Award-winning jazz multi Award-winning Instrumentalist, arranger and composer Mike Herriott has always had a certain fascination with the more troublesome characters of the fictional world.
His first solo album project since 2016, Tales of Tricksters and Vagabonds album project since 2016, is a suite of dedications to Herriott’s top favorite swindlers from classic literature.
A follow up to “Rumpelstiltskin”, Herriott’s second release from this album, “Puss, in Boots” is a musical illustration of the original tale of Puss and Boots, where a bold and confident cat manipulates an ogre and a king in order to gain his master’s happiness. Herriott admits that he cannot help but find himself entertained by the fact that this particular trickster is, indeed, a cat.
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/album/1RQz8Wl45acR5hg1XcRVtx?si=p6nkJyRlRESfM9Tq3w87WQ&nd=1
“He’s crafty, manipulative… but you gotta love him. He’s a cat. As Puss navigates various plots to raise the station of his master, he does so in such catlike way right down to the chasing and devouring of the ogre-turned-mouse, in the end.” Herriott himself shares his home with two cats and found watching their movements to be a great inspiration for his latest release. “In this piece, we hear the slow and calculated movement, interrupted with the “zoomies”, the juxtaposition of the two energy levels, only to return to slowing down and eventually curling up for a nap at the end.”
“Puss in Boots”, which features Herriott all the instruments on this track including trumpets, french horns, trombones, acoustic bass, and piano with Jacob Slous on drums, captivates our ears with loose yet sharp, sudden and mysterious back and forth melodies from start to finish.
Not only do we hear Puss leading us on his journey of well-intended deceit, but we also sense his quick reflexes and confident catwalk through the pace of the music.
Herriott explains “One melody starts and makes a full statement, then that melody is passed to another instrument, while the first takes on a secondary melody… and, then, it is followed again by a third subject which also roughly answers the first and second.”
Herriott, who has also collaborated musically with his wife Orfa Harnoy since 2018, admits that his new solo album was a challenge in exploring the “seedier sides of our imagination”.
Listening to his latest single “Puss, in Boots”, it rapidly becomes clear why Puss made the cut as a favorite charlatan. “As you listen, imagine any cat you have ever known” Herriott says. “You’ll smile as I do.”