Sessions and Projects

Bop

Here’s a nice charity project that I mixed earlier this year, available on Artist Share. The all-Star line up features Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Rick Braun, Harvey Mason, Brian Bromberg, Til Bronner, Everette Harp, Eric Marienthal, Brian Dunne, Randy Brecker, and John Pattitucci. All proceeds go toward the Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Foundation. Join today and see how this project evolved. Check out the Artist Share page and video here

Bob Mintzer Big Band R&B Project

Just started mixing a new big band CD for Bob Mintzer recorded live at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh. Great arrangements of some ’70s R&B classics: “It’s Your Thing”, “Sing A Simple Song”, “I Thank You”, and a few others including a great arrangement of Wayne Shorter’s “Elegant People”.

The stellar band includes Will Kennedy, Will Lee, Ray Obiedo, and Russ Ferrante in the rhythm section, and Bob Mintzer, Bob Sheppard, Mike Davis, John Daversa, and a pile of other luminaries.

Look for this early next year.

Billy Childs “Map To The Treasure – Reimagining Laura Nyro”

I posted about this project last November (!!!) – anyway, it’s finally out! A beautiful and ambitious project that Billy’s been talking about doing for about as long as I’ve known him. Features an all-star cast, and beautiful arrangements by Billy. Produced by Larry Klein, I had the pleasure of tracking the basics on this wonderful CD. Tim Palmer did a lovely job mixing it with some really interesting takes on the tracks.

Definitely worth picking up!

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

Just spent a very nice 3 days in the studio with the wonderful Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (Scott Tennant, Matt Greif, Bill Kanengiser, John Dearman). The music includes new pieces by Dušan Bogdanović, Ian Krouse, and some very unusual modern arrangements of renaissance pieces.

We recorded at one of my favorite rooms; The Bridge recording studio in Glendale. A truly fabulous room – large enough for a small orchestra, and really great for small chamber ensemble recording (not to mention all kinds of other music).

Mics used were mostly Sennheiser MKH800s, with a pair of ORTF B&K4011s and spaced Neumann TLM50s for room.

Great fun! I think they’ll be doing a Kickstarter campaign soon to generate funds for the completion of the project. Look for them at their Facebook page.

A few quick snaps from the session:

Scott Wilkie “All In”

Scott Wilkie All In
Just finished mixing a very nice CD for keyboardist Scott Wilkie. It’s a contemporary jazz CD featuring lots of luminaries including Jay Beckenstein, Jimmy Haslip, Jay Graydon, Paul Jackson Jr., Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Kashiwa, and more.

Available (of course) at Amazon and iTunes.

A Million Ways To Die In The West

A Million Ways To Die In The West

A Million Ways To Die In The West

The movie from Seth MacFarlane is out now, as is the score CD. Really fantastic, dead-ernest classic western score from Joel McNeely.

We recorded for about a week at Sony Scoring in Culver City with 95 of LA’s finest, plus a pickup session at Fox’s Scoring Stage. True to form for Joel, the entire score was recorded by the orchestra all in the room together; no overdubs, no striping, with Joel Conducting. The Bluegrass/Small Group cues were recorded at The Bridge in Glendale with a stellar band featuring George Doering, Dean Parks, Trey Henry, Victor Indrizzo, and the incredible Noam Pikelny and Gabe Witcher from the Punch Brothers.

Proud to have been a part of this; Can’t say enough about Seth’s desire and support for a classic old-school score featuring a *great* large orchestra playing music together in a great room. Had so much fun doing this.

There’s a score CD for this which is well worth getting, and I believe there will be a “Deluxe” version that will feature a few extra cues. Worth going to the theatre for this just to listen to the score!

Billy Childs’ Laura Nyro Project

Had the privilege of tracking the basics for a new Billy Childs project for a few days at Henson Studio A; reimagining the music of Laura Nyro. Larry Klein is producing with a fantastic band: Billy on piano, Brian Blade and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Scott Colley and Carlitos Del Puerto on bass, Dean Parks guitar, Carol Robbins on harp, and Moira Smiley on vocals.

There’s going to be a whole host of guest stars on this including Yo Yo Ma, Lisa Fischer, Layla Hathaway, Alison Krauss, Wayne Shorter, Renée Fleming, Dianne Reeves, Chris Bhotti, Shawn Colvin, Rickie Lee Jones, Esperanza Spalding, and probably a bunch more that I can’t remember or don’t know about right now.

Really cool to be in the room with all these amazing players, listening to them play some beautiful music.

I think this is expected out around mid to end of 2014??

Ryan Cohan – The River

Ryan Cohan’s new CD “The River” is out. This is a GREAT CD, with a terrific band that’s been playing together for years, knows the material cold, and is really going for it on this CD.

We recorded this last year in Chicago at Hinge Studios. The CD is co-produced by Ryan and Steve Rodby, and it was a wonderful project to work on – one of the highlights of last year for me. I strongly recommend it!

More info on Ryan’s website here.

Yellowjackets – “A Rise In The Road”

The new Yellowjackets CD “A Rise In The Road” just came out. As usual, a beautiful CD from the fellas. We recorded this at Bill Schnee’s studio in Studio City. A wonderful room, Bill designed and built this room completely around his preferences; all the gear is highly modified, and he has an amazing console built from scratch with his own Jensen topology mic pres, modified B&B equalizers, and a minimal signal path. The room is LARGE and sounds wonderful, a great piano, and a terrific mic selection.

This CD is the first without Jimmy Haslip on bass, and Felix Pastorius is the lucky guy to try and fill his shoes – Bob played for years with Jaco (Felix’s dad), and knew Felix, so there was a nice connection, and it was great hearing and meeting Felix. On a couple of the ballads I even got to record his daddy’s bass!

More info on Mack Avenue’s web site here.

6/2013 Aga Zaryan – Conway

Nice week in the studio with a fine jazz singer from Poland named Aga Zaryan. The music was a mix of Nina Simone and Abby Lincoln songs, plus a few more contemporary pieces.

A Stellar band of Geri Allen on Piano, Brian Blade on drums, Larry Koonse on guitar, Darek Oles on bass, and Carol Robbins on harp.

Really great to be back in Conway C; I LOVE the sound of this room, and the recently rebuilt Hamburg Steinway ‘D’ and complete re-switching of the Neve 88 makes this one of the nicest rooms in town, and a pleasure to work in.

A few snaps, sadly, none of Aga:

Dave Slonaker Big Band 3/2013

Wow – what an amazing project! We recorded this in 2012 at Capitol studio A, and mixed it the last few weeks. Dave is an extremely gifted composer and arranger who’s career has been mostly orchestrating for film; the list of films he’s worked on goes on and on, but I knew Dave from Eastman as a big band writer. He’s gone back to that for this CD, and got an incredible line up: Peter Erskine, Ed Zach, Edwin Livingston, Larry Koonse, Bob Sheppard, Brian Scanlon, Rob Lockhart, Wayne Bergeron, Dan Fornero, Clay Jenkins, Ron Stout, Bill Reichenbach, Bob McChesney, Alex Isles, etc, etc…

Anyway, great writing, great playing, some amazing solos – a fantastic CD.

More info here.

DSlonIntrada

Andy Milne’s Dapp Theory 2/2013

Been in the studio this week mixing a new Andy Milne Dapp Theory CD. I’ve known about Andy for ages and was really excited to be involved in this project. Soulful music crossing the boundaries between Jazz, funk, and hip-hop from a great piano player and a wonderful band. Produced by Jimmy Haslip, it was really nice to meet and work with Andy – I have no idea when this will be released, but I’ll post again when it comes out.

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!