Tag Archives: acid jazz

Recording Toy Piano’s Insensatively

What do you do on a wet Sunday afternoon besides record a Toy Piano for one of the most beautiful ballads written by Antonio Carlos Jobim.


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Good Feet Hunting

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.

I really am looking forward to this!!!

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Tic-Tap-Toe : Setting the Stage

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:

Axel Foley Stage

If the music business doesn’t work out I know what he could turn his hands to. Fine job Mike!!

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Finding “Happy Feet”

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 on Jan 4, 2009 <http://youtu.be/uwVwra1sHGk>.

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RE: Trumpets with Jon Dante

Jon Dante plays trumpet on both “The Jody Grind” and “Mood Indigo”. Here he goes through his passion and influences and we also choose the right horn for the job…

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The Hang Drum

Andy Peterson who is playing Electric Double Bass for the Jody Grind is still on tour and since I need to record that next I have put it aside and spent today looking for a Hang Drum player who would be suitable for my arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo”, and I think I have found one. Here is Manu Delago playing this fairly modern, what can only be described as a UFO wok like instrument, with a hypnotic sound. Sent him a mail and hope he is up for it. Would be good to hang out…

“Manu Delago: ‘Hang Solo'”. YouTube.com. Uploaded by on Sep 18, 2007 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17ojj7tgrqw&feature=player_embedded>.

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Funky Drums from Hell!!

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)

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Why Ellington’s Mood Indigo

Duke Ellington was prolific. With over a thousand compositions under his belt you would think picking a song to cover would be problematic. For me there were always four that stood out, In a Sentimental Mood, Solitude, Mood Indigo and the lesser known Reflections in D. All to me point to an introverted, intelligent and devastatingly emotional being, able to articulate all through euphonics. Its a double edged sword.

You ain’t been blue,
no, no, no
You ain’t been blue
Till you’ve had that mood indigo

For what I had in mind, those lyrics picked the song for me. Along with the hauntingly beautiful horn arrangement, the words dictated the tempo and the title the colour.

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The 9 to 5 Grind

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.

Here is Leon Theremin demonstrating his invention in 1927

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An Introduction to RE:COVERED

Its been nearly two years since I have stated this album and I have now get to the point where I can see the light, although still a spec. Never too late I  have decided to star a blog to document the process  if nothing else as a reminder to why I shouldn’t do another one or perhaps why I should.

So what you have here is a ramble between past and present, thoughts on music, influences,  rants  and the highs and lows of producing an album and an introduction to the great people on it.

Here we go………..

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