I hope everyone is enjoying a good holiday. Here are tracks from the gig last week two weeks ago. Overall it just felt great to be playing again, meeting and playing with new friends. On the gig we played half Stevie grooves and half originals from 2004-05 (most co-crafted with Andrew Mace), plus Monk’s Evidence at the end. I am aiming ultimately for zero covers in performances like these but for now it worked fine.
I’m not sure in what form my new originals will surface, other than some hip-hop tunes I’m crafting for The Getback. That’s because from a genre perspective, the stuff I’m writing is all over the place (monastic chants, lullabies for baby-on-the-way, Beatles-inspired pop riffs, South American/R&B/hip-hop). I just know I have to write and I can allow all aspects of life provide inspiration. I will aim to get more of the new stuff mocked up in GarageBand so you all can hear it.
In terms of mechanics, I recorded the gig on a Rode M3 mic. It was my first attempt recording myself in a “live” setting using a decent condenser mic and M-Audio Fast Track USB interface into GarageBand, so on one level I was just satisfied that everything worked. This mic outperformed the other mics I was looking into for capturing the richness of a horn in the $250-300 price range. I placed it in front of the band, with myself in front of keys, piano drums and bass, so from a levels perspective not surprising that the sax is so loud. I think next time I would raise it over the band on a boom for more balance. I am playing a pre-10M Conn Tenor sax (I’ll do another post about its exact vintage; they key mechanisms and upper register intonation are less than optimal, but I like the warm tone). I didn’t get to playing the soprano or flute. On flute I’m working on relearning my embouchure via some of James Galway’s master classes (e.g. see here) — more on flute later.
Anyway, here are the rough cuts. Credits to Stevie Wonder, Mace and Monk on the tunes, and performances by Alex Conde Carrasco (keys), Eugene Warren (bass) and Adam Coopersmith (drums). One track (Breeze in Your Eyes) was cleaned with SoundSoap, which I am also just learning — looking forward to learning more about this tool and reducing noise on other tracks.
The Breeze in Your Eyes (Mace, McKee)
Stride (Mace, McKee)
Sunlight Through the Canopy (McKee)
Fair Enough (Mace, McKee)
Ebony Eyes (Wonder)
My Cherie Amour (Wonder)