It Was A Very Good Month: June Highlights #1

Ever wonder what it sounds like when you cram a string quartet and a jazz trio in the back of a packed bar?  Playing ballads?  Sure you have!  Here it is:

I suppose I started in reverse posting the last evening first, but when I got home from the final day recording Anthony Cekay’s residency at LIC Bar, I had to get this thing onto my computer and mixed pronto.  Luckily every moment of the residency was tracked AND filmed.  All video and photography are courtesy of the talented Isaiah Singer  (Check out his shots here.)

I hadn’t heard anything live like this ever.  And given the context, I was very, very, very impressed with everyone, especially Anthony for his string arrangement.  Sitting at my mix station (way on the right you can see the blue screen of my mixer and my hand periodically tweaking knobs), I felt transported to the ’40’s, in some smokey New York nightclub, drinking Gin Gimlets and talking about… I don’t know, “dames” and “broads”.

Recording this set was the hardest of the four.  First, the decision was made to set up inside the bar, as opposed to the outdoor space, because of what was supposed to be a pretty stormy night.  (And no, it didn’t rain.)  Setting up inside meant half the space of the other nights, and for almost twice the musicians of the other nights.  Second, I simply didn’t have the inputs and mics to capture this the way it would’ve been at Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary Englewood studio.  I kid.  Third, capturing a string quartet six feet from a drum kit is hard no matter how you dice it.  That said, I’m very proud of how it turned out.  These gigs are about adapting.

Stay tuned for more highlights of Anthony’s June residency.  Lots of superb playing!

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