The recording sessions for "More To Love" were great fun. I haven’t had a band for a while so I had to look for each player individually. In the past I chose musicians because I’d heard that they were great session players. Rick and I refer to these types as “studio sausage”, great technique but no heart investment in the project. This time I used players that were personally connected with either Rick or me so we could be sure they would give from their hearts to the songs. This turned out to be the best decision I’ve made in a long time. (Of course it helps that they are incredible players too!) Following is a little about each of them and links to their individual web sites.
Equally as important are the graphic artist and photographer. Leslie Holtzman is a great photographer and friend who I knew I would bring out the fun in me as I posed with little covering myself. (I’m really a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal!) Cousin Isaac, really goes the extra mile for the appropriate artistic expression. He is as detail oriented as I am. (I can drive some people nuts!)
My thanks to each of you.
For me…the path is the goal. Living this philosophy has given me the satisfaction I’d always wished for.
Rick Krizman : Producer, Engineer, Keyboards Emmy award winning composer (Inside Edition, General Hospital and more)
Ahhh, Mr. Krizman.…what would I have done without you?
I’ve known Rick since the early eighties. I did my second demo with him in his backyard studio utilizing the Otari 1/2 inch eight track recorder and Linn Drums as well as Moog, Arp and Prophet synthesizers. Those are still some of my favorite recordings. Rick had just become a full time composer having recently quit his taxi-driving job. He is one of the most musical people I have ever had the pleasure of creating with. We both have quite critical ears and at one point during the “More To Love” sessions we listened to 3 different “dithers” and discussed the differences in their tonal qualities. The “MTL” session was recorded entirely in the digital domain but Rick and I wanted an analog feel. We thought about using his 2-inch tape deck but wanted to save on the budget. We considered running the outputs from the computer across the tape heads and back in to mix digitally but we didn’t. Rick used his masterful touch with Crane Song, Avalon, and other high-end gear in the mic preamp and compressor departments. One of the frequent compliments I get about the recording is that it sounds so fat and analogue. Way to go Kriz!! At Bernie Grundman’s Mastering Lab Chris Bellman, mastering engineer, gave Rick kudos on his job and admitted there was very little to tweak.
On the B-3 organ, Wurlitzer Piano, and various synthesizers Rick brought a personality to the project that flavored the tracks with the pure blues expression he’s so fond of. A wizard on the B-3 he played oldies that Vicki and I sang along to for an hour or more one night when we were supposed to be tracking percussion parts. It turned out to be a great tension reliever and a soothing of studio tensions. (always time for some frivolous fun)
Besides being a studio gem Rick tells the best jokes. I’m surprised I could sing after gut laughing myself almost to death at his antics. We also share a love of gourmet food and ate many great meals. He was impressed that I,“tipped like a man”. Can you tell that I love working with this crazy guy? Read on for more about Mr. Rick Krizman, my friend and a swell dude. Rick Krizman has worked as a music composer, producer and keyboardist in the Los Angeles area for the last 18 years. In that time he has composed music for films, television shows, commercials, records and musical theatre. Rick's first film score, which he co-composed with the late avant-garde pianist/composer Fred Myrow, was for the film "Broken Rainbow", which won the 1985 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. He has since written themes and underscore for other films and various TV shows, such as General Hospital, American Journal, Inside Edition, Jane Whitney, Out of Control and Dr. Science, a children's show for which he received a regional Emmy award. Rick has won numerous BPME awards for his local cable and television station image themes, and was honored by ASCAP with an award for the Most Performed TV Themes of 1996. As a songwriter he has written numerous theme songs for movies and featured songs for TV shows. Most recent.....Daytime Emmy for “Best Song on a Daytime Drama”. Kudos Mr K.
Rick works in his own studio, Home on the Range, in Venice, CA and has a great blog, “Rickipedia” on his website. I recently had the pleasure of co-writing and recording the demo at his newly refurbished studio. Heaven.
Lee Thornburg : Trumpet (Tower Of Power) I met Lee through Mr. Krizman. We were almost completely done tracking but “More To Love” the title cut, needed one more element. We tried everything from small percussives, to airy synth pads, more vocals etc… but nothing would stick. The brilliant Mr. Krizman discovered the sound that was needed on his Korg Triton and said he had the perfect trumpet player for the performance. He was absolutely right!!
