Author Archive for richbreen

Vince Mendoza 11/2011

Vince Mendoza’s new CD “Nights On Earth” is out this week – there’s some pics and a bit more detail in one of my earlier posts here.  It’s an *AMAZING* project, and I’m proud to have been a part of it.  More here.

Seth MacFarlane 10/2011

Seth’s new album “Music Is Better Than Words” released this week. Really great album/CD (yes, it’s available on vinyl), featuring Seth singing with 55+ pieces at Capitol Studios – we recorded the album to double 24s analog, 30ips, no noise reduction. Used lots of old mics, etc… but really, it comes down to cutting with all the musicians on the floor together with Seth, some fantastic musicians and arrangements, and *great* singing from Seth, with some nice guest appearances from Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles. I couldn’t be happier with how it came out. There’s also a companion video of an evening of this music filmed at Club Nokia and mixed by yours truly, airing on the EpixHD channel. Check ’em out!

"Music Is Better Than Words"

6/2011 All American Rejects

Pretty wild session today over at Warner Brothers on the Eastwood Stage; Orchestra recording for the All American Rejects – straightforward, right? Well, the Rejects wanted to record one song (“Affection”) live with the orchestra; this means full drums, 2 *loud* electric guitars, bass, piano, and vocal live. We were able to iso the drums and guitars, but vocals and piano would need to be on the floor with orchestra. I thought this was a recipe for disaster, but the band was adamant that they could do it, so… Lo and behold, it was a beautiful thing; those guys are pros, no ruined takes because of lousy band performances, everybody came through with flying colors. The band’s engineer (Ian MacGregor) did a great job getting basic rhythm sounds on the band, and we sort of split the board up between us to get it done quickly and efficiently. The crew at WB was fantastic, and made it all seem fairly easy!

I don’t know when this will release – maybe 2012? We did 5 songs; 3 straight orchestral/string overdubs, the live-with-band track, and 1 simple little horn chart.

Good Stuff!

4/2011 Lyle Mays at TEDx update

The show of Lyle’s at the TEDx event in Pasadena has been posted. We recorded this on January 14th, 2011 at CalTech.

A few techie details; This was my first time trying out the Earthworks piano mic system, and I have to say it came through very well! Piano was on short stick with a fair amount of stage level, but no problem – you can get a good idea of the quality of it during the solo section midway through the video.

Check it out!

2/2011 Grammys

Billy Childs won a Grammy today for his amazing “Autumn – In Moving Pictures”. If you haven’t heard this incredible project, it’s worth checking out here.

You can see his acceptance speech here (with a shameless plug for engineering!).

1/14/2011 Lyle Mays

Really cool day today; Lyle Mays put together an interesting quintet to perform at the CalTech TEDx Event honoring the work of Richard Feynman. Based around a bunch of algorithmic compositional ideas using non-linear dynamics to generate some of the musical elements no less… Cool band with Jimmy Branly on drums, Tom Warrington on bass, Andrew Pask on reeds, and Bob Rice on guitar.

Bottom line, put Lyle at a piano and beautiful music comes out. Recorded the whole show for posterity – it should be made into a DVD and also posted on the web once it’s all mixed and edited – maybe in the early spring.

12/2010 Seth MacFarlane at Capitol

AMAZING session at Capitol this month! 55 pieces live on the floor for 4 days, with live vocal on the floor too! Studio ‘A’ and ‘B’ opened up to make one big room. This project is a little love letter to those late 50’s/early 60’s Sinatra records. I tried my best to set up and record this session with that aesthetic in mind; double 24-tracks, 30ips no noise, great musicians, great arrangements, what more could you ask for?

All for Seth MacFarlane’s upcoming CD – I think it’ll be released in the fall of 2011. Seth is a wonderful singer, and knows this music inside out. Also features a couple great duets with Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles.

7/2010 Yellowjackets

A new Yellowjackets CD in the works!  Really nice to be back in the studio with the fellows!  Tracked for 3 days at Firehouse studios in Pasadena – 12 original songs

7/2010 Patricia Talem

Just finishing up a CD for the wonderful Brazilian singer Patricia Talem – beautiful CD featuring Marco da Costa on drums, Christian Mcbride on bass, Sandro Albert on guitar, Russ Ferrante on piano, Bob Mintzer on sax, Flavio Venturini and Jane Monheit guesting on vocals, and probably some other folks I’m forgetting right now.  Patricia tracked at Bennett Studios in Jersey, and I mixed here.  A really nice CD!  Should be out in a couple months…

3/2010 Tinkerbell 3

Another spring, another Tinkerbell movie, another great score from Joel McNeely!  Yes, the fairies have returned again, and once again, Joel’s written a beautiful orchestral score.  We had a few days at Sony Scoring with a great orchestra, and, through the good graces of a volcano in Iceland, which stranded the entire production team in London for a week, a third of the score was recorded with another great orchestra at Abbey Road.  Pretty interesting to hear the two rooms back to back…

