His projects include a funk band and an Afrobeat tribute to Michael Jackson, but Portland's Ben Darwish is also one of the city's most in-demand jazz pianists. For The Clear Blue Pearl, Darwish began composing during a month-long residence at Caldera in the high desert town of Sisters, Ore. The work began with a single song written there, and later expanded into 10 songs. It tells the story of family members who are in danger of losing their farm to drought, and who head off in search of a mythical underground aquifer — the "Clear Blue Pearl."
Back in Portland, Darwish enlisted sister duo Shook Twins to sing the close harmonies, added drummer Russ Kleiner and guitarist William Seiji Marsh, and called the band Morning Ritual. In addition to performing The Clear Blue Pearl, the group is working on new music, and for our opbmusic session unveiled this one, titled "So Cold."
- Audio: Steven Kray
- Video: Nate Sjol