Wintry Mix

Been busy recently.

The days are getting longer and the weather getting milder, even some sunshine. I think the end of winter is in sight. I’ve been working out in the mornings, but now it’s daylight. Been focusing on the legs, building strength. We might go even skiing next weekend.

Last weekend was Jeannie’s birthday. We saw a great concert in the city. There’s a little nightclub inside the Apollo. The show was Matthew Whitaker, a blind, sixteen-year-old piano prodigy. Jeannie actually saw him a few years ago because he’s the son a friend from her old job, and she’s been telling me ever since to check him out.

The kid is amazing. Matthew’s main influences are Chick Corea and Stevie Wonder, but there’s flashes of Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson and lots of other stuff in there. He also plays a mean Hammond organ, including some bass solos on the pedals, and some tasty Moog. He has his rig set up kinda like Keith Emerson, with the piano and organ back to back, and the synth on top of the piano. The thing that amazes me the most is how he’s able to draw straight line thru 100 years of jazz and R&B, from Art Tatum to Gnarls Barkley, and make it all sound unified while treating each style faithfully and making it his own.

Its crunch time at my day job. We’re in the bug-fix Olympics and our CEO has offered a bonus to whoever fixes the most bugs in the next two weeks, like a pirate captain nailing a gold, silver and bronze coin to the mast. Too bad cuz last week I fixed 11 bugs, by far the most in the company, but they don’t count toward this goal.

Jay and I have been continuing on with mixing Buzzy Tonic. We have four songs in the can, five to go. I’ve decided to re-track the bass for Rocket to the Moon because the existing take is not very well recorded. This is because it’s a very hard part to play. So I’ve been practicing and trying a take every day. Getting closer but still some rough spots. Jay was over the other day and and I showed him the riffs and he could just play ‘em like that. Basterd.

We’ve also begun work on the jazz record. When we left the studio not everyone was really satisfied with their playing, but I knew we had enough coverage to put together a killer take of every song. I don’t think Jay really believed it until we started cutting together the songs. This is more my area of expertise but he added an invaluable pair of ears. One thing I’ll say is that our tempos were really consistent. At one point I dropped in a whole ‘nuther solo, something like a minute and a half of music, and at the end had to adjust the timing by only a few milliseconds. We got thru half the songs and hope to do the rest this weekend, then move on to the actual mixing.

On the downside, it looks like our rock band may finally be dead. Been trying to get everyone together but it’s just not happening. More on that in a future post.

Meanwhile right now the Olympics are on, which is cool and fun, but I never watch TV anymore so the ads are all really weird.