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OCEANLINER NOTES ARTIST INTERVIEWS

Online Interview  Segments...You are reading the Artists' own direct
thoughts & travels about their illustrious Careers.

We hope that our OL  Readers can enjoy and treasure their words of life and music,  just as we do here at OL...

OL Oceanliner Notes
Guest Artists' Interview Archives

AZIZA
TINKER BARFIELD
RANDY BRECKER
OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES
CHARLES CALELLO
FREDDY COLE
KENNY COLMAN
JOHN DI MARTINO
THE EBONY HILLBILLIES
BRENT FISCHER
DR. CLARE FISCHER
BASHIRI JOHNSON
JANN KLOSE
CHUCK LOEB
JON MICHAELS
CHIELI MINUCCI
PHIL PERRY
GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI
GLENN ZOTTOLA


Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
BRENT FISCHER
PRODUCER ARRANGER COMPOSER MUSICIAN
www.studioexpresso.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 12/19/10 - 12/25/10

playlist at end - box#2

OL:
We'd like to Welcome the sensational and multi-talented Producer Arranger Musician & Composer...Brent Fischer,
to our OL Weekly Series during this Special Holiday Season!
There's no better way to celebrate the gift of music, than with our Special Guest Artist this week:
Producer Arranger Composer,
Brent Fischer...

OL:
With Mr. Fischer's celebrated gift of
 orchestrations, arrangements, and just the pure sounds of his music, both as a Musician and Producer for so many of the music world's brightest Stars today!...It is said, that the best Producers in the Music Business, know no musical boundaries...and Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer personifies these many accomplishments impressively throughout his magical Career, with ease and fortitude, being in celebrated demand!
Producer Brent Fischer's
stellar music credits extends on over 30 million CD's for Pop, R&B and Jazz Royalty...working with the best of the best...

OL:
from Usher to Al Jarreau, to Prince,
to Toni Braxton, to performing his orchestration magic on
Michael Jackson's, 'This is it'
and in no way, does it stop there,
 as OL will spend this entire week with Brent, talking about his exciting Career and new projects to come! With that said, we here at OL would like to say...Welcome Brent, and thank you for giving us and all of the
OL Site Visitors,
for what will be a 7-part Interview on the Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, for the entire week
& some bonus Pre-Holiday
moments! We look forward to
 covering the many highlights of your
 Career as a Producer Arranger Musician & Composer. On behalf of all of our
OL Viewers,
once again, thank you and
welcome, Brent.  Happy Holidays!

Brent Fischer:
Cheers! I'm honored to be part of this great series. Love those beautiful sounds coming from your label.

OL:
Thank you very much, Brent... We have to say this first, that it's such an honor to have You here on OL, Brent! We know that You come from such a rich and yes, royal musical history, yourself. You were pretty much born into this big, beautiful world we call 'music', with the surrounding presence of having your Dad, the great American Conductor Arranger Composer, Dr. Clare Fischer,
as a supporting and nurturing guide. Nothing but the best of inspiration. What an amazing beginning, Brent, tell us of how your Dad first introduced You to music?

Brent Fischer:
It happened before I was born.  My mother always said that, when she was pregnant with me, she would sit by the piano while my father would play.  Some of my earliest childhood memories are of lying under the piano with our dog Bachi... (the one who his famous song is named after) listening to my dad writing or practicing.  In that sense, there really was no formal introduction.
 His music was just always there.
He wrote a song for me when I was around 2, titled "Sleep Sweet Child" (they always had trouble getting me to sleep)--that's now available at www.clarefischer.com on the CD
 "Introspectivo."
What I've always loved about the song over the decades is that
I could enjoy it intuitively as an
infant but also came to admire the
 intricacies of its structure as I became mature enough to analyze it in detail. 
Many of the songs on
"Introspectivo"
are those that
I heard him play at home through the years and so wanted to share that experience
with the world.

OL
:
From the young age of five, You started playing many instruments... the Drums, Bass, Keyboards, Chapman Stick, Marimba, and Vibes. Wonderfully, this comes as no surprise to us, Brent... as  You were growing up, in the world of Professional Musicians, through your Dad. What was the instrument that You naturally took to first, and what would be your favorite or main instrument to play now, on sessions?

Brent Fischer:
My dad started taking me to sessions when
I was about 4.  Even before that, I would assemble boxes of tinker toys in a row and beat on them with the sticks I found inside.  Needless to say, I gravitated towards drums first and my father encouraged me every step of the way.  I did also "tinker" around on his piano, but he got me a drumset when I was 5 or 6. For a couple years before the Porcaro brothers formed the group Toto, we'd all trade lessons with our Jazz legend
fathers: I would study drums with
Joe Porcaro,
and Steve Porcaro would study with my dad. Shortly after that I became interested in Electric Bass, much to Joe's chagrin--he wanted me to turn pro on drums.  As my musical awareness
expanded, though, harmony (especially my father's) became my new focus and Bass allowed me to be a part of that and still concentrate on what all the other players were doing.  Drummers and Bassists have an incredible opportunity to study the music as they play, because generally speaking,
less is required of them than
a pianist or horn section player. 
I developed my ears and became
an avid transcriber.
I did my first pro session on Bass at age 16 and that is still my main instrument today,
but I considered myself a drummer at that point, so I took Symphonic Percussion as my major in College.  Later, one of my theory teachers tried to get me to change my major to composition.
I declined because I knew by then that I wanted to carry on the unique harmonic and orchestrational traditions first
 conceived by my Father; how they were teaching at the University.  Everything had to re-invent the wheel. It wasn't considered serious, or modern unless it was atonal, or at least aleatoric.
I enjoyed writing in those styles but it wasn't my main interest.  I feel, like my father, that music should build on all the history that preceded us.

OL:
As we travel from the beginning stages in this OL Interview segment, who was the first Artist working with Your Dad, that also had a musical influence on You as a young Musician?

Brent Fischer:
It's hard to single out one. Gary Foster was always around and helped open my ears to musicality of interpretation.
Poncho Sanchez
and Cal Tjader taught me about playing with heart, my cousin
Andre Fischer
of Rufus showed me how to groove and play in the pocket. Later I learned through working for Prince how one can keep changing his sound while the music is still recognizable as coming from him. When I was learning Bass, the instrument was just starting to be recognized for its versatility. Guys like Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke and Chris Squire were great to listen to but one stood out to me: Jeff Berlin.
  His melodicity and harmonic variety
still amazes me, today.
 I was so floored by what I heard as a young man that I asked my dad to get me a lesson with Jeff when he moved to L.A.
After that, they ended up working
 together and appearing on each others' albums.  In this and other respects, I'm proud to have actually influenced my
 father and some of his musical directions.

OL:
You earned a Bachelor of Music Degree In Symphonic Percussion from
 California State University,
Northridge. while  working professionally in the music industry since age 16. Having the best of both worlds at such a young age, must have been like a natural progression for You.
Very impressive.
What was your first gig on the College scene?

Brent Fischer:
I finished High School early and went to College at 17.  By then, I had become the regular Bassist in
The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Group
and recorded one album with him.  The second was recorded during my first semester at CSUN. There also was a jazz club on campus (how convenient!) that we performed at regularly.
Around this same time, I also started
assisting my Dad.  I transcribed tapes sent to him for string arrangements (most artists did not have any written charts); filled him in on the different styles of the pop/rock/R&B artists we were working with and acted as a consultant while he arranged.
By the time I finished College, my
 education plus my experiences playing
Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian music opened up a whole world, literally, of ethnic music that I started working in.  I learned how to unlearn what I had been taught as an American musician to be able to groove with people from other countries and not sound like a foreigner to them.
It's the same when one masters speaking another language without accent--it's not about fluency, it's about acculturation.

OL:
Tell us about majoring in Symphonic
Percussion and how
You came to focus in on that specialization?

Brent Fischer:
Seems kind of crazy to pay for my College education in Percussion by gigging on Bass, but that's what I did.  As a Drummer in High School, I played Percussion in the orchestra and so continued on that path at College. That meant learning all mallet instruments--Marimba, Xylophone,
 Vibraphone, Etc.--besides playing
 Timpani and Hand Percussion.
I had a great time playing mallets.
 Besides the standard 2 and 4 mallet grips
I actually invented my own 6 mallet grip,
3 in each hand, to play the kind of 5 and 6 part harmony I was picking up from my Dad.
He even utilized this on his album
"Crazy Bird."
I have done some work as a percussionist, most recently with
Teena Marie,
but also Kirk Franklin,
Toni Braxton, Natalie Cole
and others. 
I will do some mallet playing on the next
Dr. Clare Fischer CD,
which I am producing right now.
 But as I gradually shifted through my life from player to contractor to writer and spent more time doing music consulting
for artists and companies like www.famewizard.com
Percussion has become less of a focus for me. I still enjoy it thoroughly though.

OL:
As a Producer now, working with such diverse musical styles and Artists, we're always curious about the actual sound or vibe,
that started it all for someone of your vast musical palette. Brent, tell us about the style of music that you were first drawn to...
and who were some of your favorite Artists that you began to listen to?

Brent Fischer:
Besides always hearing my father's music,
I started out like most kids in the seventies listening to Rock: The Stones, Elton John, David Bowie and Van Halen. As I grew, my tastes became more esoteric and I discovered a type of music that, unfortunately, is not even recognized as a category anymore: Progressive Rock Groups like Yes, Gentle Giant, Jeff Beck and Bill Bruford had a profound effect on my musical awakening and actually helped pave the way for my eventual ability to comprehend the depth and significance of my
father's writing.  As I would discover new groups, I would show them to him,
and he enjoyed many of them.
Once I got busy in the music industry, however, it got to the point for a while where I only had time to listen to the music for the project I was working on at the time. 
That actually helped because it made my father's style my primary influence and kept that influence from becoming diluted. 
Now I can enjoy music from around the world and let myself be influenced by it if I choose, knowing that I have a solid foundation from my dad to guide my focus. I can honestly say now that musical quality matters more than musical genre.  That's why I like working
in so many of them.

OL:
And your first Producing Gig after College?

