We left off the beginning of last week wired for sound with rehearsals, the Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter performance at Dr. Phillips and the first step of recording the new record on deck. With song list and plan in hand we got in the rehearsal space to finish arranging the material for the recording session. A few tweaks were made here and there while completing the outline of all the parts that described what was going to happen where. Ideas bounced around the room while trying to arrive at just the right balance for each individual composition.
Those productive sessions served as the bookends to a night off to catch the legendary Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter perform. I was blown away and firmly believe Herbie Hancock is playing better than ever. He did so many things on an acoustic grand piano I can’t even begin to comprehend. I heard a lot of people voice their disappointment leaving the show because the entire performance was improvised instead of two hours of everyone’s favorite jazz standards. I just didn’t get the impression this would be a reunion play all your hits gig. In any event I was completely inspired and hung on every note. Wayne Shorter put it all in perspective with a comment about “negotiating the unexpected” that will surely be a integral piece for future explorations. These two did so much with a keyboard, piano, and saxophones. This was truly a great musical experience that ranks at the top of my attended concert list.
Fast forward to Saturday morning and me running late as usual to get to the recording session. We set up and banged out the drum tracks and a majority of the bass and keyboards in about 7 hours. The vibe was perfect for pursuing an amazing record. We arrived at the best idea and did our thing. I went back Sunday for a few hours to finish my parts and that was a rap for phase 1. I can’t thank our engineer Zack enough for being awesome, passionate, knowledgeable, and Charlie Hustle on the spot. He and Travis had great ideas and a superb vision of the audio image for the session which was nicely sitting in my blind spot and not even a consideration on my part. So last weekend was easily the best most productive recording session I’ve every been a part of and I can’t wait for you to hear the finished result.
Next we’ll be supporting Copper Bones at the CD release party at Will’s Pub on June 11th with Jernigan and A Brilliant Lie. There are a lot of reasons to catch this gig so mark your calendar and be there for some amazing local goodness! In addition I may or may not be able to confirm the possibility of a Leslie sighting at the above mentioned gig but you’ll have to show up to Will’s at 9pm to find out. So get on them interwebs to inform your peeps and let’s make this an awesome night of local music. Great bands, one of the best venues in town and you will be a great time.
So this week we get back to the grind with a rehearsal for a top secret side project, preparation for phase 2 of operation new record, and the work continues on backlogged ideas for even more new music. We’re keeping it fresh and moving because creativity never stands still. Stay tuned and check our social media for updates on the new record because new music is awesome!
We ended last year after playing a MHY Reunion Show at Will’s Thanks to the usual suspects for having us on that one. I thought it was a great idea to have the new projects open for MHY. Field Kit and Copper Bones were awesome and it was great night. I highly suggest you catch those bands when you get the chance.
Fast forward past turkey, the nightmare that is Christmas, more turkey, Super Bowl 50, and Stop. Snarky Puppy at the Plaza was such an amazing show that put things in another perspective. That band is so good and their performance was a confluence of musicianship and some superb writing. Their blend of progressive jazz and world music is so interesting on top of astounding musical ability. I believe this group shows us that jazz is not dead and will never die. Like everything else it just changes. What it looks like, its individual parts, and its name my change but it will always be what it was and what it will always be.
Marco Benevento did a gig at a hip theater on the Rollins College campus. Close quarters and plush comfortable seats made it easy to enjoy. It was the first time I’ve seen him and it was great. The band mixed catchy vocal riffs and spacey improvisations during their two sets that ended with a timely David Bowie cover. His application of effects to acoustic pianos is some other level stuff combined with his technique and writing. Wasn’t sure what to expect because his work is so diverse but really glad I was able to make it.
Next I went in the way back machine and caught Tool and Primus at CFE Arena. This show was well worth every penny and the hassle to get there. It was beyond awesome. Both bands sounded great and the visuals were next level. I didn’t understand why the venue wouldn’t allow photos. I wonder if Tool made that part of the agreement to perform. It seems ludacris since everyone has a camera in their pocket and the visuals were sick and could be a stand-alone entertainment experience. Of course people are going to take pictures. It was distracting watching the ushers hassle people repeatedly for taking them. Regardless it ranks high on the all-time attended concert list.
More recently a random sequence of events connected into an observation of note in low end theory. First I was able to catch one of my favorite local bass players perform which always gets me thinking about approach and technique. Then a random call to sub on bass gave me the chance to play in a live setting and experiment with some new effect pedals. Finally, a spot opened up in an odd playing situation in a studio setup with random players. The contrast between one of my favorite bass players, my own playing, and someone I didn’t enjoy playing with illustrated the importance of tone and time. Music is unity. Different frequencies connect and disconnect at given points in both predictable and unpredictable ways for as long as there is space to fill with sound.
Most recently a lot of new material has been worked on and there is a great flow of ideas. Slowly but surely clips from the backlog are being explored and practice time has been productive. I smile as I type that I’m adding Leslie amplification to the setup in preparation for our recording sessions later this month. Actually not smiling more like jumping up and down on the inside. More muse, updates, and creative stuff coming down. Dot! Dot! Dot!