Sep 032010
 

It’s about time somebody stole the thunder from that psycho who inhabited my homepage for over a month now (I’ve been on vacation and “unplugged” a bit, hence the lack of postings…).

I just wanted to share this video with you. It’s a live recording of artist Daniel Wayne live at Southpaw in Brooklyn this past May. Drummer Brent Follis produced the video, which is a nice multi-camera shoot made with the latest HD-shooting SLRs and a bunch of smaller flip-camera-like devices. The results are really good, it’s well edited (I love the quick fade from the reflection of the kick drum skin to the back-camera angle) and a great way to see this very valid band.

I was only marginally involved as I mastered the audio but I think everyone did a great job on this production.

Jun 192010
 

Laurie Anderson's "Homeland"

Laurie Anderson's "Homeland"

Full disclosure: I have worked with Laurie and have worked on this record as well, so I am partial to her music and it’d be hard, if not impossible, for me to say anything negative about such an amazing person and artist. I will however attempt to give you just the facts so you can make an informed decision about whether to purchase this CD or not (spoiler alert: you most definitely should!).

Laurie Anderson needs no introduction: a visionary, a pioneer, a true and complete artist whose approach to art encompasses music, story-telling, visual arts, sculptures and more. Her previous studio album “Life on a String” came out in 2001 and she’s been busy touring, writing new material while on the road, releasing a book, creating videos, installations, pieces for museums and being actively involved in a number of other artistic and political events.
If you’ve been a fan of her work, the long wait for a new studio album is about to pay off. “Homeland” is possibly one of the most versatile, complete, personal and mature records in her discography. It is also possibly one of the most political ones. This might come as no surprise if you consider that her previous release was the 2002 double CD “Live in New York” recorded less than 10 days after 9/11 at Town Hall in New York; and that while she was writing new material for this album she’s obviously been heavily affected and inspired by those events and the unfolding of the follow-up war and the “W” parade/tyranny.

On every one of her albums, Laurie Anderson takes you on complex journey through her visions and her ideas. Listeners become the privileged travelers who get to take a peak inside her beautiful mind. This album is no different, with all its great story telling, inspiring words and unmistakable truths. 
With true poets and musical story tellers of our times (people like Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and others) I always feel sad for the non-english speaking people who can’t really fully appreciate such great records until they find a good translation of the lyrics. But especially so with Laurie, even if you don’t speak any english and you were to never look for a translation (which would be a shameful mistake on your part, especially since they do exist!), strictly musically speaking “Homeland” is so gorgeous that you’d probably still end up taking this record to your deserted island.

Its ethereal atmospheres, organic textures, synthetic pads, sub-sonic pulses, orchestral arrangements and worldly influences create a beautiful, timeless and incredibly heterogeneous record. When you look at who’s played on the album, that too should come as no surprise. For the most part the core band on tour and on the record consisted of Laurie playing all electronics and violin accompanied by Eyvind Kang on viola, Peter Scherer on keyboards and Skuli Sverisson on bass; but several songs feature Rob Burger and Kieran Hebden on keys, Shahzad Ismaily on percussions and bass, Omar Hakim, Ben Wittman and Joey Baron on drums and even three mongolian throat singers and igil players. So many musicians have leant their incredible talents to the making of this record in its various and many permutations, that the resulting equation of Laurie’s creative mind enhanced by all these people’s musical inputs rubbing off on her and shaping these pieces really produced a genius’ masterwork. And on top of all of that, other very special guests also leant their talents: Antony on vocals, John Zorn on sax, of course Lou Reed (who also produced this record together with Roma Baran) on guitar and percussions and even Lou an Laurie’s dog Lolabelle on piano!

“Homeland” comes as a CD+DVD. 12 gorgeous audio tracks plus a DVD disc that includes a 41 minute long sort of “making-of” video (featuring interviews with Laurie, the producers and some of the musicians) and a 7 minute long interview with Laurie about her violin.
If you haven’t gotten the point of all of the above yet, the gist of it is: go out and buy this record if it were to become the last record you buy before the music industry completely crumbles!

Jan 092010
 

Smile Kid :)

“Smile Kid :)”, the second full length album by youg Florida-native band WE the Kings just came out in December. I did some engineering work on it at EastSide Sound and could tell these guys were really talented and had their shit together. The tracks sounded great and their playing was right on. I just heard the record and it’s as powerful, catchy, melodic and good sounding as you’d expect… If you are into radio-friendly power-pop definitely give this a listen, they are great!

Feb 102009
 

The new CD of San Diego-based duo AntiQuark has been released in physical and digital format.

They had asked me a while ago (when they were still a female-fronted duo) to do a remix for them and I did. Now that the main composer of AntiQuark (Ant) got herself a new singer (Sergio) they are ready to attack again with their mixture of electronica, dance, experimental.

You can check it out and/or buy it here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/antiquarkmusic

Feb 262008
 

I haven’t posted an update in a while because I have been way too busy working on Michael Hardie‘s new record, however many things have happened since I started recording that record back in December in good ol’ Texas.Most notably TWO (not one!) of the tracks from the Sony Classical CD “We All Love Ennio Morricone” were nominated for a Grammy Award in the same “Best Rock Instrumental Performance” category (which might sound a little strange since the album came out on Sony Classical, but whatever).