Brent Fischer:
My focus has been on writing, so producing was an outgrowth of that.  As an arranger, every time I step in front of an
orchestra to conduct, I'm also naturally producing, even if there's already a producer there.  What started out as a
 gradual process going from assisting my dad on projects to co-writing with him or ghost writing for him also led to my
assuming the role of producer, even though it may not always be credited that way.
Taking that into account, he likes to arrange from the ground up without the back and forth that goes on working with another writer, so he suggested I arrange that one because I don't mind collaborating.
 How, one may ask; can I co-write with my dad if he doesn't like to work with other writers?  He is completely comfortable with my choices because they are so similar
to his own.
On projects where there was a tight deadline, we'd even work around the clock in shifts;
he during the day and I at night.  It didn't matter if one of us put down the pencil
mid-phrase; we knew the other one would pick right up; finish it and move on in a
like manner.

OL:
Now working behind the scenes, Brent,
 as a Music Producer, has been familiar territory for You, for quite a while now... sometimes wearing many hats...
It must be quite a heady,
but as equally, an exciting thrill to have worked with such Artist greats as...
Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer, Brandy,
Poncho Sanchez, George Duke,
 Joao Gilberto,
and Carlos Santana...
& the list continues through this Interview! Tell us about working on
Beatle great Paul McCartney's
record and how that came about?

Brent Fischer:
That was in the 80's for the "Flowers in the Dirt" album.  Unfortunately, I did not get to meet him because I was on tour in Europe.  Somehow they had heard of us; requested strings, and I then transcribed the music and assisted dad with the arrangements, but had to fly out before the actual session.
I did, however, speak with Linda McCartney on the phone once when they called to tell us how much they loved how everything turned out.  Dad and I just recently did an interview with a journalist who is writing a book about Paul McCartney's work with
orchestral arrangers.

OL:
Brent, although we come to a close on this segment,we can't wait to get into some of your favorite session moments,
 having just worked on a project with Mr. R&B Jazz Cool Man himself, Al Jarreau,
one of OL's favorite Artists on the planet...
So for now,tell us in general, about the two lucky worlds that You're in... of being able to have the endless opportunities that you have so rightfully earned in your  Career...
on both Producing and Performing on Various Artists tracks and on your own musical works?

Brent Fischer:
Its been very gratifying, but sometimes more difficult than one might imagine: most of the offspring of famous musicians don't have a great track record.  We lost a gig recently writing for Dave Matthews because my father told the producer's assistant, who had called to ask him for strings, that I would be writing also. They wanted the arrangements done more quickly than my father could comfortably write alone.
 We figured, with all the credits I have under my belt, they would feel comfortable with us co-writing.  I guess they just saw all the negatives that can go along with nepotism and backed out.  I don't dwell on situations like this, however, because there have been so many other great gigs to replace it.
In general, I've had a wonderful time working with the best in the industry, including all those fantastic, but less well known artists.  Amongst the mediocrity there is
quality out there.

OL:
What a great professional spirit You have!
We admire that... & Thank you very much Brent, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the OL Viewers,
in concluding this
OL
Interview 1 of 7 segment?

Brent Fischer:
In my experience, one of the duties of any good producer--and that includes all independent artists who self manage--
is to keep the business side in mind.
 Going with your heart doesn't have to mean you can't keep control of the budget.  Thinking about delivering what your core audience wants can still be done with musical integrity. People depend on art just as much as they depend on food and water, so it should be taken seriously,while at the
same time, providing improved quality of life for the creator as well as the listener.

OL:
Well said...
We look forward to Part 2 of this 7 part
 Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we highlight some of Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer's 'Sounds to the Stars' moments...
from Toni Braxton to Al Jarreau
& more!
And thank you All...for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series!
Join Us again, on Segment 2 of 7 of
this Interview!


OL:
Welcome Back to celebrated
Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer!
We're happy to be here again with You at OL, this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we highlight in this segment;
some of  your Sounds to the Stars' moments!

OL:
Let's Go Crazy!...for a moment, Brent & go back in time to the 2004 Grammy Show, where you played in the great Stage Band, backing up  the one and only Prince and Beyonce Duet Performance! What a show-stopping moment & great performance.
We actually have our collection of this still on VHS.... Tell us about that special night on working with these two great Artists, and the rehearsals that led up to the Grammy Show?

Brent Fischer:
OK, so I'm getting ready to leave for a 2 week vacation to
 New Zealand
when I get a call from Prince's PA that they're sending us a tune to arrange for the show.
 So I re-book my flight to come home a week early and start listening to the CD they sent, only to realize that it's some sort of
 greatest hits medley.  Nobody told me this was how they were planning on starting the telecast, or that Beyonce would also be there--it was only Prince's voice on the rough mix they sent. 
Normally over the years, when Prince sends us something, all communication goes through his PA and we are left completely alone to plan and execute all steps, including me being responsible for budget, hiring the orchestra, booking the studio, etc., and coordinating with copyists, and engineers--that's besides preparing the music.
This time we actually had a short phone conference with Prince to iron out transitions from song to song in the medley and ascertain that, yes, his band would be performing exactly the same, bar for bar, as on the recording they had sent us of their rehearsal.  That way we could be sure that the orchestra would align properly with Prince's band on stage.  It took nearly the entire week of my
 New Zealand trip to negotiate
 orchestra size (we wanted a big orchestra,
but they would only agree to 15 strings plus me on  percussion, none of the winds or brass we asked for), budget and other details with the tv producers. I would pull in somewhere and make a phone call, or send an email to take care of business, then go back to my trip.  Once all details were agreed upon, we could actually begin the writing. The show was the easiest part.  I went to Staples Center in downtown L.A. the day before the telecast and did a complete rehearsal and soundcheck in under 30 minutes--when you're working with true professionals that's all it takes. This is also when I found out Beyonce was there too.  I got to meet Prince for the first time after having worked for him for almost 20 years.  I thanked him for all the great projects (even though many of them
remain unreleased), and we went over last minute details. He declined to meet my father, even though he was just offstage, not wanting to jinx the relationship that had worked so perfectly so long.  But he did offer thanks to both of us for giving him "those strings that the Fischers are famous for!" 
The day of the show I did a dress rehearsal (that took 5 minutes, literally), then I went and rehearsed on Bass with a Persian (one of many ethnic styles I know) music group for an upcoming concert in Dubai, went back to Staples for the telecast, then went home and packed to fly out for Dubai the next day.
 All in all, a busy but fun packed weekend.

OL:
You also played the percussion & tympani instruments on Prince's "Parade" Album, as well did your Dad, Dr. Clare Fischer, Produce Orchestral Arrangements for Prince's CD?

Brent Fischer:
Yes, (technically that was before CD's, so we were still making records back then) and all that music as well as the song
"Alexa de Paris"
ended up on Prince's
"Under the Cherry Moon"
movie.
 I also played on "Crystal Ball", which was arranged, and recorded in 1986 and finally released in 1999 (!) as well as many others.  Dad and I had a lot of fun using all the colors of the Percussion realm in addition to woodwinds, brass, strings and even using voice as an instrumental effect mixed in with a large orchestra on a tune called
"Violet Blue."
Working with my Dad
for Prince and others when I was young,
 is how I gained my
orchestrational experience.

OL:
This leads us to our next question...
on how closely woven You and your Dad's working together allowed space for Ghost-writing for your Dad, Dr. Clare Fischer.
Tell us Brent, about some of his projects that You worked on, and about the ghost-writing process in general?

Brent Fischer:
There has been a gradual transition over the 30 year period that my Father and I have worked together.  I started as his assistant in 1980 and as time passed and he saw my abilities develop he gave me more to do.
My father is a strict disciplinarian and brought me up to abide by his motto: "There is only one level and that's professional."
 I had to work hard to prove myself
constantly, whether on Bass, Percussion,
 or as a writer, contractor,
session coordinator and producer.

Brent Fischer:
Now he has passed on the "Family Business" to me and I structure things so he can be as much, or as little involved as he wishes.
 My writing studio is still at his house and we still talk about all the subtle peculiarities of each instrument as I apply all my hard earned experience to carrying on the Fischer
tradition.  I'm also chief archivist of his music library, having all 65 years of his output at
my fingertips to use for inspiration.

Brent Fischer:
Back in the 90's, when I started getting my own work, he would  recommend me to people for jobs he wasn't interested in,
but would be a good experience for me.
One thing he always refused to do was have someone tell him what to write--
he expected them to give him
general instructions like "make the bridge grand," or "leave the orchestra out of the first verse" and then allow him to create unfettered.  Since I enjoyed collaborating with others, arrangement projects that required this were some of the first jobs he gave to me, always with the blessing of the artist or producer. Later, when things would get really busy, he would have me write sections, or whole arrangements on his behalf so we could make the deadline.
We noticed over the years that sometimes, even though his recommending me to artists always came with the guarantee that he would personally oversee everything I did
and promise to write  another arrangement himself for free if they were not happy with mine, the word of Clare Fischer was not enough to convince them.  Again, there was that fear that I wouldn't cut it because of all the others in the past who had used nepotism improperly. 
That's when he came to the decision that,
when he accepted a job, he would wait until after they heard the arrangement and gave their unbiased opinion that they loved it.  Then he would tell them that I had
written a part, or all of it.  In some cases this was reflected on the credits. Some specific examples: 1/ when writing a particularly involved arrangement once for  Hollister,
Dad asked me to contribute ideas that he could incorporate into his writing based on my intimate knowledge of the transcription--
this was uncredited.  2/ Kirk Franklin asked Dad to write some arrangements and then me to write one based on ideas from the
 keyboardist in his band.  Because of the quick turn around, I ended up writing about 90% of the material on a couple of arrangements and co-writing one titled "Hero" side by side in one day with dad instead of our usual
co-writing method of one continuing where the other left off.  There was even one part that Kirk all of a sudden asked me to compose right there in the studio while dad was finishing recording the orchestra on a different section--all of this was fully credited.  3/ In 2003, after accepting a commission from the WDR Big Band
 (well known in Germany) to write a work for the band based on Mussorgsky's
"Pictures at an Exhibition," his diabetes started really acting up.  I wrote the entire thing on his behalf--all 10 movements--consulting with him along the way, and sent it in. They loved it, agreed to give us both credit on the CD as arrangers (because they had originally intended the job for him) and now it's very popular in Europe, being performed by many big bands around the continent,
all with me fully credited in the
program notes.  We also perform it with the Clare Fischer Big Band.

