough that we had a lot of material written—much more than we recorded—but we can’t play out that often with everybody’s schedule what it is.”
The group, which takes its name from a Ralph Towner song, came together in 2007 when Peter Hansen performed as a substitute bassist in a quartet Walters was in. Hansen had played in a duo with violinist Dean Franke, who is also the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO) Assistant Concertmaster, and they both perform with Mark Ortwein, the ISO’s Assistant Principal Bassoonist/Contrabassoonist. Walters has taught and played with Crabiel in the School of Music since the late 1990s, and they both do fill-in work with the ISO.
Their first gig was Hansen’s faculty recital at the University of Indianapolis, and live performances have been sporadic ever since. Because of their schedules, they get together when they can—usually about 12 times a year, mostly on Mondays at the Jazz Kitchen.
They treated the recording sessions with the same “we’ll-get-to-it-when-we-can” approach. They started in October 2013 and continued that December.
“Then everyone got busy—spring, summer,” Crabiel said. “In September, we made it back in and finished. It’s a fun group, and we thought we should put this down on tape.”
Hear Walters and Hansen talk about the group with Sharon Gamble ’78 MA ’87 here.