the territory album credits


  • Recorded by Matthew Snyder
  • Mixed and Mastered by Dean Baskerville @ Baskerville Recording
  • Photography by Seth Mower & Jim Leisy
  • Graphic Design by Tiny Little Hammers  
  • Recorded Live at Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, July 6 & 7, 2013
  • The Territory has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America's 2012 New Jazz Works: Commissioning & Ensemble Development program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  
  • This project was funded in part by a grant from Regional Arts and Culture Council.


  • Darrell Grant, piano
  • Joe Locke, vibraphone and marimba
  • Steve Wilson, flute, alto flute, soprano and alto saxophone
  • Brian Blade, drums
  • Clark Sommers, bass
  • Marilyn Keller, vocals
  • Hamilton Cheifetz, cello
  • Thomas Barber, trumpet
  • Kirt Peterson, bass clarinet and tenor saxophone


The Territory is what writers, composers and other storytellers who call this place home have in common. In wine culture it’s called “terroir”– that mix of dirt, rain, sun, wind and water that makes one vineyard’s grapes taste different from another’s.

This “Territory”, is a suite in nine movements, inspired by the idea that topography and watershed, cycles of eruption, erosion, flood and drought, along with human stories of hope, disaster, courage, profligacy, promise and betrayal create a vibration—an ethos even—that is real. It rises from the land itself and connects native and transplant alike.  

“Hymn to the Four Winds” is dedicated to the first Oregonians, for whom the land and its creatures were pieces of one whole. The melody is borrowed from a Nez Perce religious chant.

“Daybreak at Fort Rock” captures an imaginary sunrise at this volcanic landmark in Oregon’s high desert. In nearby Fort Rock Cave, 9,000 year old sagebrush sandals marked the first presence of human habitation in Oregon.

“The Missoula Floods” uses thematic improvisation to depict the ice-age floods that sent millions of cubic tons of rock, soil, and water boiling down the Columbia Gorge, scouring bare rock and making the Willamette Valley one of the most fertile places on the planet.

“Chief Joseph’s Lament” sets a portion of the surrender speech given by the legendary chief of the Grand Ronde Valley Nez Perce. His name, In-mut-too-yah-lat-lat means "Thunder coming up over the land from the water." His battle to keep his father's land for his people made him a legend.

“Rivers” signify transport, refuge, sustenance, and freedom. I was inspired by a line from a prose-poem by Portland writer Lynn Darroch. “And all the West unfurls, her hair spread in currents like a map.

“Stones into Blossoms” In 1941, Japanese-Americans were forced to evacuate their homes, transported to camps comprised of plywood shacks surrounded by barbed wire. I wondered what kind of impression these events would have made on a young child? The phrase "Shikata ga nai" translates as "it cannot be helped,” and was an oft heard refrain in the face of this injustice.

“Sundays at the Golden West,” the first African-American owned hotel west of the Mississippi were lively. Steps from Portland’s Union Station, it provided lodging, entertainment, and a communication hub for Portland’s black community.

“The Aftermath (Interlude)” In 1887, on the banks of the Imnaha River, thirty-four Chinese gold miners were massacred. No one was ever charged. I imagine the vibrations from that tragedy still shimmer in that isolated cove.

“New Land” After all these years, Oregon's promise of paradise still draws newcomers of all ages and races. Their hopes, dreams and energy birth the land anew with each successive generation.


Thanks to Chamber Music America, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Chamber Music Northwest and to my family, friends, colleagues and Kickstarter supporters.

Special thanks to Brian Blade, Joe Locke, Steve Wilson, Clark Sommers, Marilyn Keller, Hamilton Cheifetz, Tom Barber, and Kirt Petersen. Margaret Lioi, Jeanette Vuocolo, Ryan Meagher, Doug Detrick, Billy Childs, David Shifrin, Elizabeth Harcombe, Kim Morris, Rebekah Phillips, Don Lucoff, Marianne Ketddington Lang, and DL Media, Barret Butterfield, Barry Stewart, Bryan Johanson, Charley Gray, Mario Sandoval, Dmitri Matheny, Jason Shelton, Mom, Dad, Anne, and Malcolm.

Very Special Thanks to Brad Mersereau, Kirby and Amy Allen, Nola Bogle, and Bill Lang for their invaluable contributions to this project.

“Stones into Blossoms” is dedicated to Nola Sugai Bogle

“Sundays at the Golden West” is dedicated to Dick Bogle

All lyrics and music are by Darrell Grant except "Chief Joseph's Lament" uses text attributed to Tuekakas, commonly known as Old Chief Joseph of the Wallowa Band of the Nez Perce.

"Hymn to the Four Winds" is based on a traditional Nez Perce chant

Recorded Live at Kaul Auditorium, Reed College, July 6 & 7, 2013