OL:
There's no better way than to
 feature in this OL Interview with You, Brent... than to start off with one of your awesome arrangements on none other than the 'Christmas' CD track of
R&B Jazz Legend Vocalist extraordinaire
 Mr. Al Jarreau,
himself... on
 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' ...Another collaboration with
You and your Dad... Tell us about working on Sir Al Jarreau's track?

Brent Fischer:
That one was written from the ground up and features a family of clarinets rather than strings.  First, I put a lead sheet of the tune in front of dad at the piano and asked him to harmonize the melody with his own changes. incorporated those into a rhythm section chart that I added an intro and interlude to.  Those were based on some
Brazilian style keyboard comping patterns that dad adapted from
 listening to Jazz Great Baden Powell comp on Guitar. Examples of this comping style can also be found on dad's original compositions "Xapuri" and "Pra Baden," among others. Jarreau and his band did their tracks using my chart and then I went about writing for the woodwinds based on what they had recorded.  Even though I had written the rhythm chart,
I still transcribed what they recorded to get all the nuances.  To me, this is the best way to write an arrangement.  If I am fully aware of every subtlety, I can wrap it all in the velvet of orchestral beauty without obfuscating it.  For my orchestra this time
I chose 2 Flutes, 3 Clarinets and Alto,
Bass and Contrabass Clarinets.  One of my favorite sounds is a Bass Clarinet in the the upper or clarion register and I found an appropriate use for that as well as one of my other favorites:
Alto Clarinet in the lower or chalameau register.  Word got back to me later that they found my "attention to detail staggering" and that Jarreau was in tears listening back to the final mix.
 I consider that the ultimate compliment.

OL:
Wow! that's really a great Jarreau moment, Brent!... In keeping with the Holiday Spirit, there is great 'Snowflakes of Love' track from R&B Vocalist Star
Toni Braxton's'
"Snowflakes" CD, that we're also featuring during this OL Interview.
What gorgeous and warm string arrangements You have on this track, Brent... It allows many beautiful spaces for Toni's great vocals to be free in the music, by just  melodically  sigh along... The Fischers have done it once again. Let us in on the secret to your
musical magic?

Brent Fischer:
That's an interesting story highlighting the vagaries of the music
 industry.  Toni had written some lyrics to the original Isaac Hayes recording for
Earl Klugh.
  She added them onto that recording and presented it to the record company.  They agreed to have it on her new Christmas CD re-arranged for string orchestra and rhythm section only so they wouldn't have to pay for a full 70 piece orchestra like Hayes had used. 
They called me in to take on this huge task: incorporate all the elements from Hayes' arrangement, including
 re-orchestrating brass and woodwind lines for strings, then add the Fischer touch with my harmonies.  The only item we would keep from the version the record co. had heard was Toni's voice.  So I wrote everything from the ground up again, this time recorded all at once with me conducting.  It was truly a great session and everyone was pleased--except the record co.  In the weeks that it took to complete this project they had gotten used to hearing the demo version with all the Bassoons, French Horns, Etc., that they had denied me in the budget.  So Toni fought hard for my version and we ended up with both of them on the CD--the one the Company wanted and mine re-mixed as an instrumental with her luscious vocal effects added in. They also gave me a great credit on the CD; mine is the only arranger's name to
appear on the outside cover.

OL:
Well, congratulations to Toni and You, Brent... on the outstanding arranged "Snowflakes of Love" track, it speaks for itself... In general Brent, would there different approaches when You're arranging for a Vocal track, as opposed to an Instrumental track?

Brent Fischer:
As we've just seen, sometimes it's hard to know exactly how the final will end up.
 Great writing should stand on its own whether its backing up a Singer, a Sax player or even a piccolo trumpet. 
Having said that, I certainly like to know as much about final plans for a song as is available, keeping in mind that things may change.  It is the total combination of lead melody plus instrumentation for the backgrounds and mood of the song that will determine my approach to an arrangement.  In that respect, every single song is different.  When I was exploring treatment
options for my big band arrangement of "Pictures at an Exhibition" I studied others' treatments to make sure I wouldn't repeat history, so to speak, by choosing a setting that had already been used. On the other hand, I get so many requests for strings only behind a Vocalist that then it becomes a matter of: how can I use that string orchestra in a way that will be fresh and inventive in manner befitting the sensibilities of the Singer? My Goal is to fulfill the Artist's
(and listener's) expectations part of the time and surprise them the other part--if you do too much of one or the other it becomes boring or worse, completely unpredictable.

OL:
Brent, as we're on your 'Sounds to the
Stars Track' this week,
 the exciting anticipation about the
moment of your first meeting and working with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, on his 'This Is It' CD can hardly be contained...
As we open this up in the next
segment, in the meanwhile, can You give the OL Readers 'one word' for now... on what it was like to meet Michael Jackson
for the first time?

Brent Fischer:
How can I sum that up in one word?!
 If I had two words, I'd say:
 'Completely Professional'.
 If I really can just choose only one,
then: Inspiring. 

OL:
Thank you very much Brent, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this
OL 
Interview 2 of 7 segment?

Brent Fischer:
Writing for large orchestras and Producing have one very interesting facet (among others) in common: you need to have a vision of the big picture.  Sometimes, before I take on a huge project, I step back and imagine the finished product, then how the mixing gave us that, then how the recording gave us the rough mix, and finally how the writing led to the recording.  In other words, I look at my goal first, then work backwards on the steps that helped achieve that goal,
breaking everything down into all the fine details that will provide the listener with the ultimate impact.

OL:
Thanks so much, Brent, for such an informative segment and for sharing some of the highlights of Your spectacular Career... We look forward to Part 3 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series!
Next segment... here's a 4 word preview: Working with  Michael Jackson!
And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back to the multi-talented Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer!
Thanks so much for hanging out with us here at OL, Brent... this being Part 3 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Okay...
This Is It! Michael Jackson time...

OL:
Brent, earlier in this OL Interview...
the one word, 'Inspiring', was one that You shared with us, reflecting on your first time meeting the King of Pop, Michael Jackson! Now 'This Is [truly] It'... where the
OL Readers
get a glimpse of the workings of your Orchestral Arrangements for the
Gloved One's '
This Is It'
(Orchestra  Version)
track. You also mentioned, without a doubt about the world over, beloved Michael Jackson... the man of many extraordinary unbelievable gifts...'completely professional'...
Take us there, Brent, when You were working on Michael's treasured recording moments?

Brent Fischer:
First, let's go back to October 2003.  We get a call that they want to make an entire CD of Michael Jackson with full orchestra. 
It was to be something magnificent on a grand scale, showcasing a depth and serious side that perhaps the world needed
reminding about.
So we were taken to Neverland for a private meeting. Upon arriving at the compound, we were escorted in to the main house by a very polite staff and fixed a meal in the guest waiting room.  When Michael finished his other meeting, we were then led into a small, softly lit room with tables of small crystal
sculptures and other souvenirs from world travels.  The staff brought Michael in and introduced us, then quickly disappeared.  Here we were in this compact space with a most humble and gracious host. 
He immediately asked us to tell him about ourselves and our work. 
We got straight down to business, synopsizing our history, our pride in our craft and where our father and son writing teamwork would fit in to the project he was interested in doing.  He was a good listener and punctuated our comments with brief, insightful questions.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a door opened and his 2 eldest kids came leaping in, bursting with energy.  They romped around the room and started telling him what they wanted for Christmas.
After we all played with his kids for a bit,
I asked Michael if there was any other info he'd like from us.  He said "No, I feel the love. Let's get started." So we all went outside and piled into a Bentley, dad in front and me in back with the kids,
and Michael drove us down past the amusement park to the Movie theatre/Studio complex. In a giant storage room was a piano.  My Father and I took turns playing through various songs while Michael sang.
We figured out the most comfortable keys on about ten tunes in under an hour and discussed general instrumentation and our orchestrational approach.  Then 2 assistants showed up and gave us all the compound telephone numbers and took ours so we could be in touch as the project got going. 
I remember telling Michael to feel free to call me anytime, even late at night.
He and his assistants laughed and murmured something about being careful with offers like that because he would probably
take me up on it.
Unfortunately, less than 2 weeks after this wonderful meeting, the now infamous charges were filed against him and we never heard from anyone there again.
  Until 2009, that is...

OL:
The Fischers meeting Michael Jackson... truly an unforgettable moment that must be for You and your Dad, Brent! Respectfully, Michael Jackson was known for being very hands-on, throughout his amazing Solo Career... Was the string arrangements for song 'This Is It' (Orchestra Version) discussed in detail before the rehearsals,
in terms of what he was looking for?

Brent Fischer:
That's a very important point: there is always discussion before the session, but never any rehearsal.  Every orchestral arrangement you've ever heard from us was recorded in about an hour.  Really long or complex songs might take 2 hours.  In a time crunch,
our record so far is 25 minutes from putting the chart in front of the musicians for the first time to running through checking for copy errors and discussing fine points of performance to getting 3 good takes.
We've worked with these musicians for decades now and we all know what to expect from each other. Paying for an orchestra is expensive, so I go into a session knowing exactly what I want and how to get it.
This was especially necessary on "This Is It." The song had been found on an old cassette tape while going through Michael's belongings, shortly after his tragic passing.  There was a flurry of activity to make it possible for this to be on the documentary and the CD.  We were called on Saturday, September 5th and recorded on Tuesday the 8th.  It was exactly 71 hours from the time
I first heard the song until I stepped in front of the orchestra to conduct my arrangement.  With a turnaround this tight, I kept my dad as involved as possible by going over ideas with him, but it was really up to me alone to
make this happen. 

Brent Fischer:
I decided the orchestra had to have a unique palette for such a historical song.
 Besides strings, I chose 3 Alto Flutes, Bass Flute, Alto Clarinet, 2 Bass Clarinets, Contrabass Clarinet, Piccolo Trumpet,
2 Alto Bugles, 2 Marching Baritones, Contrabass Bugle and for the very last
low note--a Bb--Tuba.
In other words, I had a woodwind section  without the standard C Flutes or Bb Clarinets and a Brass section without conventional Trumpets, Trombones or French Horns. 
The low woodwinds made it possible to have an alternate to deep brass or string textures and the valved bugles had a mellow, haunting yet majestic gravity befitting this musical epitaph.  I wrote most of Saturday night,
all Sunday (even taking the untitled score to my previously scheduled gig to work on during breaks), most of Monday, stopping only to confer with coordinators on hiring of musicians, studio, engineer, etc., and to sleep a bit, before finally finishing Tuesday at 2 pm--just enough time to get parts copied, study the score, eat and go to Capitol Studio.

