Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Cressey’
My Top 40 band The Mighty Untouchables cut a cool studio cover of ‘I Feel For You’ which was made famous by Chaka Khan but actually written by Prince. We posted it last week and it has already gotten 40,000 views on Facebook.
((UPDATE)) – – Video now has over 400,000 views on Facebook. Wow.
There are some great pieces of gear in here including my Yamaha Montage, Yamaha CP4, Yamaha Motif XS and my Moog Sub 37.
Once in a while I have the privilege of tracking with some reggae legends. For a musician, whether it be reggae, jazz, blues, or hip hop, there is nothing like laying it down alongside those who were pioneers of the genre, the first to play the style and set the standard for what instruments in that style do. All the musicians I recorded with on Monday were that. This session was at Fully Fullwood’s studio in San Clemente, CA, where what looks like an unassuming track home actually hides an incredible studio for recording roots reggae. Every preamp and drum head in this place is dialed in for the exact purpose of recording reggae, and the result is that thick creamy 70’s drum sound that eludes so many modern producers with their digital gear and plug ins.
I met Fully years ago when I was called to his studio to track a quick solo on a cut on his album. Years went by without us ever crossing paths again, then one day I got a call to see if I was available for another session. I did that session and ever since I’ve been getting three or so calls a year to come up to the studio and record for some artist. Every time is a little different as you don’t know who the session will be for or who will be playing drums. Fully is always on bass and Tony Chin is always on guitar.
This video captures the typical way the tracking goes down. We listen to the artist’s scratch track, learn it, then lay down our own version of it.
One of the other great aspects of tracking with legends such as these is that they have incredible musical wisdom and share it willingly. I consider it a huge perk of these sessions to be able to stand there and listen to the knowledge that these masters have accrued over a lifetime of playing Jamaican music.
Listen to this clip of Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis, the legendary Jamaican drummer (Ziggy Marley, Peter Tosh, Roots Radics, everyone else), talking about the role of the drummer in music.
So I took a trip to Chicago two weeks ago and it was incredible. I had never been to this great city, but now that I have it has become one of my favorite towns. The music, history, art, food and architecture are all things that I thoroughly enjoyed exploring and learning about. When I got to Chicago, I tweeted about being in Chicago and was quickly inundated with responses from friends and followers about places to eat, things to see and experiences I had to have. Matthew Kaminski, the organ player for the Atlanta Braves, told me that I needed to do two things: 1) have an italian beef and sweet peppers sandwich from Portillo’s and 2) See Chris Foreman at the Green Mill. Because Matthew is an organ player himself I presumed that Chris Foreman must be an organ player too.
Though I wasn’t able to get everywhere that everyone suggested (which would have meant 5 meals a day), I was able to knock out BOTH of Matt’s suggestions in one evening. Portillo’s was easy as it was about six blocks away from where our hotel was. I wasn’t disappointed by it either. I got the sandwich. I got a large chocolate malt for $3.50 or something absurd. And they were both excellent. After dinner we headed back to our hotel and because I still had some energy, I checked out the jazz club that was literally across the street from our hotel. I just wanted to pop my head in and scope out who was playing that night. “Some organ trio, I don’t know what their name is” said the guy on the door. I pulled up Google on my phone and found out that it was the ‘Deep Blue’ organ trio and that of all people, it was Chris Foreman manning the organ in this group. What?! This club which was called Andy’s Jazz Club
wasn’t the ‘Green Mill’ (which is a famous jazz club on the north side), but is another famous jazz spot in town. So I stuck around and watched this group play. Now Chris is blind. And he’s short. Which takes away 2 of my excuses about my own organ playing. I have always griped about being short and thus having a more limited reach with my feet and with my arms to the extremes of the keys. Joey Defrancesco is such a big dude. My friend Jim Alfredson is also a tall guy. And they are both crushing organ players. But Chris Foreman is shorter than me. And blind. And he crushes just as hard with zero limitations.
I stuck around and got to meet him. And it wasn’t a quick passing conversation either. I told him I played organ for the Padres and he was really interested in the gig, asking how I knew when to play and what kind of stuff I played. I told him about Gary Pressy who plays organ for the Cubs and that earlier that day I had seen the Lowrey that Gary plays at Wrigley Field. I asked Chris about playing pedals and about different songs from his set. He played a lot of my favorite tunes including ‘This I Dig Of You‘ by Hank Mobley (with Wynton Kelly on piano) and ‘Ceora‘ by Lee Morgan (with Herbie Hancock on piano). He played a sick intro on Ceora that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the song. Chris said he stole it from Charles Earland. The next day Chris gave me a call. He left a message and called me his new ‘Organ Buddy’. I also found out that the Deep Blue Trio was going to be opening up for Steely Dan during their Summer tour. I hope to catch them in San Diego and maybe get to hang with Chris a bit.
What a great day that was. I am always amazed at how trips like this can inspire us to go do things in our OWN towns. I don’t know that I have ever had a day in San Diego as action packed as that day in Chicago. Nothing like getting out and DOING stuff.
Last month I had the privilege of creating some music for The Dew Tour along with some of my fellow Build Destroy Music artists like Ian Osborne and THX. The Dew Tour is an extreme sports competition taking place in three locations and airing on NBC/NBC Sports. Dru and I got to contribute as the Smashtronauts and worked with Bucky Lasek to get input on the types of music skaters like to ride to.
The Dew Tour is airing on NBC over the next couple of months. Check out this link to see some of the videos featuring music that we scored. Ian Osborne scored the main title and he did a sweet job.
And here is the video of Dru and I producing with Bucky Lasek: