Week 2 at IAR: Recording with the Calvosa Sullivan Project

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I’ve been co-writing songs with my good friend and former Manhattan School of Music classmate Kat Calvosa for the past 2 years.   This has been an incredibly educational experience for me as a composer, because before we started working together, I had never collaborated with another composer.  Also, she writes lyrics, I don’t (at least not comfortably)! The result is about 10 really cool songs that were written with 3 different approaches: writing music and lyrics together, me writing music to her lyrics, and her writing music to my music.

Last year we started performing these songs around NYC with a band, which we call the Calvosa Sullivan Project (or CSP).  We also recorded a demo back in December 2009, and I think I posted some of those tracks on this very blog (yay!). It’s been a while since we performed live though, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring this group into the studio to record a few more tracks.  It was, once again, a lot of fun to record, and everyone did a great job: Kat on vocals, me on piano and sax, Paul Orbell on guitar, Brian Ladd on electric bass, and Brian Fishler on drums.  An awesome band!

Here are a couple of rough mixes:

Let Me Pretend – Our newest tune…Kat wrote the lyrics first and I wrote the music for this one.

Left Alone – This one was created entirely from putting ideas together in real time, so it’s really got elements of both of our musical approaches in there.

Next week I bring The Casual Sextet into the studio! Looking forward to recording the challenging music I’ve written for this band.

Kickstarter “Live at the Jazz Standard” update, and March happenings

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So far so good…$350 raised for the Bjorkestra’s “Live at the Jazz Standard” CD Project on Kickstarter.com! Thanks to all of those who have donated thus far. 

There’s a long way to go, but there’s plenty of time before the deadline to meet the fundraising goad of $4000.  If you have a moment, check out the site: http://kck.st/csMNi0 and please donate if you can spare a few buckaroos.  Every little bit helps!!! At the very least, try to check out the pitch video.  It’s my first foray into the video editing realm (using the incredibly limited Windows Live Movie Maker) but I’m very happy how it turned out!

Enough about me.  Let’s talk about me now.  🙂 This month I’ve got a few good things happening on the heels of the Blue Note show.  Going to Toronto with Rana Farhan for Nowrooz, and then bringing ye olde Casual Sextet (with a brand new lineup) for a show at Fat Cat in NYC! Also, I’ll be back at The Blue Note (twice in the same month, I must be doing something right) in NYC to perform with Gemma Genazanno, which I’m sure will be totally packed because of the Today Show appearance we did back in January. 

In between all of this activity, I will be catching up on episodes of Dexter (almost halfway through season 3!) and True Blood (about four episodes into season one), and reading Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian.” Ah, life is so full of riches (or diversions, depending on your perspective!).      

What happened to February, anyway? It’s almost like it never happened.  Oh well…onward and upward.  Can’t wait ’til spring!