OL:
In general, Your work as an Orchestral Arranger for Pop, R&B & Jazz Artists...
how would Your arranging style for Pop Music in a project like Michael Jackson's be distinguished in your approach from the other music styles just mentioned?

Brent Fischer:
On "This Is It," we made some takes with the entire orchestra, then additional takes with each section separately, for ultimate mixing control.  Because of that, it actually took almost 3 hours to put everything together.  This is fine for a large orchestra but with smaller groups such as a chamber orchestra, big band or horn section, it's usually best to try to record with everyone in the same room.  The permutations of sympathetic vibrations between instruments, room and each other is exponentially greater. I know that sounds cold an analytical like a math or physics professor, but it's true.  That warm glow one gets from listening to a fine group of musicians is partly due to every player's sound waves traveling in and around all the other instruments and the room as the group establishes a blend. 
Because of my background with so many styles and instrumental settings, I have elements to draw on that are not part of the standard conceptual vocabulary.
I feel just as comfortable playing Bass in a Brazilian group, playing Percussion for a Japanese pop singer, producing tracks for a rock band, or writing a string quartet because I've done all of those and more.  To me,
a good musical idea transcends all styles.
It's context that counts when fitting that idea into a given setting.  In that respect, I can be working on an R&B tune, for example, and something will remind me of a piece by Stravinsky, or by Jobim.  I might get inspiration from that unlikely source and assimilate the concept into the current context.  Specific Examples: 1/ On my piece "Living Extra Large," from the Clare Fischer Clarinet Choir CD "A Family Affair,"
the main melody and harmonic motion of this "straight ahead Jazz" style
 tune are derived from the augmented scale (that's C D# E G Ab B C), one of the lesser known scales my father deftly uses on
 "Time Piece" from his CD "After the Rain," and the final ending is derived from the last beat of Edgar Winter's Hard Rock classic from the 70s, "Frankenstein."  2/ For my string arrangement on "Temporary Insanity" from the CD "Taking Back Brooklyn" by singer Krista, I drew inspiration from Persian melodic scales that incorporate both minor and major thirds and from
Bartok's
"Music for Strings,
Percussion and Celeste."


OL:
As the Michael Jackson 'This Is It' Project was wrapping up, and then the unbelievable happened... We lost Michael... We would appreciate it Brent, your sharing with us, what You felt when You heard the news?

Brent Fischer:
Initially there was a sense of shock,
then I wanted to check the news to make sure this wasn't a rumor or hoax.  Immediately after that I thought of his children. 
He still had so much to do in his life,
but raising his kids was the most important.
 It was bittersweet in a way when we got the call for "This Is It."  It was only a few months after his funeral.  It was just as great an honor to work on it though because we knew there had been a meeting of the minds when we had met him at Neverland.

OL:
Thank You, Brent. We're sure that many
OL Readers
and Michael Jackson Fans really appreciate reading about your Professional working moments on
Michael Jackson's
'This Is It'...
Now one of the many things that we like about Interviewing You, Brent, is that like Michael, your openness to all kinds of music, as we're featuring various track styles during this OL Interview, of some of your outstanding recording credits and highlights...
 tell us... how did You end up specializing in so many types of Ethnic Music and how do they differ from World Music?

Brent Fischer:
World Music is a great genre that has risen in the last 20 or so years, increasing the variety of sounds that Westerners can enjoy--much like all the different ethnic restaurants have increased the variety of tastes. It is quite distinct, however, from what people in all these other countries are enjoying. 
Just as Chinese or Indian restaurants outside of their respective countries have to adjust their cooking to suit western tastes,
World Music is an aural synthesis of those elements from various countries that are palatable to western ears. Generally speaking, many ideas are derived from,
but not necessarily related to, music of Latin origin with a smattering of Arabic and
West African
flavors due to Spanish music being influenced by contact with Arabs and Africans prior to colonization of the Americas.  Of course this may be over-generalizing because Celtic, Japanese, Indian and other derivations have recently become popular, but fundamentally the African influence is huge and stretches all the way from South America to the Middle East and perhaps beyond.

Brent Fischer:
Ethnic Music then provides the local basis for what ultimately becomes amalgamated into World Music.  It is non-homogenized and in some cases is an acquired taste for Westerners. If one grows up hearing predominantly major and minor scales in equal temperament and 4/4 time signature,
 it can be potentially unsettling to encounter the microtonal scales and asymmetrical rhythms used in Turkish or Afghan music.  But that's where an incredible variety of musical ideas can be found; by listening to what the locals listen to.
The first thing I do when I travel internationally is check out the music being played on tv, radio or live.  Better even to be a part of it. About 25 years ago I realized that, by playing Salsa Music idiomatically,
I had liberated myself from
thinking that so called foreign music was a deviation from the norm.  It is its own norm, a separate platform from which to view every musical context.  Once that happened, it became easy to fine tune my ear so I could adjust my playing technique to match what
I was perceiving from
musicians of about 20 different countries.
 I learned how to groove to their specialized beats, be considerate of their melodic and harmonic sensibilities and even figured how much I had to bend a string over certain frets on Bass to match their intonation.
 Word spread quickly among the
various ethnic groups in L.A. that I was the white guy who didn't sound white; the ultimate compliment was being hired by bands where I was the only player not from their country.  Because Guitar, Keyboards and Drums are the most popular
instruments that could be used by ethnic bands besides those instruments specific to one country only, there always seemed to be a shortage of Bassists so I became a big fish in many small to medium ponds.
 My life has never lacked variety.

OL:
Brent, tell us about one of your highlighted performances as a performing Symphonic Percussionist and how much of it factored into your love of Ethnic Music?

Brent Fischer:
The most adventurous stuff was always what my father wrote for Prince. I had a great time writing for and playing in the orchestra at the 2004 Grammy's with Prince and Beyonce, but doing the recordings for "Alexa de Paris,"
"Crystal Ball" and "All My Dreams" (that one is still unreleased) was something else.
 We had a whole section of the big room at Oceanway Studio baffled off and filled with Tympani, Vibraphone, Marimba and dozens of smaller percussion instruments.  I worked my way through each one of them playing written parts and also occasionally coming up with ideas on the spot. Being a rhythmist from my earliest years, first starting on Drums and then adding Percussion, I've always been fascinated by unusual grooves.  That helped a great deal when it came time to unlock the secrets of beats from around the world.  I look at each style from a separate perspective.  Sure, there may be commonalities between different Latin rhythms such as Bossa Nova and Mambo just as there are universal aspects to pitch and harmony across the globe, but each one is arrived at from a unique conceptual basis and should be considered as such.  In other words, just because you can find written lines that look identical from one country to the next, doesn't mean you should phrase them the same way.  Each country has its own basis for interpretation.  That's why it's sometimes painful for me to perform with a Persian group that wants to play an Arabic song, or an American group that wants to play Latin Jazz; if they don't consider the musical perspective of the other style, it's like speaking Spanish with a gringo accent.
 That adds a whole new dimension to the phrase "Ignorance is Bliss."

OL:
This is an incredible education.
 Thank you, Brent... As we continue throughout this week, to highlight Your work with R&B Artists such as Eric Benet and
Toni Braxton...
& Your extensive work with your Dad, Dr. Clare Fischer & Consulting work... tell us Brent...

OL:
is there a difference in how Your Artistic creativity is expressed when working for Celebrities, as opposed to emerging or lesser known Artists?

Brent Fischer:
It's like my dad taught me; there is only one level and that is professional. I put the same amount of compassion and thought into everything I do.  I don't worry about trying to save my best licks for special occasions because I rarely have a shortage of ideas.
There are just 2 differences with celebrities: 1/ they can usually afford bigger orchestras and 2/ because of their super busy lifestyle, scheduling can be tricky. 
Actually, I find it very gratifying to work for an unknown and then watch that person become big, knowing that I played a part
 in their rise.

OL:
Thank you very much Brent, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
3 of 7 segment?

Brent Fischer:
Thinking back to some of my earlier comments, I realize that I may sound a little clinical when describing aspects of my career.  I hope that won't be mis-interpreted as indifference to my work.  It's just that I find it important to keep an even
head when dealing with huge projects, so
I won't be distracted by being awe struck about the situation I'm in, or start to doubt my capabilities to be decisive and confident.  When you've got 10, 20, 50 musicians
on the clock.
It's imperative to be efficient, while at the same time, fully realizing the emotional content of the art to the highest degree.  Then, years later, one can sit back and say "That's right, I really did that!"

OL:
Thanks so much, Brent for such an informative segment and for sharing some of the highlights of Your spectacular Career... We look forward to Part 4 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, where Brent Fischer gives us a one-word playback on OL's weekly one-word commentary segment of this Interview...
so come back to OL and enjoy!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


OL:
Welcome Back, Brent. It's nice to have You on again, this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.

OL:
We're at the segment Interview
 feature, where we introduce a
 'one word' Interview question to You, Brent, and if you can you please playback a One-word Commentary Note for the
OL Visitors,
that would be special!...
let's go, Brent!!

