Thursday, June 28, 2007

And fun was had by all

Some photos of the 'launch' on Tuesday night. It was a great event (speaking personally...'cause I certainly had a great time!). We had a really nice crowd at the 7 Lezards jazz bar. It is a tiny bar of 60 seats at the most, so our 40 or 45 folks really filled it up nicely. And the sound is fabulous.... We sang Chelsea Hotel by Leonard Cohen without mics and I think it was one of the highlights. Two sets, with all the songs from the album, and one composition from the pianist Remi Amblard.

It was a little rough getting going... mostly in getting a good feeling for playing the songs live and not being in a rehearsal hall or in the studio... and, I guess, because we really had no idea how people were going to react to the arrangements. But by the 2nd set all of us on stage began to relax into it and it began to get moving.

Now I have to get back into the studio and do a final mix on the songs and then there's a couple of months off the whole project - I'm heading to Vancouver to help my mom put up her art show and when I return at the end of July all of France will be on vacation - so there's not a lot to be done till the beginning of September. I'll keep blogging here and at on the next developments

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Songs for All

Songs for All

I'm pleased and delighted to say that I stumbled out of the Bopcity studios last night (after a long day of watching a sound engineer mix tracks - odd how that can be sooo tiring) with the first mastered tracks from my new album 'The Sky Was Blue'. It's an album of standards with a jazz quartet, but it ain't necessarily a jazz standards album.... there's some crooner stuff, there's some caramelized, tangy pop, there's the saddest new-wave song ever written and there's a funk version of a joni mitchell tune. (trying to cover all the demographics....)

And, in this age of instant access and globalization I walked out of the studio last night with high quality digital masters and they are now available worldwide on my 'myspace' site as low quality digital mp3's. The site is . I hope you enjoy the ones up there. I only have place for four or five, so I'll be rotating them over the next few days, so check back in if you enjoy what you hear. I'll have them up on CDBaby in the next few weeks for high quality downloads

all the best

p.s. for those in Paris, I'll be doing them in concert with the quartet at the 7 Lezards jazz bar, 10 rue de Rosiers on the 26th of June at 21h.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Well, that was....great! Three long days of work with the musicians in the studio. They were amazing: creative, hard working, inventive... they rocked! (ok...sometimes they rocked too much) I'm completely wiped. We got thirteen tracks down and now I have a week to work with the music and then in a week I'll go back and do the vocal retakes. Remi Amblard on piano and synth, Theirry Tardieu on percussion, Tommaso Montangani on Bass and Benoit Gil on guitar. And me, the singer, although really the last three days were about getting the musical tracks down...the word for what I was doing 'voix temoin' - the witness voice. I like the term...and to be honest by the last takes on friday afternoon that really, really, really was what I was doing. After three days of organizing, motivating, heading off confrontations, trying to pull out the best ideas and sidetrack the less good, I was on my last legs. I kept thinking 'Just keep singing something and get these beautiful tracks down on tape, and you come back and do it all again after a week of sleep". The Magic of electronic recording!

We did most of the tracks in the first two days and the last day was given over to a lot of retakes and drop-ins at places where the take as a whole was good but one person had screwed up or didn't like their work. Max - the engineer who runs Bopcity- would wind the track back, mute that particular instrument and then the player would just overdub what he'd done before. All the takes happened pretty quickly, there was only one piece that we couldn't get right and had to do about seven takes. I think some of the best ones happened with two or three takes. For the version of version of Heaven we did, we suddenly decided to throw away the arrangement from the rehearsal hall and do something completely different. The new version was put together in fifteen minutes and then we did three takes and I think it's kind of beautiful...

What surprised me was how much like theatre direction it was. I guess that's 'cause I'm producer and singer. All the issues of dealing with personalities, (i.e. -one person works best after about ten cups of coffee and another wants to get straight to work, or somebody else has a great idea they love and somebody thinks that idea is crap and a discussion starts which could well take up half the morning etc etc) and motivating people, scheduling, dealing with problems fell onto my shoulders as well. It was great fun to be part of this process but I'll also be glad to be in the studio alone next week with just the music and my voice.

the final mixes should be done by june 15th and I'll put some up on myspace ... meanwhile I might post some of the rehearsal takes from the studio