Tag Archives: nu jazz

RE: Finding Lester “Happy Feet” Foster

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 on Nov 30, 2011 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BGnc3wF-xE>.

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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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Today I started the Last Song!!!!

RE:MIXED “My Funny Valentine” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Based on an earlier version of mine I sampled two elements, the vocal and strings from the original 2″ analogue reel and am working on building a new arrangement around it.

This is the quintessential classic song and a perfect example of a tune that will always stand the test of time. What makes a song timeless ? I wish I knew as I would be writing them but I have noticed that they all have certain quirks  that make them stand out from the pack.

Anyway more importantly….ITS THE LAST SONG!!!!

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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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Why How Insensitive

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.

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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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