OL:
Visionary?
Brent Fischer:
Necessary

OL:
Studio?
Brent Fischer:
Concentration

OL:
Instrumental?
Brent Fischer:
Color

OL:
Listen?
Brent Fischer:
Carefully

OL:
People?
Brent Fischer:
Enablers

OL:
Express?
Brent Fischer:
Connect

OL:
Sensational?
Brent Fischer:
Pandiatonism

OL:
Paris?
Brent Fischer:
Replete

OL:
Mom?
Brent Fischer:
Nurture

OL:
Dad?
Brent Fischer:
Inspire

OL:
Terrific!...and thank you very much Brent, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this
OL
Interview 4 of 7 segment

Brent Fischer:
One more concept to think about: Aural Perception.  Almost every sensory experience is usually two-fold in that there is a cognitive, or analytical comprehension and an intuitive or emotional realization. 
If you are eating a delicious soup at a
fine restaurant the sensation of taste provides you with a recognition of the flavors and a feeling of comfort; your eyes give you a look at the ingredients and an appreciation of how they're presented in the bowl; the sensations of smell and touch give you even more understanding and enjoyment.
But then as you're listening to the background music what do you perceive with your ears?
 Is your experience complete by recognizing the intervals of the melody, voicings of the chord progressions, rhythmic components and instruments used as well as your intuitive grasp of the mood of the piece?  If not, then you're missing out on a vast array of information that could enhance your listening pleasure and overall quality of life. Don't feel left out, though; hearing is the least developed human sense. We all learn the names of colors, smells and tastes but many do not learn the names of sounds.  Imagine if you could (and I know some of you can) hear a single chord from a horn section and identify that it was 2 Trumpets, a Tenor Sax and a Trombone playing a closed structure 2nd inversion 7th chord just as effortlessly as you're able to identify the color of the instruments as being a pale amber shade of yellow. I'm not talking about developing perfect pitch either; absolute relative pitch is much more useful.  But there is more to it than just identifying notes, rhythms and chords.  It is a deeper understanding
of music, that while making
acceptance of mediocrity in the world
more difficult, leads to an exponentially greater enjoyment of
true artistic creativity.

OL:
Thank you, Brent. We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview, as Producer Arranger, Brent Fischer talks about working with
Eric Benet, Toni Braxton,
Artist Consulting & more... with OL!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


------------------------------------

OL:
Welcome Back to celebrated
Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer!
It's nice to hang out with You for this
Holiday Season!
Part 5 of 7 of the
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series!

Brent Fischer:
My best wishes to all for a great 2011!
 
OL:
R&B Singer Eric Benet's 'One More Tomorrow' track from his "Love & Life" CD, that we're featuring on this Interview, Brent... tell us about working with Eric and your great arrangement of this beautiful song that we're listening to?
 
Brent Fischer:
Such a focused and driven Artist, it was a pleasure to work with him.  He and writer Demonte Posey did an incredible job of forming the music.  What they sent me was exactly what was needed to fit the orchestral arrangement to the vocal and rhythm tracks.  Normally, I always ask clients to send a mix that's as close to the final without having orchestra on it as they can get it. 
That way the orchestra can truly compliment all aspects of the singer's art in great detail.  Without even talking about it, this is precisely what Eric did.  After our initial phone conversations, I got to really know Eric and Demonte's rough mix, listening with my father and consulting with him on instrumentation and other details, much like he does with me on other projects. 
They had also sent printouts of their midi data in lieu of a written chart--that made the transcribing process very quick and efficient.  There were a lot of details to work out but Eric and I dealt with them easily and I had a great time putting together the arrangement. The recording session was hard work, but also thoroughly enjoyable.  Eric and Dad hung out in the control room while I conducted each take.  When it came time to listen back,
we were able to concentrate intensely on every subtlety and develop a shared vision for the outcome.  The only thing I regret is that Eric and I were so immersed in studying the takes that when Lee Ritenour, who was tracking in the next studio there at Capitol, came in to say hi, only dad had a chance
to talk with him.

OL:

In the world of Pop Music...
who are some of the Artists are You listening to these days?
 
Brent Fischer:
I'm producing 3 projects in parallel right now (Vocal Jazz, Big Band and Solo Piano),
with another coming up, so it's hard to find time to check out current hits.  At the same time, there is so much variety out there as genres expand or become fragmented;
I've noticed a lot of up and coming bands from all over the world as I consult with
Fame Wizard, Inc.
on their website for Independent Artists.  Thanks for reminding me though.  I should start flipping around the radio more as I'll soon be on a Music Industry panel discussion with Simon Phillips and
Brian Malouf (Vice President of A&R at Disney Records),
among others, at the 2011 NAMM show in January. 
 
OL:
Brent, not only are You one of the most celebrated Music Producers, but you're also involved in Artist Career Development
as a Consultant.

OL:
Tell us about www.famewizard.com and the role that You play when working with new Artists?
 
Brent Fischer:
I started consulting privately with Independent Artists in the 90's,
advising them mostly on music matters, but then branching off into project and tour coordination/management.  As I took on more roles in the Music Industry, I started
gaining first hand knowledge of how record companies, both large and small, did business and also how the Artist support infrastructure of equipment makers, engineers, arrangers, etc., worked together with producers, publishers, promoters and music rights organizations.
These experiences proved very useful when
I was approached by the people at Fame Wizard.  They have a brilliant business model for providing total support to Artists up to and including the point where they might either get signed or start their own label.  At first, the company was composed of successful businessmen, lawyers and some Independent Artists looking for a better way to get their music out there.  I was the one with actual Music Industry experience who could give them an insider's viewpoint of what it's like to earn a living at this craft.  So they signed me on as Executive Vice President and we all proceeded to design the services from the ground up.  As soon as the vision of the CEO was becoming a reality, I went back to my music work but stayed available as a consultant and advisory board member.   Fame Wizard is in a unique position to help shape the future of the Music Industry through their goals to promote, educate and compensate Independent Artists.  That's why it's really a career development company, the first of its kind for the 99% out there not signed to a major label.  No matter what level of success an Artist has or wants, they can get help to navigate the industry, sell their music digitally and get paid electronically so there's no inventory or check cashing to worry about.  It's also designed to make it easy for fans to discover new acts and find the kind of music they really want to listen to so it's win/win for all sides. That's why I got involved.

 OL:
With the many hats that You wear Brent so effortlessly, and with your time so precious and demanding, as an Arranger and Musician as well, Brent, <www.studioexpresso.com>, is also spotlighting your work as one of the premier Music Producers!
That must be a wonderful and distinguished acknowledgment of the vast range of your work and Music Career?
 
Brent Fischer:
I'm in great company there; all of the Industry's leading Producers, Arrangers and Engineers are profiled and it was a great honor to be asked to join.  They're really in touch with the latest behind-the-scenes developments, keeping us and potential clients informed and in touch.  They publish a monthly on-line magazine that is packed with data on equipment, happenings and useful facts and figures laid out in a highly accessible fashion.  What Fame Wizard is for those at the front of the stage,
Studio Expresso
is for all the
creative forces that keep everything humming smoothly in the Music Industry.

 OL:
Let's see now... You've worked with so many great Artists, from Michael Jackson,
to Al Jarreau to Toni Braxton, Usher & many more... Tell us Brent, as a
Producer and Arranger, who would You love to work with in the future?
 
Brent Fischer:
You know, I'm not one of those people who has a type of music that they don't like.  Because it's about quality rather than genre for me, I'd like to keep the incredible variety going like its been.  Of course, there is a greater tendency for calls to come from R&B Artists because that genre is a direct outgrowth of Gospel and Jazz, with its more sophisticated harmonies.  That's why I encourage Artists in the so called "less is more" genres like Rock, Techno, etc. to still consider the timeless quality that
having a great orchestral arrangement endows upon a tune.  It's one thing to create a hit and another to make it in a way that will keep
people listening to it years later.
 
OL:
Thank you very much Brent, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this
OL
Interview 5 of 7 segment?
 
Brent Fischer:
Many people tend to think of an orchestra (especially strings) as something you would expect on a ballad, or any setting with a deep mood.  Another idea I encourage Artists to think about is the vast array of timeless colors that an orchestra can add to up-tempo songs.  Remember that 100 years ago orchestral music was the only thing around so it encompassed the gamut of human emotion from sad to happy, light to heavy, traditional to modern, conservative to experimental.  That's where all other genres of the 20th and 21st centuries came from.  So I find it interesting that there is less of a tendency to consider adding
 orchestral instruments to energetic music styles like Samba, Metal, Trance, even Big Band: I once helped Jazz Trumpet legend
Carl Saunders
put together a CD called
"Eclecticism"
that includes Strings as well as Brass and Rhythm and it was an amazing experience.  It still sells, more than a decade later, and I'm sure people will be listening to it next century.

OL:
Thanks again, Brent for another great segment of sharing with us, some your acclaimed recording
 experiences & perspective... We look forward to Part 6 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, where Brent Fischer gives us a glimpse of the Archiving of his Dad,
Dr. Clare Fischer's,
great works!
And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


-----------------------------------


OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

Paying for an orchestra is expensive so I go into a session knowing exactly what I want and how to get it. This was especially necessary on "This Is It".  The song had been found on an old cassette tape while going through Michael's belongings, shortly after his tragic passing."

...Brent Fischer

OL:
Welcome Back to
Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer!
Happy Holidays, Brent! It's nice to have you here, where our OL Visitors get to spend some time and enjoy reading your Interview with us, during this Holiday Season.
Thank You once again!

Brent Fischer:
It's great to be here as we begin this
second decade of the  21st century!

OL
:
As we start to round up and come full circle... Tell us about the
 development of building the entire Archive Catalog Published Musical Works of your Dad,
Dr. Clare Fischer...

As the multi-talented Artist
that You are, Brent, this must be a very rewarding honor, and yet tremendous task that you're  organizing for your Family and the Musical Legacy of
 Dr. Clare Fischer,
the American Composer and Conductor?

