Hackdaddy - Reflections
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Smooth jazz title track from the Hackdaddy Reflections CD, updated with photos by Jean Hackbert, Kay Nelson, John MacDonald and Tony MacDonald.
» go to the music page for more
play hi-fi  Noche Caliente
play hi-fi  Madre y Padre
play hi-fi  Reflections
play hi-fi  Para Siempre
play hi-fi  Sugarloaf Parkway
play hi-fi  J D
play hi-fi  Seventeen for Jean
play hi-fi  7 - 11
play hi-fi  Late Thursday Night
play hi-fi  Dialogue
Mike Hackbert is the creative force behind Hackdaddy. Mike has been an active musician since the early ’70s, when he began playing brass instruments and settled on the trumpet as a primary instrument. Mike was involved with a number of bands and ensembles in high school and college; his composing and arranging skills were honed in college and are still in use today.

In the ’80s and ’90s Mike was based in Champaign-Urbana Illinois and could be seen in a number of groups around the area in addition to work as a soloist, in the theatre pits and in local recording studios. The main focus at that time was the group Champaign Brass, a brass quintet founded by Mike in 1986 that is still active today. Mike’s ability to play in a variety of styles has him frequently playing with a diverse set of groups. As Hackdaddy, Mike collaborates with other musicians globally.

Mike's main influences are smooth jazz, latin beats and progressive rock, with some baroque, classic and new age thrown in as well. He has been accused of never finding an added-note chord he didn't like, and is fond of complex rhythms and time signatures. With Hackdaddy, these creative projects (some are years old, some are months old, some are only weeks old) from Mike are finding a wider audience for listening and enjoyment.

Why this name?
Suggestion by a friend (although he didin't know it at the time!)
Do you play live?
On trumpet, I have played in countless venues from living rooms to stadiums with a variety of groups over the years. The projects on this site have all been realized in the studio.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
It's a bit of an equalizer; it gives us "little guys" a chance to get our music out in the world to be heard by much larger audiences than were possible in the past.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Certainly, if the terms were acceptable.
Your influences?
Not in any particular order: Don Ellis, Stan Kenton, Ian Polster, Phil Driscoll, Koinonia, Frank Zappa, Chip Davis, Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, David Arkenstone, Chicago, BST, EWF, Les Hooper, John Harmon, JS Bach, ELP, PFM, Yes, Oregon, Paul Winter, Particle, Trey Anastasio
Equipment used:
Horns: Most of the time I use a Bb Trumpet, but occasionally will use a C Trumpet, Piccolo Trumpet or Flugelhorn as needed. I also have a variety of mutes that I use for additional tone coloring, as well as electronically processing the trumpet sounds through effects and pedals. Most MIDI processing is in Cakewalk and virtually all digital audio is in Cubase.
Anything else...?
"Liner Notes"

Being one of the (cough, cough) "older" people around here, I actually remember when the primary form of recorded music was the 12" vinyl LP. In fact in the early 80's I was a store manager for Camelot Music and was very much involved with selling vinyl records. One of the great features of LPs are the liner notes that were often included that provided information on the music, lyrics, performers, etc. I know, CDs have liner notes in their inserts/booklets, but I'm remembering liner notes that were in a type size readable by humans. :)

From time to time, I intend to provide "liner notes" for my songs/projects and give some background information and insight as to where/how/why these came about.

"Liner Notes" ? Reflections

?Reflections" is the granddaddy of all of the Hackdaddy projects. The first version of this track was written nearly 30 years ago for trumpet and piano, and was performed for a student recital at Wittenberg University. This was somewhat progressive at the time as the vast majority of student recital pieces were from ?standard? repertoire that typically was not jazzy and did not contain improvisation. I certainly admit to some inspiration from Chuck Mangione (among others) on this track, with his ?Bellavia? probably being the biggest influence.

Reflections resurfaced in the 90?s as a brass quintet piece for Champaign Brass, taking on the form of a trumpet feature with brass quartet accompaniment. It began morphing into the present version a few years ago, and for awhile was a (synthed) trumpet and clarinet duet with piano and string features. The current published version is an acoustic trumpet duet, and also has an expanded strings presence throughout the track.

"Liner Notes" - J D

J D is - you guessed it! - something that got started a long time ago and just got finished recently. This one started out in the practice rooms at Wittenberg, and a very good friend of mine, J. D. liked it alot from the start, hence the name of the song. It was always a juxtaposition of latin and swing, but originally the swing part was a different theme.

The first version of J D actually was finished in the early 90's, but fell victim to a hard drive crash (literally a day or two before the backup drive I had ordered showed up - ouch!). Incidentally, a few other tracks were nailed by that crash; the Sugarloaf Parkway material, for instance. It took awhile to re-create these tracks, but I think it helped to progress them further than they might have otherwise.

So, the latin themes in J D remain pretty much intact to the original, except for the piano solo which was done a few weeks ago. The swing sections are similar to the original, but were realized in the last few months, and the marimba solo, like the piano, just happened very recently.

"Liner Notes" - Nothing But the Blood

Nothing But the Blood started out around 2001 as a trumpet quartet, believe it or not. I am very heavily into recycling, so it's not unusual for my "projects" to manifest themselves in a variety of instrumentations, depending on any number of factors. We were living in metro Atlanta (Lawrenceville) at the time, and I was playing regularly with the Gwinnett Community Band. An offshoot, or sub-ensemble, of that group was a trumpet ensemble, which not only played at concerts but also at church services and other occasions. Nothing But the Blood was one of several pieces that I wrote for that group.

Overall, the arrangement is kind of in three sections, and while the trumpet ensemble was able to pull it off at one level, the contrast of the sections really begged for fuller and more varied instrumentation. The energy of the middle section called out for the addition of a rhythm section, which of course expanded to service the whole piece. The outer sections, being more "traditional", lyrical and legato, morphed into a woodwind ensemble, and the "poor" trumpets that reigned over the initial version were reduced to punctuation fills.

"Liner Notes" - Seventeen for Jean

This song, more than anything else I've written, is based on a single artist, actually on a single tune. Don Ellis did a tune called Bulgarian Bulge, an eastern-European sounding thing in a meter of 33/16 (yes, 33/16, that's not a typo). Being a huge fan of odd/complex meters, I wanted to write something similar, but not wanting to be a copy cat, mine is only in 17/8. I suppose I could have written it in 34/16, but then it might look like I was trying to one-up Mr. Ellis by a sixteenth note, and that was not my intention. The resultant meter is also the influence for the name of the piece.

I did keep the eastern-European influences by using prominent clarinet and violin, although the beds for the solos are decidedly more western-jazzy, in a Hank Levy sort of way. This is yet another one of my projects that started more than a few years ago, but got finished a few days ago.

"Liner Notes" - Suga
Reflections CD Cover
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