I’ll just come out and say it…I love Italy!

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Greetings from Rome.  Ian Cook, Shayna Steele, and I have been here since Monday after an amazing performance with the full 17 piece Bjorkestra with Dave Douglas in Milan.  We played a sold out show for about 900 people and I sold 70 CD’s!!! We were also treated amazingly well by the show’s promoters – the hotel was incredible, and we had two beautiful Italian meals (although maybe a little too much grappa!).  I’m posting a YouTube video of one of the tracks from the concert as we speak, so that’ll be up soon.

I’ll also be posting photos from the trip very soon.  Tonight we’re performing with the 7 piece Bjorkestra with 4 Italian musicians in Torre del Greco in Naples.  It’s on the side of Mt. Vesuvius, so barring any volcanic eruption I’m sure we’re going to have an amazing show!



Week 4 at IAR: Identity Crisis

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Here it is, the final installment of my four sessions at the Institute of Audio Research!  I’m going to miss doing these sessions.  It was a fantastic opportunity to work in the studio with the amazing musicians that agreed to participate in this project.  A special thanks also to “Uncle Rich,” the recording engineer instructor who made this all possible, and kept things moving along smoothly and comfortable.

This last week I brought in the Identity Crisis, which has evolved over the past three years into a jazz/hip-hop fusion tour de force.  I co-lead this band with drummer Joe Abbatantuono, and this recording also includes Identity Crisis regulars Matt Clohesy (who it was great to play with again after nearly 10 months!) on bass, Shayna Steele on vocals, and Sean Nowell on tenor saxophone.  Filling in for keyboardist Dave Cook was Walter Fischbacher, who came in and nailed the material without ever seeing or hearing it before.  We recorded four songs, and here are two of the rough mixes.

Don’t Know – This song grew from the hook in the chorus, which popped into my head one day, lyrics and everything.  It sat as eight bars of melody for about 6 months before I finally wrote the music for the verse, which I wrote in less than an hour because I wanted to hear Shayna sing it! I gave the music to Shayna with some ideas I had in mind for the lyrics, and she went ahead and penned the complete lyrics for the song.  This is the first tune that I’ve ever written in a straight up pop style, and I’m pleased with the results.  Enjoy!

Saxicolous – I had the bass line for this song in my head for about 15 years, and it was finally time to do something about it! Also, the Identity Crisis didn’t have any fast tunes with super snaky lines, so I decided to write a challenging but sensible piece.  The title “Saxicolous” is an actual word that means living in rock or pertaining to rocks.  Since I come from “The Granite State” it only makes sense.  Regardless, this tune rocks! 🙂