Brent Fischer:
 Its been an incredible journey and it's far from over.  What started
 almost 20 years ago with my stepmom organizing my father's music into a library has really taken on a life of its own.  This is an important facet of American history
left up to me to preserve and manage. 
To date,  I have gone through at least 1/2 of my dad's entire 65 year output to make sure everything is in a condition that can be used by Artists, researchers and historians well into the future. Many of his scores have been photographed and digitized by a doctoral researcher who got a grant to do this; now the cataloging of hundreds of CD's transferred from reel to reel or 
cassette tapes--out takes,
 rehearsals, new ideas, rough mixes, etc.,
 is waiting for the next researcher.
Will it be one of you readers?
There is so much more than just putting together sheet music and recordings.
 For at least 10 years now I have been slowly identifying hundreds of pages of music manuscript with no title or note attached.  What was once a 4 foot (that's over a meter for those of you in other countries)  stack of scribblings has been narrowed down to about 5 inches (13 centimeters).  By placing the pages in front of my dad or some of his old friends, or by recognizing those ideas I have a memory of hearing him write; all of these pages now have a place in the library--
sketches of arrangements,
unused developmental sections,
 alternate chord voicings or
 instrumentations for existing songs, harmony exercises, the list goes on and on.
 As my knowledge of my father's music has expanded, I've been able to look at untitled parts or scores and recognize what song they belong to. That's how our current crop of CDs has come into being; they're an effort to make sure everything he wrote is released to the public.  It's amazing how many scores he penned and never had a chance to record
because of whatever was happening in his life or career at the time.
Besides all of this, there is the very difficult task of correcting copyist or publisher mistakes, especially
 fakebooks.  With music that is so unusual, there have been many times that people would look at what my father has written and
simply not believe it.  For years I watched my dad conduct sessions, where a player would question a part, not understanding how his
unconventional lines fit into the whole piece.  Once my dad ascertained that the part matched his score, he would tell the player to just believe in it and play it like he meant it!  That's what it took to get this extraordinary writing realized. We encourage musicians to ask us questions about songs through www.clarefischer.com so they will be playing the official
version.  Perfect examples of this are the standards "Morning" and "Pensativa"--
we have leadsheets of them with voicings filled in, official lyrics plus all the correct notes and chord symbols, many of which have been left out on recordings by others.
 It will be a long process, but a good portion of my life will be dedicated to making sure my father's music is understood in the way I have come to understand it from my
first hand experience.

OL:
Of your Dad's celebrated 'Clare Fischer's Jazz Corps' and Latin Band and the Clarinet Choir... it's really is 'A Family Affair'...
what is it like to continue on in his
tradition, directing all of your Dad's
various Bands, Brent?

Brent Fischer:
This is part of how I present my dad's music with all of the interpretational details I have absorbed from him over the decades.
It's one thing to throw a chart in front of someone and say "play it."  It's quite another to explain how my father likes lines phrased,
harmonies voiced and rhythms
 executed.  That's also where guest conducting other bands in a
 performance of Fischer music and writing in his style comes in to  further this purpose.
 When players start to see the big picture of <title>how this unique art differs from much of the other music out there, the response is always heartwarming and inspirational. 
I take this very seriously in order to honor
the music.

OL:
Brent, with all of these endless and wonderful opportunities to work on so many different types of music and projects, how do You find the moments in between to work on your own originals... or is it a matter of pacing through what feels right at the time?

Brent Fischer:
Most composers always have ideas going their heads.  The part that takes work is getting it crystalized on paper.  There are some ideas I'll have in my head for a while.  Every time I'm on a long drive or flight,
I will work through them until such time that I can sit in front of a piano to realize my creative vision. 
Eventually each piece gets put in front of a band at a performance or for a CD. 
There are times when a brainstorm hits and
I need to deal with it right then.  I try to create, though, in a way where I can pace myself to always have a good idea and a way of working it out,  no matter what time it is or how I feel physically.  It can be
exhilarating to write for long days on end and get a lot accomplished.  It can also be just as rewarding to slowly put something together,
taking breaks in between to sleep on it--
as I get older this method is preferred because it wreaks less havoc on my circadian rhythms (and any other type of rhythms).

OL:
What's coming down the road for You, Brent, with your own projects?

Brent Fischer:
I enjoy having a reputation that keeps me busy behind the scenes producing/arranging other people's music and am having the time of my life directing all the
Clare Fischer Bands.
 I still premier my original works with those bands so it's like being a Solo Artist without much of the baggage that goes along with that.  As new opportunities come along,
I'm keeping myself open to finding where I can make a larger contribution to civilization.
I've always remembered a concept, suggested by one of my college professors, of not just making a career but also creating something to further the betterment of humanity.

OL:
Thank you very much Brent, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this
OL
Interview 6 of 7 segment?

Brent Fischer:
I recall that, at the end of my first professional recording session way back in 1980, I told one of the other musicians that
I was pleased with my performance but knew
I could've done even better if there had been more time.  His response was "This stuff ain't gonna cure cancer." I can see his point that I should be content the session leader was happy so that means I did a good job. 
I'm not so sure about the literal connotation though; after years of seeing the joy people get from listening to music I helped create,
 I wonder-- Is it possible that profound music experiences can alter,
if only slightly, a person's physical well being?  I know there's a ton of research on both sides of this issue so, scientifically, the answer is still fairly inconclusive.  It makes me want to reiterate though how important I feel it is to develop one's sense of hearing to be able to truly perceive, in an all-encompassing way, the depth of profundity in highly creative music.  Those of you who have already done this know what I'm talking about.
 For the rest, imagine your most moving auditory experience,
then increase it exponentially...

OL:
Thanks much, Brent for your
gracious and in-depth Interview with OL on this 2011 New Year Season... Next, going to Part 7 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
where
Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer
gives us his closing words for this OL Interview on where the Music Industry is today!
And thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

---------------------------------------------

OL:
Welcome Back to
Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer!
Happy Holidays, Brent! It's nice to have you

OL
:
Welcome Back, Everyone!...What a great way to celebrate our wonderfully successful
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series...
thanks very much to Producer Arranger, Brent Fischer & All of the Guest Artists who have appeared on this
 Oceanlight Records Series.

OL:
This being Part 7 of our 7, with Producer Arranger Brent Fischer. As we have reached the closing segment of this Interview feature, OL would first like to thank You, Brent, for sharing your very special and legendary Producing moments with the 'Sounds to the Stars' and letting us spotlight and travel with You on your fast-track, resounding and global Music Career!

Brent Fischer:
Thank you for your informed and thought provoking dialogue.  I've had great fun with this whole on-line interview process because of the people at OL.

OL:
Thanks so much, Brent. That goes ditto for us here at OL and our Viewers. What a learning  and enlightening time we've spent with You Brent, online. We applaud your sharing so many acclaimed musical experiences with OL.
In closing of this Interview, if you will, please give us your closing liner note thoughts on where You see the state of the music industry stands today?

Brent Fischer:
Remember the old Chinese proverb:
"May you live in times of change."

 Is it a blessing or a curse? Only the future will tell.  I, for one, am a practical optimist.  Early predictions of the imminent demise of the music industry can be found in books and newspapers dating back  for years. Of course, these are probably the same people who said we'd be flying around in hovercrafts by now when we're not vacationing on Mars.  Even with the seemingly sped up pace of technological development, real change takes time. Companies like Fame Wizard and some of the more forward thinking entertainment conglomerates-- of which most record labels are subsidiaries-- know this and are planning accordingly. I was amused to read something recently by a futurist predicting that software will be developed to allow everyone to write their own songs, thus eliminating the need for
composers.  I guess by the same token we can all produce our own movies, tv shows, paintings and books too! Imagine that: private art creation for personal consumption by the individual creator.  Back in the real world, there are more artists than ever and, although it will be more difficult to gain the kind of popularity enjoyed by Michael Jackson due to the explosion of genre
sub-categories, these artists now find it possible to connect with people globally in a way not possible last century. 
The big challenge coming up industry-wide
is turning a fan into an actual consumer. 
I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that the more one knows, the more one realizes how much more there still is to learn.  30 years in the music industry has prepared me to be a better learner for new experiences to come.  With that in mind,
I'll offer some broad, whimsical
predictions of possibilities for the music industry in general: 1/ Within 20 years, every possible combination of "catchy" diatonic melodic figures in Pop music will have been exhausted, thus forcing songwriters to start copying previously used ideas or get more adventurous. 
2/ Sexuality, or at least visual
appearance, will continue to be the number one deciding factor of an artist's fortunes until such time, that society as a whole decides to better develop the human sense of hearing--you can't tell how sexy an open structure polytonal voicing can be until you can perceive it! 
3/ Even as consumers of music are looking to buy songs for the lowest price, they will continue to upgrade the equipment used to listen to them until someone invents a
device that can read all the types of media that are currently manufactured with built in obsolescence.
4/ Every song ever written in
history will eventually be set to a techno beat by a DJ.  No matter what people think about the  industry, the future of music itself is bright.  A music performance, like a theatrical play, always varies in subtle ways from the previous performance or recordings thereof.
In that way there is still infinite
variety to be had, even after all these centuries.  The level of musicianship
among educated
performers today is just amazing--
who says art doesn't evolve? 
Hundreds of years of performance practices have been refined as skill levels, understanding of and empathy for all the reasons behind compositional decisions are continuously explored.  This is happening all around the world and even right here in L.A.--I know, because I've been a part of it and my life is that much better for having experienced it.

OL:
Over this Holiday Season, we here at OL having had the immense pleasure of spending extended time with one of the
 Music Industry's most passionate, celebrated and hard-working  Music Producers, of none other than
Arranger Composer Brent Fischer...

OL:
With the recordings alone featured in this Interview, what we surely know, is that Brent has shared with us and music lovers, worldwide, his love of holding music itself the highest standard, by the sheer nuance of his tremendous talents... Thank you, to
Producer Arranger Composer Brent Fischer,
and thank you All for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


Playlist samples:
Producer Arranger
Composer Musician
BRENT FISCHER

1. This Is It (Michael Jackson) Orchestra Version - Brent Fischer, Producer
2. Endlessly (Clare Fischer 'Rememberances' CD) - Brent Fischer: Bass, Drums, Synthesizer
3. Snowflakes of Love (Toni Braxton 'Snowflakes' CD) -
Brent Fischer: Conductor, Percussion, String Arrangements
4. The Quiet Side (LP Version) (Clare Fischer & The Latin Jazz Sextet 'Free Fall' CD) -
 Brent Fischer: Bass (Electric), Guest Artist
5. Crazy Bird (Clare Fischer 'Salsa Picante' CD) Bass (Electric),
Brent Fischer: Guest Artist, Marimba, Percussion, Vibraphone, Brent Fischer
6. One More Tomorrow (Eric Benet 'Love & Life' CD) - Brent Fischer, Arranger
7. His Mistakes (Usher 'Here I Stand' CD) - Brent Fischer: Conductor, String Arrangements
8. Serenidade (Clare Fischer / The Clare Fischer Clarinet Choir 'A Family Affair' CD) -
Brent Fischer: Co-Composing
9. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Al Jarreau 'Christmas' CD) - Arranged by Brent Fischer

Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
GLENN ZOTTOLA
JAZZ TRUMPETER / SAXOPHONIST GREAT
www.glennzottola.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 4/27/14 - 5/3/14

playlist at end - box#3

OL:
We'd like to Welcome the incredible
Glenn Zottola,
Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician
Great...
and famed Recording Artist to the
Grammy Stars!
& much more, to the
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly
feature as our
Special Guest Artist!