I’ll try to post some pics later – gotta get back to mixing…

Vince Mendoza 3/2010

3/1/2010

Amazing couple of days at Conway ‘A’ tracking basics for a new Vince Mendoza CD.  Great band: Alan Pasqua on piano, Larry Goldings on B3, Jimmy Johnson on bass, Luis Conte and Alex Acuña on percussion, Peter Erskine on drums, Luciana Souza on vocals, Marcia Dickstein on harp.  Gorgeous, gorgeous music – I can’t wait for this to be finished.  There’s many tracks still to cut, and additional musicians will include John Scofield, John Abercrombie, Christian McBride, Greg Hutchison, Nguyen Le, Bob Mintzer, the Metropole Orchestra, etc…

A few lousy snaps:

Mike Landau, Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak

2/15/2010 – UPDATE

This project is mixed, mastered, and delivered this week.  Sadly, no pics since I only mixed this project and didn’t do any of the rhythm tracking – a few vocal tracks with Robben was about all.

Good stuff!

11/14/2009

Spent the last few weeks mixing a very cool new band project with Robben Ford, Mike Landau, Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip.  Album will be called “Renegade Creation”.  Mike Landau has a studio in his home where he tracked everyone.  Two of my favorite guitar players on one project!  Great to work with any one of these guys, but all at once is more than one could ask for!   Anyway, the CD’s really nice, and will be coming out on Mike Varney’s label sometime in the spring I think.  I’ll post when I get some details about release, etc…

January 2010 Latin Grammy

1/20/2010  Look what showed up in the mail yesterday!

It’s for the Ivan Lins / Metropole Orchestra CD.

January 2010: Iwan VanHetten

A couple days in the studio with a really nice band for trumpeter Iwan VanHetten’s CD – Russ Ferrante, Will Kennedy, and Melvin Davis.

December 2009, Bob Mintzer, etc…

Busy month!

Just finished a very nice couple days with Bob Mintzer, Larry Goldings, and Peter Erskine for an organ trio CD of Bob’s.  Tracked it up at Castle Oaks Studio in Calabasas.  Should be coming out in the spring – I’ll post when I have details.  Here’s a few pics from the session:

Also did some nice orchestra dates up north at Skywalker earlier this month – wouldn’t mind working at this place all the time!

Billy Childs, Grammy Awards

12/5/2009

Currently mixing the new Billy Childs project – CD will be titled “Autumn: In Moving Pictures” – one of the most amazing projects I’ve worked on in a long time –  it’s really going to be great!  Should finish this in January, and I believe Billy’s shooting for a March release date.

Also just heard that the Bob Florence CD “Legendary” has been nominated for two Grammys; Best Large Ensemble and Best Composition.  Keeping my fingers crossed!

Ivan Lins Latin Grammy Nomination

Just heard that the Ivan Lins / Metropole Orchestra recording has been nominated for a handful of Latin Grammys – Record of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) Album – Nice!

Great CD – gorgeous tunes, amazing arrangements from Vince and co., beautiful performances from the Metropole – right now I think it’s still not available as a US release, but you can get it from Biscoito Fino’s website here.

August 2009, Norrbotten Big Band, Allan Holdsworth, Alan Pasqua, etc…

Dog days…   Lots of mixing here – Just finishing up a project with Peter Erskine and trumpeter Tim Hagans with the Norrbotten Big Band from Sweden – really nice project; Guests in addition to Peter include Randy Brecker, George Garzone, Dave Liebman, and Rufus Reid.  Should be out in a couple months.

Also just put the finishing touches on a master of a live recording of Allan Holdsworth, Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip, and Chad Wackerman from a show in Europe.  It’s called “Blues for Tony”, it’s a 2-disc set, and it should be out pretty soon – really an incredible band playing unbelievably well!

Magos Herrera

6/12/2009

Really nice piece on NPR the other day about Magos Herrera’s new CD “Distancia” here.

Mixed this CD a few months ago – it’s a really nice project co-produced by saxophonist Tim Ries, and includes some great musicians and some beautiful music.

Chris Minh Doky May 2009

Spent the last two days doing the basic tracks for bassist Chris Minh Doky at Threshold Sound in Santa Monica. Band was Minh on acoustic bass, Larry Goldings on piano, and Peter Erskine on Drums.

The Metropole Orchestra is going to add strings arranged and conducted by Vince Mendoza.

Beautiful songs (mostly by Minh, with one or two by Vince I think…).

We had a pile of DPA mics on this date – in particular we were using the large diaphragm 4041 tube on the bass in addition to an ORTF pair of 4021s – I really liked the 4041 on bass, and the new wide-cardioid 4015 sounded especially good on snare drum.

Only had time for a couple of snaps, and couldn’t get any good ones of Larry (lousy light in the piano booth).

Billy Childs May 2009

Just finished 4 days in the studio tracking basics on the new Billy Childs project – an *incredibly* ambitious project; over 70 minutes of essentially through-composed music for jazz sextet, string quartet, and (on one piece) wind quintet.

