Wednesday, July 30, 2008

rhythm to the rhythm!

The work continues...hopefully things are on track for an autumn release. Leaves will fall from the trees, and albums will fall from the sky! Ha ha. Anyway, last session saw the recording of a horn section for one of the tunes. I had little, ok make that NO experience recording with horns before this. But one tune in particular had been quietly whispering to me all along that it wanted some hot, horn(y) action. [sorry, i could not resist...] In particular, the trombone was standing out in my head as fantastic idea.

I had little in the way of direction for the horn players as they arrived, all I could muster was "Think jazz funeral!" I wanted a kind of rollicking, free-wheeling melee of joy. A street carnival blasting wild in the face of death. Or something... [ahem]... Anyway, the guys (Paul Ahlstrand, Scott Aruda, John Aruda, and Jeff Galindo) laid down some sweet sounds...and I think we have something really cool on our hands.

One thing I noticed about recording horns. It is such a quick-paced, fragmented affair! They run through one line, stop, go back, hit one note, stop, play the next line, stop, play half the next line, stop...well, hopefully you get the picture. And there was this crazy synchronicity with Tom [one o' the producers, on the board] as he clicked on the track, deleted the bad note, cued them up again, hand signals back and forth, back and was kinda like if you had never seen baseball before, and you were perplexed as the catcher was giving hand signals. And you missed the beginning of the pitcher's wind-up. And then your eyes race to catch the ball as it hurtles towards the plate...I felt unaccustomed to the pace of the action. The rhythm of the process. For me, recording a vocal part or a guitar part, it's been more of a "big picture" situation...where I try to avoid going back and re-doing. I try to get it all at once. To find the vibe or the energy or the feeling and not let it go until I am done. I suppose the horn players and Tom were doing the same thing, but the process was so very different in its choppy, stop n' go kinda way. But that is how it is done, that is how things work among the horns. And I think I got my jazz funeral after all!