Joshua says, when asked about his music. I want to tell my own story. His is a generation of Jazz Majors, fresh out of college. They know the 'licks' and the Real Books, and can emulate a rolodex of jazz icons on command. With Songs of the Brother Spirit, Joshua has begun to tell a new story.
The themes of brotherhood and growing up drive Songs of the Brother Spirit (2013, Truth Revolution Records). Eight biographical pieces grow and develop, toeing the line between nostalgia and burgeoning adulthood. The main story is about his longtime friend Justin, someone whom Kwassman idolized and followed through his youth. We went on as many adventures as we could, back then. When you're little, though, anything can seem like an adventure - even a half-mile walk to the center of town.
With age brought renewed senses of daring: We started taking bikes and riding to the most remote regions of Connecticut, sometimes a hundred miles in a day. With each outing I would blindly rely on him to get us there, and he always did. The final three tracks, a three-part piece titled 'The Nowhere Trail', is a musical depiction of their latest and most harrowing journey together; one which served as a turning point for Kwassman in his passage to adulthood. I sort of realized after that I needed to lead myself through life, and I learned that from Justin - from the Brother Spirit.