OL:
Welcome Glenn, and thank you for giving us
and all of the OL Site Visitors, for what will
be a 7-part Interview on the Oceanliner
Notes Weekly Series,
for the entire week of
April 27, 2014. Once again,
thank you and welcome...

Glenn Zottola:

It's a pleasure!
The first thing I want to say...
I've been studying the Oceanlight Records
Website
before our Interview, and I'm blown
away. It is so beautiful and it's such
a wonderful service. The way that You present it;
it is very impressive!
I want to say...'well done'.

OL:
Coming from You, Glenn,
that's a special honor.
Thank you.

OL:
Glenn,
you're a Native New Yorker,
whose fantastic Career has spanned from
East Coast to West Coast... from performing
on the famed Ted Mack Show at the tender
age of 13, to the who's who of the
Hollywood
line-up of Recordings and Shows,
including the Suzanne Somers TV Show.
Can You take us back to where it all began
in New York. You were playing the trumpet
in Jazz Clubs as early as nine years old?

Glenn Zottola:

Well, I grew up in Port Chester, New York.
I grew up in a musical Family and that was
my foundation. My Mom played a wonderful
piano...kind of like Count Basie... and my
Dad was a trumpet player, my Sister sings,
and my Brother is a wonderful
trumpet player...
so it was growing up in a musical Family,
with Family jam sessions.
I remember back to being in a crib,
and my Dad would be rehearsing Big Bands,
in the living room...
so that's the foundation, for sure.
He was also a Conductor, so there was a lot
of classical music and opera
in the house, too.

OL:
Wonderful!
So you've been exposed to it all?

Glenn Zottola:
He formed the 'Westchester Pops',
and I actually performed at the
'Westchester Pops' at 9 years old.
In New Rochelle, we used to do concerts,
and he was the Conductor.

OL:
Wow, that's incredible, Glenn;
to have that kind of exposure,
and with your Dad at the helm.
Were You self-taught?

Glenn Zottola:
I was kind of an interesting character.
I had perfect pitch, when I was a kid;
and I also had imperfect patience (laughing).
I wasn't one that was a very studious type of
guy, to sit down in front of books
and practice. I just wanted to make music.
I heard lots of music in my head,
From when I was 3 years old.
I wanted to play right away,
and get out the music that I heard...
so, that's why jazz attracted me,
you know, as opposed to being a classical
Musician. A lot of my early years: were jam
sessions, playing records, getting together
with guys older than me,
in the neighborhood and jamming.
Basically, everything that I learned was
on the Bandstand.
 
OL:
The undeniable influence of coming from
a Musical Family...respectively your Father,
Frank Zottola,
the consummate Musician,
Conductor and Arranger for many of the
Jazz giants... and without a doubt,
your brother, the great Bob Zottola on
Trumpet/Flugelhorn. As a young lad,
what made You choose to first play the
trumpet and that it would become such a
natural evolution for You, being a part of
the Musical Family Zottola Dynasty?

Glenn Zottola:
Let me just add one more thing to my last
question, just to give you a real graphic
idea...my Mother would sit me on her knee,
and she would play the piano and sing
the tunes. I learned like 500 standards,
by ear, like that.
Trumpets...
they were all over the house,
because my Brother being 10 years older,
and with my Dad; the trumpets were
hanging on hooks, all around the house.
I mean when I went to school,
I thought that everybody
played the trumpet.  
I didn't know that...
so it was kind of natural. 
I heard trumpets since I was in the crib;
as I say, it's kind of a natural evolution.
 They were right there.
My Dad was my first Teacher,
so I gravitated to it. Plus, the trumpet
matched my personality.
I have a pretty strong personality,
and I don't have to tell anyone,
that the trumpet is pretty powerful.

OL:
Yes, indeed it is, Glenn.
You play it so beautifully
and with such excitement.
It's just terrific... the way that You play.
We love your style!

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you.

OL:

We know Glenn, that in your expanding
Professional Career, travels have taken
You to many musical corners of the earth.
Speaking of expanding... You also play both
the alto and tenor sax, in addition to
mastering your first instrument,
the trumpet.
How do You feel each of these instruments
affects your exciting and versatile
playing style?

Glenn Zottola:

Well, luckily no one told me that I wasn't
suppose to do that, because there are very
different embouchures.
Last time I checked,
there was like three of us that did that;
Benny Carter, Ira Sullivan
and Myself.
So, no one told me 'hey, what are You
doing?'
...but, when I was a teenager,
I was listening to records:
for example, Clifford Brown
was a big influence
 and Louis Armstrong before that.
Also, I always did love
Saxophone players,
like Sonny Rollins,
early John Coltrane.
I loved the instrument,
and the reason I loved
the instrument; that's true in what you're
saying, it did have a different mood to it,
and that's what I take from it.
On the Saxophone, I can express a different
side that cannot be done on the trumpet.
The saxophone is a real romantic
instrument...
so when I was a teenager, I wrote to the
instrument company,
because I was endorsing instruments as a
Trumpet Player, since I was
thirteen. I said to them You think You
could send me a Saxophone?
...and he sent me a Saxophone.
That's how it started.
It only took one lesson;
just where to put my fingers.
Only one, and I taught myself the rest.

OL:
And it was just so natural from there on?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, I transferred over everything.
I was already a Trumpet Player;
so I transferred everything musically,
that I knew from the trumpet, over to the Saxophone. It was natural.
I was pretty much
kind of a natural on the trumpet, also...
so, I never really had problem with
that kind of stuff. I think that if I'm going
 to tell any kids, or help them; if people encourage you,
and they don't stop you, or put up barriers,
you can do amazing things.
That's the whole thing with Jazz Education, its just to open the runway, so the person
can do some exploring, and not feel
hindered.

OL:

How very true, Glenn...
Speaking of exploring, what was it like to
perform at the Atlantic City Jazz Festival,
on a seat in your High School Band, with
Russ Martino,
Conducting? As a teenager,
it must have been awe-inspiring to perform
 on the same bill as some of the greats,
like... Dinah Washington,
Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson Trio,
 Art Blakey,
and Wayne Shorter,
to name a few...
Tell us about that experience?
 
Glenn Zottola:
I grew up. Let's say, for lack of a better
word, kind of like a child prodigy.
My Parents were not Stage-Parents,
they wanted me to
be a normal kid. For example, when
Maynard Ferguson
heard me play on the
Ted Mack Show,
he wanted to take me on
the road as his protege... and my Dad gladly
turned him down.
He knew Maynard. He said,
"You know, that you've got plenty of time."
I had a boat, I enjoyed trying to be a regular
kid, but I wasn't a total regular kid,
so-to-speak, because of the music.
People were listening to Elvis Presley,
I was listen to Charlie Parker. I mostly hung
out with older people, but these
experiences... like my Parents had a Jazz
Club,The Atlantic City Jazz Festival.
It's like yesterday, when I think about it.
I'm in the wings, waiting to go on;
literally watching Dinah Washington,
sitting on a stool, singing her hit
of the day, which is
"What A Difference A Day Makes..."
and I'm mesmerized, by watching this amazing Lady sing, and waiting to go on,
myself. Then, at the same time,
Gerry Mulligan's
back stage, having a
tantrum over something.
Oscar
Peterson's there, and I'm hanging out
back stage with these Legends.
It was both educational,
and like a wild experience for me at thirteen.

OL:
Just to see how life is back stage, that's a
part of performing, wouldn't You say?

Glenn Zottola:
Also, I'm a Jazz Musician that absolutely
loves Singers. Some guys, today, don't.
The old days, they did...
But today, you know
Jazz Musicians are into instrumental music,
but I was mesmerized by Dinah.
I think I was more attracted
listening to her, than anybody.
As I mentioned, I grew up around a
lot of opera, and basically my approach
to playing, is a very vocal approach,
and lyrical, in a sense that...
if I'm playing a ballad,
I would always want to emulate,
Sinatra,
or Dinah Washington,
and Billie Holiday.
I have a lot of vocal approach ingrained
in my playing. I mean, in the old days,
the horn players like Lester Young;
these guys did lyrics to songs,
so when they play the music,
they even knew the lyrics.

OL:
In some Jazz Clubs where there are Singers
performing; a lot of Musicians do play very
lyrically, when intertwining with the
Singer's performance.

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely! It's actually a lost art.
I've played extensively with Sinatra,
Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald,
and Joe Williams.
I've played behind these
people, and it's an art form that
I just love to do...
it's just kind of not getting in their way,
but adding to it.

OL:
Right... enhancing the performance.
As a teenager, Glenn, tell us about the
Family's "Someplace Else" Jazz Club in
New York,
and what it meant to You,
as a young Musician,
being in the company of
your brother Bandleader Bob Zottola,
performing with more top Musicians such as,
Tommy Flanagan, Ray Bryant,
Horace Parlan,
Bobby Timmons,
Booker Erwin, Bobby Jasper,

& many others?

Glenn Zottola:

That was a tremendous spawning ground for
me. For all the same era as The Ted Mack
Show.
I was 13 around that time. I didn't
realize how amazing that was, because
I hadn't really gotten into the professional
scene, yet. I mean, You talk about guys like
Tommy Flanagan,
You sit in every week,
with someone like that; I thought that was
the norm for piano players, you know what
I mean? And then, I learned something
different later, obviously. As you get out
gigging, not everybody is Tommy Flanagan.
The main thing about that experience,
besides the music; was the fact that all of
those guys, took me under their wing,
and they treated me so amazing! They saw
some talent and they were just so
encouraging. That was amazing for me.

OL:

What a wonderful launch into the gig world!
What was your very first solo performance,
and what selection did You perform?

Glenn Zottola:

It's kind of a funny story.
I'm in the 2nd grade in Grammar School,
where they get the whole School together;
where one event, I was to do this solo with
my Mom accompanying me on piano...
and it was this song called,
"Red, Red Robin,"
and I get to the bridge,
to the middle, and I go blank.
I was kind of scared you know, 2nd grader,
I was 6 or 7. I was kind of scared in front of
the whole School like that, right?...
and I ran off stage,
crying because I forgot the middle.
My Mom comes over and said, "Listen Son,
I understand that this is a big deal,
but I know that You can do this."
She just
gave me this pep talk.
I went back on,
and it all came back to me.
I finished the tune to a standing ovation.
 I never faltered, since.

