On A Journey, by Jessie Allen
Cooper and Friends
Produced by: Jessie Allen Cooper
Harmonica: Jessie Allen Cooper
Vocal: Jimmy Hale
Piano: John Simon
Guitars: Ira Ingber
Bass: Steve Valverde
Drums: Jerry Cooper
Spring - 2016
On A Journey, Creation of the song
The song "On A Journey"
started in 1979. I was studying music and art at Western Washington
University, in Bellingham Washington. I wrote the melody and
lyrics to the song, and then brought them to a friend and pianist
Carl Amberson, who was also studying music at Western. Carl helped
with the chord changes of the original version. In my last quarter
at Western, with the late Denny Reynolds on bass and vocals,
his brother Gregg Reynolds on vocals trumpet and acoustic guitar
and myself on sax and harmonica started a band called Aurora.
Gary Herman played drums and Jamie Pullar (Dickie Betts, Willie
Nelson) sang and played guitar. The band ended up having several
different incarnations. I toured with Aurora for two years in
the Northwestern US and Western Canada.
While "On A Journey", after over thirty years of countless
life changing experiences, last year in the spring, I started
putting together a new band in the Northwest with my brother
Jerry Cooper on drums and Jamie Pullar on guitar and vocals Full
circle Jamie and I finished writing the song, in June of 2015,
during the course of practicing for a gig at Simiane Cellars
in Ukiah California. My northern California band recorded the
basic tracks at John Simon's studio, j. Dog Studio (David Sanborn,
Spirogyra, Little Richard) in Sebastopol, which is about two
hours north of San Francisco. John also played keyboards on the
song. Steve Valverde played bass, (Quicksilver, Starship), my
brother Jerry played drums, Jamie played guitar and sang. I directed
and played harmonica on the composition.
After listening to the song for a couple of months I decided
to give it some final touches, choosing Ira Ingber (Bob Dylan,
Brian Wilson, Frank Sinatra) to play acoustic guitars and mix
the song In his LA recording studio. My good-friend and trumpet
player Jimmy Hale, a southern gentleman from Georgia, sang on
the final version of the song, capturing the vocal range and
sense of feeling I was striving to achieve.
If one were to ask me, what the song "On a Journey"
means to you?
(My response), Every day is a journey and the people we know
and love are what helps us to define ourselves. My ultimate goal
would be that the song might allow the listener to remember the
importance of our friends and family and as sung in the song
that "we must live life day by day".
Brian Hanish: Photos and one sheet layout and disc cover.
Jack Mijdecki: Guitar, Lead sheets and LA Musical Director.
Special Thanks: Paula Samonte, Simaine Cellars, John Beatty,
Ed Reinhart " The boggie-woggie man," Steve and Cindy
Valverde, Marcy Stafsky,
Roger Lifeset, Scott O'Brien, Steve Boynton, Terry Nelson and
© (p) 1979/2016 Cooper Sound Waves
All Rights Reserved: for information contact: CooperSoundWaves.com