John Beasley, musical director of International Jazz Day and solo recording artist as well as one time Miles Davis/Steely Dan sideman, joined intrepid keyboard master Otmaro Ruiz (John McLaughlin, Dianne Reeves) and young touring and recording keyboardist Tommy King (Maroon 5, Haim) for this symposium which covered Hanon exercises, jazz education, "money" gigs, Charlie Haden, gear and more.
Contemporary keyboard session king Jamie Muhoberac meets young synth whiz & composer Peter Dyer along with former Utopia/Lou Reed sideman & Pokemón (!) composer Ralph Schuckett for this episode, recorded by John Paterno on Feb. 20, 2015. We talked about modular synths, Mort Garson's "Black Mass Lucifer" 1970's synth opus, recording in studios vs. homes, in-ear monitoring, playing too hard (aka banging), and generational differences in experiencing music. An eye and ear opener for sure.
Master composer/pianist Billy Childs, hot off Grammy noms for his Laura Nyro tribute project teams with his former student, Miles Davis alum Deron Johnson (currently staff composer for The Weinstein Co) and Conan O'Brien's keyboardist (and fellow Grammy nominated composer) Scott Healy for episode 6, recorded on Dec. 19th, 2014. Topics: Freddie Hubbard, Miles, the balance of "art/commerce" and suggestions of how to use your bread-and-butter gig to your creative advantage...
The Yellowjackets' founding member and leader throughout its 32 year history, Russell Ferrante, joined Mitchel Forman (Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Stan Getz, John Scofield) & Tribal Tech's Scott Kinsey (Oceans 11, 12 & 13 scores, Zawinul) in host Jeff Babko's living room to talk about practice habits, acoustic vs. electronic instruments, software, how they got from there-to-here and more. As usual, the guys traded some hilarious anecdotes and memories, and raised questions and thoughts about the past and future of music and its "business".
John Paterno miked it and twiddled the knobs as always.
Episode 4 was very special, and centered around legendary producer and keyboardist Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Latin Playboys, Bonnie Raitt) with Patrick Warren (Boogie Nights score, Fiona Apple), legendary session man Jim Cox and contemporary session man Zac Rae. We talked everything from jam band mentality to FM synth programming to iconic organ solos and the dumbing down of EDM. As always it was recorded w/ our trusty microphones from Samson & our dedicated engineer John Paterno.
Somehow we forgot to discuss Mitchell Froom's brilliant recent solo piano recording, "A Thousand Days". Pick it up to discover a different side to this musical living legend. However we covered tons of other opinions, topics and anecdotes as always!
Hope you enjoy!
Jeff Babko is joined by Tony Williams Lifetime/Bob Dylan/Santana alum, and current USC jazz piano professor and Steinway artist, ALAN PASQUA, jazz pianist, master accompanist (Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, Larry Carlton) and composer of the theme to "Everybody Loves Raymond" TERRY TROTTER, and musical director/ producer/ composer/ keyboardist CHE CHE ALARA. The fellas consume coffee and baked goods from Burbank's Coffee Commissary and discuss jazz & classical backgrounds, the current state of education and students, commercial/"creative" musical outlets, L.A. versus N.Y., Miles Davis, Tony Williams, Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans and a number of other luminary pianists and musicians, plus the climate of music and the music business today.
John Paterno recorded as usual and Samson provided the microphones, from Babko's "TudorTones Studio".
Hey!!! We get extra caffeinated with contemporary jazz organist and world class pianist Larry Goldings (who is also super funny), Toto legend Steve Porcaro, and sonic pioneer Money Mark on episode 2. There is chat about Steve's MJ hit "Human Nature", his brothers Mike & Jeff, his mastery of the Yamaha CS80, the "Rosanna" instrumental section... and Larry's approach to organ stops and settings, Hans Groiner, approach to "playing bass", Dave McKenna... as well as Money Mark's unconventional monitoring style of Fender Rhodes, history of sampling and royalties, carpentry skills, Delicious Vinyl, as well as DIY record production and distribution... and everyone's "first keyboard" stories. All with the help of John Paterno engineering, Jeff Babko "hosting" and Demitasse coffee (no coffee break in this episode though).
In this debut "Caffeinated Keyboardist", legendary "Wrecking Crew" pianist Don Randi, Jellyfish founder/Beck keyboardist Roger Manning, Jr., and world class jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer join Jeff Babko at his TudorTones Studio in Los Angeles and discuss their experiences as keyboard players in their respective and varied careers. Engineer John Paterno captures the dialogue as these 4 colleagues chat over coffee, provided by Little Tokyo's Cafe Demitasse, whose founder Bobby Roshan gives us a brief synopsis of the history of his shop/roaster. Recorded on Feb. 21, 2014.