The Studio

Today is the first day off I’ve had in two weeks. It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’m headin’ into town to hang out with my best friend Jacob and to walk around the village (Greenwich Village for all you non-New York folk).

Last weekend I was in the the studio recording with the band Sangha. I’ve mentioned before that Rob Garcia is the drummer/leader and composer of the band. It’s a large band (7 members): Ken Wessels on guitar (I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know that Kenny has played in one of Ornette Colman’s bands for over 13 years); Dave Ambrosio who is bass man in 4inObjects; Adam Kolker on saxophones (and a scary resemblance of an ex-boyfriend way back when); Michel Gentile on flute and a fellow Canuck and Daniel Kelly on piano (he is the newest member of the band). We spent two days in the studio recording music that Rob has written and it went pretty smoothly. I haven’t heard any of the tracks yet so I won’t have an assessment on the recording. What I can say is that the guys in the band are really great people. Everyone is so friendly and the vibe was just cool. Nothing can be more irritating than an “out” cast of characters. No one was kooky and we hung out after the session. It was especially fun for me to be in the studio with Mr. Embasio (my nick-name for Dave). We play together in lots of different musical situations and we’ve never been in the studio together (our 4inObjects recording was a live concert recording – which I hope will be out soon?!?!) Dave is one of the coolest guys I know. He’s one of my closest friends and an amazing musician. I find it such a pleasure to make music with him.

I did have a few issues with the session but for the sake of my karma, I will not publish them. Rest assured, the band and the leader were all cool and I had fun overall (it also doesn’t hurt that you get paid for it too).

Making music in the studio is really different than a performance. For some reason I get more tense when I hear someone say “recording ….. take one….” and I wonder if I remember the form of the tune or when do I come in etc… Anyways, I guess when you become more and more experienced in the studio, you can get use to things. I’ve only been in the studio less than a dozen times and I feel that the more I do it, the less out I feel. My personal philosophy about recording is that I like it live to tape. If you make a mistake, so what. If the mistake is really bad, don’t use the track. In improvised jazz music, editing is something I prefer not to do. But, sometimes you need to fix things. In the Sangha recording, I had to punch in some things because I completely missed the cue or I forgot the words and the rest of the band was fine. It’s a waste of time if the whole band got it and you didn’t and you have to start all over again, especially if the songs are over 10 minutes. Also, I was in an isolation booth and that made it possible to edit and punch in. My preference is to sing with the band in the same room. If we need to isolate, I want to be able to see everybody. It’s so disconcerting when you don’t have eye contact with everyone. When Jacob and I recorded our first CD “Soulmates” I was in the booth and after we recorded, we both thought that it would have been better to just be in the same room. We went live to tape with no edits so being in a booth was pointless. Well, you learn….

Jacob and I are starting to discuss our new recording project. I won’t give up anything yet. All I can say is that we’ve wanted to do this project since the first recording and now we are finally starting to make it happen. I can’t wait. And I’ll keep you posted once the ball is really rolling.