After the fulfilling experience of writing and recording my last CD, To the Stars, inspired by a classic science fiction novel from my favorite author, L. Ron Hubbard, I began looking for another one of his stories—one that I could portray using my love for Spanish and African music and the talents of the musicians in my new band, Touchstone. Browsing through my collection, I was drawn to the title The Ultimate Adventure. Remembering that this unique fantasy story had a backdrop of scenes and characters from the ancient tales, The Arabian Nights, it immediately had me conjuring emotions, sounds, rhythms and music. Technically, I decided that my palette would be lots of rhythm, flute and, of course, keyboards. I also took this project as an opportunity to make music with some of my old friends who were so important to my music-making in the 60s and 70s—namely, Steve Gadd, Airto Moreira and Hubert Laws. And together with my more recent musical partnerships with Vinnie Colaiuta, Hossam Ramzy, Frank Gambale and Tim Garland, and finally the members of my current band, Tom Brechtlein, Jorge Pardo, Rubem Dantas and Carles Benavent—I was definitely inspired by these great artists in the creation of this music.
As defined in my computer’s dictionary: a “tone poem” is “an extended piece of music that is based on a literary, artistic, or ideological theme, for example, a folk tale or landscape.”
This has become my favorite form of musical expression.
As were The Leprechaun, The Mad Hatter, My Spanish Heart, Musicmagic, Secret Agent, The Romantic Warrior, Time Warp, To the Stars, and many other albums I’ve made, The Ultimate Adventure is a tone poem based on the characters, places and events in the story.