ReMix: Chrono Trigger "Driftwood"
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- Game: Chrono Trigger (Square, 1995, SNES)
- ReMixer(s): Fratto, Wiesty, The OC Jazz Collective
- Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda
- Song(s): "At the End of Time"
- Posted: 2016-08-22, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Chronology: A Jazz Tribute to Chrono Trigger
- Terms (BETA): chill jazz jazzy live-instruments piano saxophone trumpet vibraphone
"With "Secret of the Forest" being immediately off the table, I chose the "Brink of Time" track. When this project first started, we were learning that an OCR big band might be too big to take on. I was still missing the idea of a large-scale big band and couldn't make myself pull far enough back on instrumentation. I'd always liked how abrupt the piano chunks came off when the second section of the song is introduced. I used bass instruments to really make the original piano chunks even more abrupt. When I was pretty close to finished, Dylan suggested that we shift it into 12/8 and added a number of backgrounds to the solo section (my old composition professor always wanted more backgrounds too!) to really put the finishing touches on there."
- Brian Fratto (Fratto) - arrangement, trombone/bass trombone
- Dylan Wiest (Wiesty) - arrangement, drums
- Joe Zieja (XPRTNovice) - alto/baritone saxophones
- Anthony Lofton - tenor saxophone
- Jordan Etienne (Sir Jordanius) - trumpet
- Markus B. (Nostalvania) - piano
- Doug Perry (DrumUltimA) - vibraphone
- Jay Yaskin (audio fidelity) - bass
William Riker, eat your heart out on these trombone solos ;) Just to get ONE mix with a jazz trombone solo is like a special occasion, and with Chronology we get an entire album of consistently awesome arrangements & performances. What strikes me about the whole damn album is that every single piece is interesting and throws at least a couple curveballs in there, but it all sounds completely polished & musical.... not ONCE did I have a raised eyebrow or feel uneasy about anything, down to the tiniest detail; you're in good hands with these gents, they know what they doing, they can move zig with the best of them, and the whole album is just one giant musical treat. Dig the subtle bass harmonics on this intro, and the way the vibes just kinda breeze in... perfection. I could go on, but let's see what Larry has to say:
"Opening this up and focusing on vibraphone was a nice way to start off the album's final track. On my first listen through the album, I assumed things would stay reserved as a way to mellow the mood for the close, but things definitely picked up at :48. I'm thankful Brian didn't scale back the plans too much on this one, because when the performances are going full force, the layered brass in particular sounds awesome. Within this entire album, it's amazing hearing disparate Chrono Trigger themes with distinct moods all somehow translate so well to the big band/jazz club setting. Everyone within The OC Jazz Collective should be extremely proud of their efforts here; without blowing smoke, this is a definitive jazz EP honoring Chrono Trigger, and I hope Yasunori Mitsuda spins it and enjoys what he hears, because I can guarantee a ton of fans will do the same.
Even if Dylan doesn't bring the band back together for another project like this in the future, rest assured, The OC Jazz Collective have made their mark on OC ReMix in a huge way. Great things take time, so even though this collection wasn't released in time for Chrono Trigger's 20th anniversary in North America per the original intention, it's fitting to have a mature collection like this arrive for Crono's 21st birthday instead. Tip back some spirits (LEGALLY!) and enjoy! And, more importantly, please share this album and the other great works of OC ReMix with fellow gamers and music lovers. Word of mouth is primarily how we continue to have an audience for the community, and Chronology is a crown jewel among jewels for video game music respected as an art form!"
Yeah, I mean, the TL;DR version of all that is that this album's an instant classic in my book, the OCJC absolutely nailed it, and this is one I'll not only be listening to myself for years to come, but also something I'll be holding up as a flagbearer for VGM & fan arrangements as an elevated & refined musical form. Mad props to Dylan & the formidable - yes, I'd even legitimately say "killer" - studio chops of the OC Jazz Collective for bringing Chronology into our timeline!