… since I last posted anything. I offer my apologies to those who have been following my posts.
My focus has been spread a bit thin, not just with my musical pursuits, but with family-related matters that include selling my mother’s house (which my sister and I inherited). As my family and I have been living in the house, we’re also considering new living environments, calling and visiting and driving around. It’s practically a second/ third job…
Since my last post I released Balance, my sometimes overwhelming solo recording project that often seemed just beyond completion.
While I have mentioned this in interviews and promotions, I offer appreciation to my friend and musical mentor Larry Coryell for his on-going encouragement to see this recording through to completion. He did hear some of the finished tracks, but passed away before I could actually release the album and give him a copy. I did replace one of the tracks with my tribute, A Blues For Larry, recorded just a few days after his death.
The album was supposed to be an easy project for me. On my first two releases, I had a tendency to over-work the music, especially once I discovered the then-newly-developed digital editing and processing. I spent entirely too much time on those albums, tweaking individual notes in some cases and re-mixing and re-mastering everything more than once. Larry actually shared his wisdom when he inquired how many takes I used for a specific track. I happily explained how I assembled four different takes into a single finished track. His reply? “You should trust the first or second take — I think one of those was probably perfect.” My next two releases, One In Mind and Trio, each included only one solo track each — while it was a challenge, I did follow Larry’s advice and didn’t cut & paste the life out of either piece. My ‘retrospective’ As You Are was comprised of solo guitar selections that had been recorded for my earlier albums — some were on the CD releases, some were unreleased. Again, I kept Larry’s advice in mind….
After my ‘retrospective’, I wanted to produce a completely new recording that reflected what I was doing as a solo player now. Since my last official studio project I had played mostly solo dates and felt that I had developed my musical approach beyond the newer tracks on As You Are. Based on the soundtrack recordings I was producing, I was confident I could produce a first-rate recording without heading into the studio. I certainly figured it would be an advantage to have less pressure to record as I didn’t need to watch the clock. Of course, the financial advantage of not needing to pay for time was also an incentive. Larry agreed.
As is usually the case, creating value requires overcoming obstacles (or, as Wayne Shorter mentions, ‘encountering opportunities’).
I’ll continue with more details next time.