Making The Saint is my newest full-length record. 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, each of whom have their own bands. 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 albums at the Village Vanguard, Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting, or Thelonius Monk’s sublime Solo Monk. Each of these albums is simple and direct. Making The Saint is a small record too. I didn’t belabor it. Everything came together quickly. I followed my instincts. Making The Saint is also a spiritual retreat; 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 known as 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 solitude and found something new. I recommend listening to this album on a Sunday morning before the day makes an imposition. I hope you enjoy it.
– Chris Schlarb