Always looking out for Pat Martino albums, I was fortunate to find a rare vinyl copy of Footsteps, his tribute to Wes Montgomery and was just floored by his cover of Jobim’s “How Insensitive”. Covering ballads are always troublesome as the tempos leave you exposed. It’s akin to slowing time down in the film domain exposing every frame. It’s even harder to do justice to probably one of the most loved Bosa Nova songs but I naively took it on.
“How Insensitive” was one of the first songs I started working on. The brief to myself was simple. Write the most “insensitive” arrangement while retaining its beauty. A contradiction which led to many, many days and weeks where I wished I had choosen another song. Sometimes perseverance pays off but I am still not sure if it has. We shall see.
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.
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.