Lee was down in Carlsbad that night playing with the great Etta James but said he could come the next day. He arrived at the studio and blew greatness for about an hour. What fun. His musicality and heart show though. I can’t thank him enough.
Lee has toured extensively with many stellar bands and performers including Tower Of Power.
Vicki Randle : Percussion, Harmony Vocals My friend Vicki is soooo great. I met her in the mid 70’s in the Bay Area when we were both playing solo folk shows. I fell in love with her voice then and was inspired to begin playing congas and study Afro Cuban rhythms because of her awesome conga playing. When Vicki sings it’s like you hear God, such a natural connection with the source. Vicki IS music. I’m so proud to have had her work and play on this recording. I love you Vicki!
Vicki Randle: vocalist, percussionist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, is one of the most sought after talents in the music industry as well as one of the most visible musicians in America. A full-time member of the acclaimed Tonight Show Band led by Kevin Eubanks,Branford Marsalis, the band’s former leader, hired her primarily as a percussionist...there had never been vocals tunes in the Tonight Show Band before. Well, it didn't take long for Vicki's talents to be put to regular use, singing background vocals with many of the shows guests, singing a variety of styles for comedy bits and, most recently, as a featured vocalist, fronting the band during commercial breaks. Both her skill and musical flexibility keep her in demand by guests as diverse as Phil Collins, Al Green, Elton John, kd lang, Vince Gill, Tori Amos, Albert Collins, Robert Palmer, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, and Garth Brooks.
I met Rick through Rick Krizman, co-producer/ engineer/ keyboards. I started the project with the desire to have not only great players but players with heart that would be giving themselves over to the music. Krizman recommended Latham and it was a fabulous choice. I’d love to work with Mr. Latham again.
Rick is a drum set artist performing, recording, producing and teaching in the Los Angeles area, since 1984. While living in Dallas before moving to LA, Rick was a member of R&B bass legend Chuck Rainey's band - "Rainey Man." From 1996 - 2002 Latham was a featured member of The Edgar Winter Band with hundreds of stellar performances including a very special appearance at the 1999 Montreux Jazz Festival. Currently Rick is the founder and driving force of his own contemporary jazz "supergroup", Rick Latham and the Groove Doctors. A professional for over 30 years, Rick is recognized by fellow musicians the world over for his signature drumming style and his creative approach to the instrument. As one of music's top session drummers, Rick has recorded several top television theme scores, as well as a number of hit singles and motion picture soundtracks.
Throughout his career Rick has performed live and on recordings with, are such greats as bluesman B.B. King, Quincy Jones, rockers Neal Schon, and Pat Travers as well as jazz all-stars Bill Watrous, Larry Carlton, Paul Smith, Howard Roberts, David Friedman and David Samuels. Rick's versatility has also been highlighted with such top entertainers as Rita Moreno, Ben Vereen, Martha Reeves, Redd Foxx and Pete Barbutti. He has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.
My old friend Big Ed is the greatest bassist I know. He is so fluid on this instrument he can crack jokes, play Bach, tell stories, and get you shaking your booty with just five strings and the enthusiasm he has for life. I was in my first rock band, “The Items”, with Ed. He brings just the right flavor to whatever project he participates in but FUNK is his middle name. Check out his awesome thumpin’ thumb on “Rosy Path”, cut #5. What more can I say? When the “MTL” project came to life there was no other choice for me. I love and revere this talented and awesome man.
Electric bassist Ed Garnero, born in Monterey California, has played in projects from jazz to funk, from solo bass in cafes to big bands. His main influences include the funk and soul bands of the mid- to late 70's, as well as great pop song writer/musicians, like Stevie Wonder and Carol King. In the early 90's, Garnero co-founded Fat Groove Productions in Los Angeles, and concentrated on producing pop and rap artists. Most recently, he has been a professor at Arizona State University studying waves of a different nature: earthquakes! Ed still plays around when there is time, backing solo artists on CD projects, as well as live.
Ed says, "My favorite thing in the world is to work with great vocalists. I love finding the most supportive groove for the singer, and give it all of my heart and soul -- there is no greater joy than finding that union!" This love first came for exploring solo bass and vocal duets in small venues in the late 90's, in California. Whether it be duo, trio, or a 12 piece, Garnero loves to find parts that support, excite, and innovate the groove.
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