Metallica and Bruce Springsteen were the two artists whose tribute to Ennio on this great CD were nominated and ultimately Springsteen‘s song snatched the award from Rush, Satriani, Vai and Metallica themselves. The full list of nominees and winners can be seen here.

Unfortunately these two were not the tracks I was involved in (I recorded and mixed the track featuring Eumir Deodato and Daniela Mercury), nevertheless I feel honored to have participated in such a great tribute record and in paying tribute to such a grand composer and I want to wish Morricone all the best for an Award that is thoroughly deserved!

Nov 152007
 

Next To You by Teraesa VinsonI just got my copy of this beautiful record by the talented and gifted upcoming Harlem singer Teraesa Vinson (whose equally great debut CD I had mixed a few years ago). The album is simple and beautiful: just one voice and one guitar! It features the opening title-track, written by Dempsey, and 11 jazz arrangements of tunes by Jobim, Stevie Wonder, Ellington and others.

We recorded the entire thing in one day and mixed it in another day. Pure and unadulterated signal path (great mic and pre-amp on her and two mics on the guitar) a little reverb, a little overall compression and virtually no editing (with musicians like these words like comping vocal tracks, auto-tuning etc luckily are never even uttered).

Vinson’s drummer Dion Parson produced the record and you can buy it at CD Baby.

Sep 172007
 

WylandA few months ago I recorded a beautiful jazz album featuring some of NY’s top jazz musicians (saxophonist Vincent Herring, Saturday Night Live trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Anthony Wonsey, vocalist Paulette McWilliams and more) and incredibly charming and gorgeously performed music with lyrics written by Wyland, an amazing environmentally-driven American painter and visual artist whose humongous and larger than life art you probably saw at least once in your life somewhere in the US.

As a Hawaii resident and lover of the sea, Wyland has always been extremely dedicated to the conservation of the aquatic fauna (the subject of his art), so he decided to explore and reach out to different types of arts to promote global awareness. As an environmentally-conscious person myself (not to mention avid kitesurfer and lover of the sea), I felt absolutely honored and privileged to work on this magnificent album and I can’t wait to hear it and see it (I hear the artwork is amazing, which is pretty obvious and expected at this point, isn’t it?).

The album just was announced a few days ago and is available on the Home Shopping Network and in selected stores. You can preview some tracks excerpts here: http://www.wylandstudiostore.com/index.cfm?ProductID=2274&do=detail

Here is the official press release:

Debut Release From Wyland Records
New Jazz CD Gets in the Swing of Conservation

NEW YORK, NY — Renowned marine life artist Wyland has assembled the brightest jazz talents in New York City to create, “Rhythms of the Sea,” a new collection of “eco-conscious” music set to the artist’s
lyrics.
The 13-song CD album (Wyland Records — $15.95) is a unique extension of the artist’s mission to bring
awareness through art and is dedicated to inspiring conservation through music. Rhythms of the Sea, was
recorded in New York City with saxophonist Vincent Herring, Saturday Night Live trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Anthony Wonsey, vocalist Paulette McWilliams performing as the Earth Jazz Agents.


“With this debut music project, Wyland’s goal is clear as the turquoise water of a South Pacific island,” says said Laurence
Donohue-Greene, managing editor of AllAboutJazz-New York.

“We can only hope that future collaborations between marine life and earthbound musicians continue along these paths.”

“Rhythms of the Sea” was arranged and produced by Herring, who called upon other collaborators, including as trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist/keyboardist Nat Adderley, Jr., cellist Akua Dixon, and two-time Grammy Award winning engineer Marc Urselli. Noted for his fine Cannonball Adderley-inspired alto work, Herring also performs on soprano sax and flute From “Flow”, “Sacred Seas”, and “Ocean Paradise” to “Turtle Time”, “Rhythms of the Sea”, “Ocean of Light” and “Endangered Species”, vocalist Paulette McWilliams connects Wyland’s environmentally-conscious thoughts and words into song. Wyland himself composed lyrics for six of the seven songs that McWilliams sings and even makes a brief cameo on “Endangered Species” by adding spoken word over the backing vocals of Andromeda Turre’s repeated refrain of “Protect our Planet.”

Turre bridges the worlds further with his musical mastery of the conch shell. His composition “Flying Fish” is a celebratory number, from Herring’s high-spirited alto lines leading to trumpeter Jeremy Pelt’s Hugh Masakela-influenced smears, blasts and bent notes, trombonist Turre and Wonsey’s soulful upbeat piano.

“Whale Song” pairs composer Turre’s overdubbed conches and Dixon’s arco-played cello with the as-credited “backing vocals” of a recording by the humpback whales of the Silver Bank.

“Rhythms of the Sea” is available at www.wyland.com

About the Artist
One of the world’s most recognizable artists, Wyland has developed an international reputation for his commitment to marine life conservation, most notably his monumental marine life murals, the Whaling Walls. He is considered one of the most successful working artists today, with galleries throughout the United States, and more than half a million collectors around the world. Each of his works speaks of our beautiful but fragile marine ecosystem. Dedicated to saving our water resources through art and education, his non-profit Wyland Foundation seeks to further that end.