Drummer Evan StoneFor Evan Stone, his new jazz CD, Sticks & Stone, Vol. 1, is the culmination of a seventeen-year dream. “I didn’t feel ready until recently,” the drummer admits. “But in the last couple of years I’ve felt it was time to put something down.”

Stone says the album’s songs come from the accumulation of his many years of gigs, as well as from the pens of his bandmates. “When we did the sessions for the CD,” he says, “I put together four different groups, recorded about thirty tunes, and picked out nine that I thought worked.”

The recording is fresh and original, and Stone says it was done completely live, sans overdubs. “This is improvised jazz,” Stone urges. “What you hear is what you get. There is one track, ‘KCAMS,’ that I had to splice because the computer went down during a perfect take.”

Stone cites the cut “For My Friends” as one of his favorites. “I think there’s a lot of really good interplay between the players. I love ‘KCAMS’ and ‘Cheesecake’ too. But really, I love all the tunes. Playing with these musicians is such fun, and when you’re in the moment, it’s, ‘Man, these guys are making it happen.’”

For Stone, the entire process was intense, from doing the recording to having to promote the project himself. “It’s a do-it-yourself world now,” he says. “It’s exciting because you’re in control, but when you’re an artist, when do you have time to do your art? It’s tough to find the balance.”

Stone recently invested in a home studio, so he’ll be able to start working on Volume 2. In the meantime, last year he worked in the pop world with Aly & AJ, as well as with Greg Adams of Tower Of Power. “That’s another childhood dream of mine, playing with Tower,” he says. “But the next best thing is playing with their trumpet player. I just keep busy with these kinds of things and with my own band.”

Robyn Flans