8 August 2012

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Asking him to be part of the compositional process by providing harmonic material, and to work in the ensemble as a guitarist, proved to be the best choice possible- his work on the songs from a writing standpoint and as a performer was outstanding. I know now that it would have been impossible to complete the project without his involvement. The rest of the group was put together in an atypical way as well. For the first time I wanted to work on a recording project that was not primarily based on my associations with the pool of improvisers that I know, though I asked Tim Daisy to play drums, knowing he’d understand completely what the music was about and that his versatility would give the range of musical styles involved the rhythmic basis they required (Brazilian, Soul, Rock, Funk…). I asked Tim to recommend an electric bassist, and he suggested Nick Macri (someone else I had never worked with before, and in this case had never met). I knew that I wanted keyboards to be part of the basic band (in January a second recording session will take place to add further parts) and by chance I heard an old friend, Rick Reger, play at a jam session at another friend’s party early in 2012. His sense of taste and musical ability made him an obvious choice. When rehearsals started with the band (which Adrienne has called, The Margots), the creative synergy between the people involved: Adrienne, John, Tim, Nick, Rick, myself was really perfect. Everyone was there for the same purpose- to realize Adrienne’s songs and the arrangements John and I had organized, at the best level possible. The rehearsals allowed us to learn the material and develop it quickly. After 4 sessions (July 28, 29; August 1, 2) the band was ready to record 9 songs, the majority of the song cycle. On August 6th-8th, the group recorded at Strobe in Chicago, with Bob Weston engineering. Everyone worked with perfect efficiency, the sequence of practice and development of the material in stepwise fashion allowed the group to nail most of the pieces in first takes during the first 2 days of the recording, with only occasional overdubs/corrections needed. This left August 8th free to add extra percussion tracks and to spend some more time on the vocals; by the time we left the studio that evening everyone was tired but elated. Something by Alessandra Leão, who inspired me during the process of working on this music:

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