Lawless Percussion and Jazz Ensemble is a recording project conceived by leader Larry Lawless of original jazz music performed entirely on instruments of the percussion family. Each of the 5 members submitted two compositions for the ensemble. Parts were disseminated via email and US Postal Service to the individuals spread over the United States. The group converged on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder in July of 2007 for a week of rehearsals and recording, resulting in the 10 song CD, “Jazz Behind Bars”.
Group members Doug Walter, Professor of Percussion at the University of Colorado, Rich MacDonald, Professor of Jazz Studies and Percussion at Winona State University, Minnesota, and Larry Lawless, a Texas Music Educator; as well as producer Dan Armstrong, Professor of Percussion at Penn State University, are all graduates of the famed University of North Texas School of Music. Bart Elliott, founder of the DrummerCafe forum, is a studio drummer/percussionist in Nashville, Tennessee. David Bugher is an Indiana Music Educator.
Although the pieces on the CD use mostly the standard percussion instruments of vibraphone, marimba, and drumset, there are also plenty of more exotic percussion sounds; log drums, crotales, ice bell, Brazilian samba drums, and an electronic percussion midi controller called a MalletKat for the bass lines.