After a year looking for a tap dancer for the album, I finally tracked a busker down in New Orleans via YouTube with the help of Mike from Nola Studios. The intriguing thing is that these kids tap using crushed soda cans tacked to their soles and boy can they Hoof!!
Here is the moment when Mike actually spotted Lester “Happy Feet” Foster…
“Finding Lester “Happy Feet” Foster”. Youtube.com. Uploaded by daveandrewvideos on Nov 30, 2011 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BGnc3wF-xE>.
After emailing several studios in New Orleans over the last few weeks I managed to get hold of Mike from http://www.nashvilleavesound.com . Mike runs his own studio by day and plays fiddle by night in his hot gypsy jazz band “The Courtyard Kings“. Passion, Technician, Musician…perfect!!
Not only is Mike helping me record the tap dance session for “The Jody Grind”, he is also off today to the French Quarter to help locate one of the many kids that busk around the streets in New Orleans. So hopefully we will be laying down some “Hoofing” once Mike finds the right kid with the right chops.
Yesterday Mike (who I shall introduce in my next post) and I discussed the various ways of recording a tap dancer which we hope to do over the next few days. The conclusion we came to was to build a Foley stage, basically a purpose built stage in the studio, to record these unconventional tap shoes which I will get to in another post. Today he sent me a picture of his efforts:
If the music business doesn’t work out I know what he could turn his hands to. Fine job Mike!!
I’ve been looking for a tap dancer for “The Jody Grind” for over a year now and think, know I have found my talent pool. These kids are from New Orleans and busk around the city with a difference. When you cant afford tap shoes you make them yourself. How? Easy! Crush two soda cans and tack them to your sole. “Hoofing” New Orleans style.
“New Orleans Tap Dancing”. YouTube.com. Uploaded by noisy70 on Jan 4, 2009 <http://youtu.be/uwVwra1sHGk>.
Well tomorrow I shall be recording Jon Dante for “The Jody Grind”. He is bringing a number of horns which we’ll go through to find one that suits the arrangement. The trumpet selection will also affect the mic selection. I am trying to get hold of a ribbon mic for the session but I feel I may go with my trusty C12 or AT-4047. Will post a clip up after the session.
Just went through Neil’s Drum takes and all I can say is nothing as I am smiling too much!!! Incredible player through an incredible kit recorded on a Studer A810 reel to reel to real!!!! Analogue bliss :0)
Just got an email from Neil Conti saying the drum tracks are ready!! They were recorded at his Minimoon Studio in France using a Gretsch kit and I cant wait. Neil has an incredible groove and is also one of the top sessionists in the UK playing for the likes of David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Deep Forest, Thomas Dolby Annie Lennox to name a few. Will download them and pull them into the logic session and let you know the outcome!
One of my favorite albums of all time has to be Horace Silver’s “Blowing the Blues Away“. Its the first album I heard of his and the sensation of listening to it then and now hasn’t dulled. He managed to incorporate all elements of jazz without loosing that toe tapping, hip twisting essence. As someone said, Horace was funky before the word was.
Although not on the album mentioned, The Jody Grind was one of his songs that I could tackle with the arrangement I had in mind. Being the first song, I wanted to use early elements like drums, trumpet and dance and in this case tap. I also wanted to incorporate some electronica and therefore looked at the theremin for inspiration being one of the earliest electronic musical instruments.
The first step is to get “The funky Drummer from Hell”, Neil Conti to lay down the rhythm. I should have the tracks back within the week. Cant wait!!
P.S Lenin was so impressed by the theremin that he started taking lessons on it and then commissioned Leon to build 600 more after which he sent him on a world tour to promote it. The Moog and all other synthesizers were to follow in its footsteps.