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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crazy session

I really enjoy studio work and thoroughly love playing different styles of music. It's funny, although I'm playing different styles of music I still sound like myself. I always strive to bring myself into the song instead of just copping a style rendition. Usually the producer or artist is totally happy with that and will actually ask me to "do some of that jazz thing of yours", even if it's a country or blues or pop session. I guess you get known for a certain thing and mine is being a jazz guitar player even though I play a lot of different styles of music. I always approach improvising as just that and even though I might be playing a country tune, my resources that I'm drawing from are predominantly jazz oriented.

I have played on some pretty diverse projects and jingles. I have played on commercials for Toyota, FAN 590, CHAY FM, Dunkin Donuts, CTV Sports etc. I have also played on a lot of records as as sideman but one of the weirdest sessions I played on was for a guy who sang "The Stalker Song" for Paula Abdul on American Idol. The wacky song received such huge press that the singer Paul Marcurano, who also wrote the song, contacted Nelly Furtado's management company in Los Angeles to produce a studio version of this song. My friend Darryl Moen has worked with Nelly as a recording engineer and recommended me to play guitar on it along with other members of Nelly's band.
Check it out. It's a strange world sometimes. I just found this on the net. Check out the harmonics at the beginning. They were harder that they sound. Played my Strat on this session.

Listened to:

Steely Dan's "Aja"  which is one of my top ten recordings of all time. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen are geniuses if you ask me. They not only write amazing music but also have a real vision in the studio. They pick just the right guy for each tune. This album features the New York and LA A-list session guys from drummers Steve Gadd, Rick Marotta, Ed Greene, Bernard Purdie, Jim Keltner and Paul Humphrey to guitarists Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Dean Parks, Steve Khan, Jay Graydon (who plays one of my favourite guitar solos on Peg) and Denny Dias. Saxophonists Wayne Shorter and Tom Scott as well as bassist Chuck Rainey also play on the recording.

Pat Metheny's "Still Life Talking" which is an amazing record. Pat is one of my favourite guitarists and composers. This record mixes Brazilian influences with Americana and it is stunning. Lyle Mays on piano. Came out in 1987 and I must have listened to it about 100 times over the years.

That's all for now.

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