“Amongst the Smokestacks and Steeples” is a collection of compositions from the last three years. The sound palette of the pieces are the result of each of the musicians bringing a unique personality and approach to their instrument as well as more than 6 years of playing together. The compositions and improvisations come from all of the members of the ensemble, creating a sound that is as diverse as their backgrounds.  The music spans from an arrangement of a Zimbabwean mbira folk tune to a composition by the iconic Chicago tenor player, Fred Anderson; from group improvisations to through composed ensemble works. It is a tribute to the common man, the artist, and all of the work that is done beyond the skyscrapers of Chicago’s downtown, or any downtown for that matter.

Track List:   

Side 1A

Dangurangu*   (2:38)                                      Zimbabwean folk tune

Red Green and Blue   (11:36)                        Chris Dammann

Ode to 2   (6:34)                                             Tim Stine

Side 1B

CDTW1   (2:15)                                              Chris Dammann

Before Days Light   (9:01)                              Nick Anaya

Whistle screams, a sigh, steam  (2:21)          3.5.7 Ensemble

Insatiable Machine   (6:47)                             Nick Anaya

Side 2A

Wandering   (6:44)                                         Fred Anderson

Dance, sing, paint, write   (1:41)                    3.5.7 Ensemble

Hope   (4:58)                                                  Nick Anaya

Stand Fast   (7:13)                                         Nick Anaya

Side 2B

Gravity, resolve, persistence (3:01)               Jim Baker / Nick Anaya

Shrouded in Clouds   (7:58)                           Nick Anaya

Garuda    (10:55)                                           Chris Dammann

*Prepared piano played by Mabel Kwan on Dangurangu


Amongst the Smokestacks and Steeples

Long before day’s light

against the anchor of sleep

rising, bearing burdens of deprivation

Whistle screams; a sigh, steam

muscles and bones ache.

The engine lurches forward,

fueled by clocked hours and overtime.

Sisyphean toils for minimum wage

the fruits of labor – fruit of Tantalus.

Erosion of the soul for those who value none,

feeding the insatiable machine.

Occasionally revived by shards of salvation,

tucking in a child, a smile from a stranger.

Wandering minds find focus

Night falls.

Reclamation and defiance,

Tribulations of life cultivate creativity.

Dance, sing, paint, write.

Hope in a dream’s refusal to be forgotten,

a voice’s insistence to be heard,

love and passion in spite of exhaustion.

Some fall, unnoticed, devoured.

Others dig deep – stand fast,

true strength originates from the roots.

Gravity, resolve, persistence

In the distance,

with peaks shrouded in clouds

lies a kingdom – unknown.

-n. anaya

Album Notes:

Recorded Nov. 15-17th at Electrical Audio by Greg Norman

Mixed Jan. 26th, Feb 9th, and Mar. 4th at Studio Greg Studios by Greg Norman

Mastered May 21-22nd at Saff Mastering by Carl Saff

Produced By Nick Anaya in association with Milk Factory Production

Cover art and layout by Mary Jane Kwan

Nick’s Notes: Thank you to the wonderful teachers and friends that have taught me this music and so much more: John Truitt, Hovey Corbin, Larry Slezak, Marsha Frazier, and Fred Anderson. Thank you 3.5.7 Ensemble for all the energy, love, and dedication you have put into this music.

Additional Thanks goes to Mabel Kwan, Mia Magruder, Crystal Mikolajczak, Julie Meckler, Ruth Stine, Rebecca Zili, Carol Genetti, and all of our friends and family for their love and support. Lastly, thank you to Greg Norman, Carl Saff, and Mary Jane Kwan you are all masters of your craft.

The 3.5.7 Ensemble “Amongst the Smokestacks and Steeples” MFP-005

℗ 2014 Nicholas Anaya & Milk Factory Productions. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is a violation of applicable laws. www.MilkFactoryProductions.com

The 3.5.7 Ensemble

Amongst the Smokestacks and Steeples

This recording is available as a double LP, double CD and Digital Download. You can get it here:


Nick Anaya – Woodwinds

James Davis – Trumpet

Richard Zili – Clarinet

Jim Baker - Piano

Tim Stine - Guitar

Chris Dammann – Contrabass

Dylan  Andrews – Percussion

with special guest Mabel Kwan - Prepared Piano

Play Track Sampler:


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