The core band was Billy on piano, Scott Colley on bass, Larry Koonse on guitar, Carol Robbins on Harp, Bob Sheppard on reeds, and Antonio Sanchez and Brian Blade on drums. The string quartet was the marvelous Ying Quartet from Rochester, NY – everyone sounded fantastic!

We recorded at LA Sound Gallery in Burbank – a really nice sounding very large room (it used to be the famous Evergreen studios).

Here’s a few snaps:

May 2009

5/21/09

A nice orchestra date over at Warner Brothers Eastwood Stage yesterday. I think around 60 pieces, and a huge choir at the end of the day. Didn’t get any pics of the choir alas…

Tinkerbell 2009

4/2009

Finishing up the initial tracking for the score for Disney’s Tinkerbell 2 movie – a day at Conway with a great celtic band, 4 days of orchestra varying in size from about 30 to 85 pieces on the Sony scoring stage, and a couple days at Glenwood Place tracking Máiréad Nesbitt (of Celtic Woman) on fiddle. Here’s a few snaps from the sessions so far…

March 2009

Just got back from Chicago – recording a CD for pianist Ryan Cohan. A very nice project which features Lorin Cohen on bass, Kobie Watkins on drums, Geof Bradfield on sax and woodwinds, and Joe Locke on vibes. We recorded at Chicago Recording Company’s studio 4, and it was like stepping back in time 15 years – I used to record at CRC frequently after Universal Recording closed up shop and I was still living and working in Chicago. This is a nice room with good sightlines and flexible iso. Ryan brought a nice Fazioli 7′ piano in for the session.

Bob Florence “Legendary”

3/2009

Finally finished mixing the Bob Florence big band CD, “Legendary”. This was a labor of love for everyone involved. Before Bob’s passing last year he had written all the material, but the sessions were postponed several times due to Bob’s increasingly fragile health, and finally Bob was never able to hear this material recorded.

The band went in to Capitol A and recorded it over a couple of days last October. This is a really special recording, and one I hope Bob would be proud of – the band is excellent, and features amongst others, Peter Erskine on drums, and the wonderful Alan Broadbent on piano.

Every moment of this record reminds me of Bob, and I truly miss him – his sense of humor and elegance come through in every note – I enjoyed working with him so, and wish he was around to hear this one – I think he’d be happy with it…

This will be released by Summit under the newly resurrected MAMA name.

Here’s a few snaps:

Ivan Lins / Vince Mendoza

2/2009

Delivered a new Ivan Lins CD this week. It features Ivan singing and playing keys on about 10 songs with the Metropole Orchestra. The project is co-produced by Vince Mendoza, and features a number of Vince’s arrangements, and Vince conducting the Orchestra. It’s a mix of mostly live material from a concert in July of 2008, and a few studio recordings. Great songs, great arrangements, great playing from the orchestra – really a nice project! I don’t know when the release is, but I’ll post more when I hear.

July 2008: Charlie Haden, Tinkerbell

Just finishing up mixing the new Charlie Haden CD. Charlie’s made a bluegrass/country record, and what an amazing group of musicians he’s assembled! Jerry Douglas, Bryan Sutton, Sam Bush, Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny, Stuart Duncan, Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill, Roseanne Cash, Russ Barenburg, Elvis Costello, Dan Tyminski, Jack Black, John Leventhal, the Haden Family, etc… No doubt I’ve forgotten a few… Anyway, it’s an amazing CD! Don’t know the release date yet, but it’ll be on Universal / Decca.

Expertly recorded in Nashville by Bil VornDick, Produced by Charlie and his wife Ruth Cameron, with help from Steve Rodby and Mark Fain. It was a real pleasure to mix this! I’ll post more when there’s release info.
(note: It’s been released under the title “Ramblin’ Boy” and was nominated for a 2008 Grammy)

Also been slaving away this last month mixing a score for the new Disney “Tinkerbell” movie. Beautiful orchestral score by Joel McNeely – recorded at the Sony and Fox scoring stages. Some nice shots of the sessions at the scoringsessions.com website here.

May 2008

The new Yellowjackets CD is out on Heads Up. It’s called “Lifecycle“. Awesome CD!

Alex Cline – “Continuation”

This is not the most mics I’ve ever put on a drum kit, but it’s close… From Alex Cline’s CD “Continuation” recorded at Glenwood Place Studios in Burbank during April of 2008. A lovely CD, it’s available on Cryptogramophone records.

February 2008

Currently working on the new Yellowjackets project. It’s a collaborative project with Mike Stern on guitar. We recorded at a great studio in the Westchester, NY area called BiCoastal Music. They have a very nice Steinway D and a beautiful sounding live room. As always, great tunes, fantastic playing, and a nice hang – what more could you want? This project will be released by Heads Up in the spring, and there will also be a 5.1 and SACD release.