The debut LP from SARASON is a rumination on the multitudes contained within each of us and how we come to know ourselves by the stories we tell. Each story represented in this collection of songs reflects a different viewpoint, headspace or memory that the album’s chief author, Mike Sarason, has collected throughout a number of years. Having toured as both a frontman and a sideman and played on countless recordings with several groups over the course of nearly two decades, SARASON now delivers his first solo release into the world, aptly titled Reflections of Self.
As time and distance can alter reflections and how we see them, so too are the songs in this album characterized not only by the performances, but also by the many years over which these songs were written and the life lived in the interim. “While one of the songs on the album was being finished as we were recording it, another is nearly ten years old, but I’d never properly recorded or released it,” explains Sarason. “Having all these songs together on the same album helps me reflect on the path I’ve traveled, and perhaps where it is leading.”
Growing up in a musical household, it wasn’t long before Mike Sarason caught the bug. After starting his first band at age 15, Sarason played out in bands nonstop, touring across the country numerous times and establishing himself as an in-demand songwriter, performer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Over years of fronting decidedly dance-groove oriented groups such as Combo Lulo and the Pinstripes, and playing supporting roles with the Far East, the Attractors and others, a set of songs more introspective and melancholy began to emerge. This material demanded a more personal and immediate presentation, and after linking up with Dala Records founder Billy Aukstik (Charles Bradley, Mark Ronson, etc) in Brooklyn, a plan was devised to record and release the songs under Sarason’s own name.
The resulting collection, Reflections of Self, represents a complete sonic shift into new territory for Sarason, while harkening back to an era of classic American music, from psych-rock to soul, and even early American radio acts like Billy Daniels and the Andrews Sisters. Featuring Brooklyn soul-community mainstays Max Shrager (The Shacks), Charlie Ferguson (Hurray for the Riff Raff, Zongo Junction), Evan Heinze (The Shacks, The Still Brothers), Andrew LeCoche (The Still Brothers), Morgan Price (Antibalas, Duke Ellington Orchestra), Mel Johnston (The Foxy Johnstons, Paul & The Tall Trees) and Kim Foxen (The Foxy Johnstons), Reflections of Self boasts intricate band and vocal arrangements along with flawless performances by these studio aces. Recorded at Aukstik’s studio, Hive Mind Recording, in Brooklyn to 16 track 1” tape, the sounds on this record will transport the listener to a unique new world…the world of SARASON.