OL:
Wow... that must have been quite an
experience... and you got a standing ovation!

Glenn Zottola:
That shows that encouragement early on,
can make a difference.

OL:
That shows a testament to strength of your
Family encouragement and your talent.
When You combine the two of those,
You get a standing ovation!

Glenn Zottola:
Yeah, you know, it was great, and I never
looked back. Can you imagine if I had ended
on a loss and had gone home like,
Oh my God, I screwed up...
I might have never continued, who knows?

OL:
Well, give yourself a break, Glenn.
You were seven years old...

Glenn Zottola:
You're right! (laughing)

OL:

Being around your Dad, and watching him
work, both as a Musician and Arranger.
You also got to learn from your Dad about
how an instrument works on the technical
side. He also extended his talents in the
manufacturing production of instrument
mouthpieces.
This must have given You a true
and direct understanding of both the
production and performing aspect of the
Music Business. What a huge world for a
young man, as yourself, Glenn. What would
be the most important thing that your Dad,
Frank,
has taught and stayed with You,
on your wonderful journey, starting out
as a Musician?

Glenn Zottola:

He was a master's, master craftsman.
This was a love for him. He had another
factory, making mouthpieces; tried to help
brass players,
 and it was a love for him to do that.
A lot of great players would come up to
the shop, and buy mouthpieces, you know...
but I learned, and he kind of taught me how
to use all of the machines. I became pretty
good at it. I think it's an advantage for
anything... like, if you're going to learn how
to drive a car, it helps you, if you know how
the car works, right?. It's fine while you're
driving, and then something happens,
and you panic. If you know how to change a
tire, it's a good thing... so learning about
mouthpieces and trumpets, and how they
work... I think that understanding
helps you,
as a player, too. You don't have to,
but it's a good thing.

OL:
What would be the most important thing
that your Dad has taught and stayed
with You, on your wonderful journey,
starting out as a Musician?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, my Dad, you know, was a great lead
Trumpet Player,
he was a great classical guy,
and he played jazz,
like Louis Armstrong, and
he was the first one to introduce me
to Louie
through records... and he gave me a few
pieces of advice, that were very simple.
I've got to be honest; they have
carried me throughout my whole career,
 all the way from playing with
Benny Goodman,
all the way through
Chick Corea.
Basically, one of the things he
said... when he saw that I really wasn't
really the kind of guy that liked to
play with books,
and I'd rather play with records...
he had all of Louie's records.
He said, "Listen, regarding Jazz, Song,
just embellish the melody like
Louie."
So that's what I started to do. I started to
take the melody, and take little
embellishments with the melody.
That advice...
even when I got up to be much
more advanced; like let's say
Charlie Parker
and Be-bop, people don't
realize when I equate Charlie Parker to
Louie... Charlie Parker
is a very melodic
player, and he's embellishing the melody,
much more sophisticated, but is still
embellishing the melody like Louie did...
so that's one piece of advice, that really
carried me all the way, because I'm an ear
player... so I just use that ability of taking a
song, and embellishing the melody, creating
my own themes with the melody. If you talk
about Mozart, you have the themes and
variations... so that's what jazz is all about.
 It's variations and improvisations.

OL:

With your Dad's well loved arrangements for
the Claude Thornhill Band, where he
arranged with Gil Evans; arranging on
"Autumn Nocturne..."
as a Musician Glenn,
what did You learn from listening to your
Dad's recording arrangements and what
would be your favorite of his recordings?

Glenn Zottola:

Claude Thornhill Band,

was an interesting Band. It was a very
advanced Band, for its day...
and of course Gil Evans,
who did all of Miles Davis' historic
albums, was an Arranger with my Dad,
on that Band. My Dad's arrangements were
pretty simple, they were not very notey,
but again, they were very lyrical. If I could
have a complaint about some of the
Jazz today; I miss sometimes,
more lyricism.
There's a lot of technical virtuosity going on,
a lot of notes, but I love lyrical music.
I pretty much come from what I would call,
'the golden age of Jazz'...
which is 1920, starting with
Louis Armstrong,
and ending in 1950,
with Charlie Parker... and then Miles and
people like that, beyond that. That golden
age of Jazz; not only did it swing,
and have a great groove,
it was very melodic and lyrical.

OL:
That goes back to what You were saying
earlier, about when You perform, You also
listen to Singers... you like to shape the
melody when you're performing
with Singers...?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely... phrasing is everything.
If you hear a great Singer, and you say,
Oh my God, listen at how natural their
phrasing is...
how they are making those lyrics
speak. Suzanne Somers told me that she
used to travel and she knew Frank Sinatra
very, very well. She lived right near him...
and on a plane, going to a gig, he would be
writing the lyrics out,
over and over, and over again;
on a piece of paper. His advice to her
was, "Make sure that You make these lyrics,
your own... so when You deliver that song,
it's like coming from You."

OL:
They should have a College Course, just on 
Frank Sinatra's
phrasing. It goes hand in
hand. Singers listen to Musicians,
just as much. It's definitely give and take?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely!
Frank
grew up in the Big Band era,
so he was listening to all of the
 Musicians playing.
I'm sure that he got a lot of that from
hearing Musicians. Oh, the other piece of
advice that I want to impart,
which is kind of cute, but my Dad said, "Listen Son, if you're
going to play the trumpet, just realize
something...
You have to be cocky. Not arrogant,
but You have to be cocky."
(laughing)
There was a time when I used
that advice, even with Benny Goodman.
 
I'm pretty strong on the Bandstand, in the
sense, and not arrogant, but just the fact
that he said, "Realize that you're playing
the Trumpet; it's a lead instrument,
you're leading a section,
or in a small group,
you have a powerful lead instrument,
so you've got to be cocky, know what you're
doing and play affirmative."
That's the other thing that I carried
with me, from my Dad.

OL:
Well, that's definitely part of your signature
sound... listening to your music here at OL,
it really does comes through.

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you.

OL:

As we look forward to traveling with You
Glenn,
throughout this
OL Weekly Interview
,
on many of your sensational recordings,
first let's talk about how
You pick and choose
the material that You wish to record,
as it relates to your Solo Albums?

Glenn Zottola:

Well, it's interesting, because yes like on all
my albums that I've done, in my own name;
I have chosen all of the material.
They mostly have been standards.
I'm not a songwriter...
so I'm sure that people who are
songwriters say that's a different scene, because they're
choosing their own material.
For me, I had this tremendous repertoire
of standards, because as had I mentioned;
my Mom taught me 500. I never learned a
song from a piece of music... which is
unbelievable. I look back at that now...
a tune that I recorded in 1981
"Lush Life,"
which is not an easy tune.
I never saw that
music on a piece of paper. In fact,
Coltrane
had an album out called,
"Lush Life,"
and I remember I bought
that album, and I loved it...
and I listened to it like a couple of
times, and I had it...
I had the song down.
The best way that I can put it;
these songs are engraved in my soul.
They are not something that I learned
by memory, from a piece of music,
they are something that are
in there, so deep, whether it be
Billy Strayhorn, Rodgers & Hart,

Cole Porter,
or Jerome Kern...
they are really in my soul...

OL:
It's just a part of your DNA, right?

Glenn Zottola:
Yeah... they're part of my DNA,
and that's how I pick the material;
pretty much on how I feel,
at the moment. What do I feel like
expressing; what song will do that
for me?

OL:

That's wonderful, who are some of your
favorite Jazz Artists that You grew up
listening to?

Glenn Zottola:

Okay well, first was Louis Armstrong.
He's my foundation...
and he is the Father of Jazz...
and then I was into the the hot
Trumpet players for a while,
like Maynard; you know,
I was very much into Maynard,
and then Dizzy...
but my next influence that
changed my musical life,
was Clifford Brown.

OL:
Yes, we lost Clifford at an early age.
He was only in his twenties?

Glenn Zottola:
He died tragically in a car accident.
He did some classic recordings with
Dinah Washington.
I remember when I had
his records, when I was a kid,
and he had a warmth in his sound,
that's what he's known
for, along with his tremendous
technique;
but he had a beauty and a warmth
that I think that was part of who
he was.
He wasn't a druggie,
he was a Family Man, clean cut
guy. In fact, a lot of people know that,
but he was kind of changing the way
people view Jazz Musicians,
because he was a very clean guy,
you know?... and a lot before him,
unfortunately had big time problems...
so to me, when I was a kid,
that all came through the music.

OL:
Interesting.
In general, would you say Glenn,
that music comes through
(pretty much what You just
said); how a person lives, that You can
understand them through music?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely...
I want to say something about
the Jazz Musicians, because nobody
had more problems than let's say,
Billie Holiday,
or Charlie Parker.
The thing that I loved
about those guys of that era,
that I can't say as much for,
I mean I don't know...
I might be wrong in saying this
maybe for the rock 'n' roll cats...
when they went on the
Bandstand, in spite of all of the
personal problems they had...
music was always first.
Charlie Parker
himself, said,
"Listen, it's not the drugs,
it's me."
He even acknowledged
that he would probably be better
without the drugs...
so they weren't like dramatizing
a lifestyle. They had problems for sure,
but those cats;
and I grew up with a lot of them,
music was always first,
before everything.
In jazz, you're naked up there,
you really are naked.

OL:
Well, you're bearing a part of your
soul... something's that deep
within You. We know that when You play
that piece, Glenn,
it's part of You, like You said...
it comes from You.
You take it and You really
make it your own... and so that's why,
the recordings that You have,
are just so special and so timeless.

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you so much.
I really appreciate that,
especially coming from
Oceanlight Records.

OL:
Thank you, Glenn.
It's an honor to Interview You.

Glenn Zottola:

 I want to say something to everybody,
because the Artist is so important.
I mean like, I can't imagine...
(like the world is not
in good shape, already)...
but without art,
it would be ridiculous, you know?...
Like look what the renaissance did
for the dark ages.

OL:
For sure.

Glenn Zottola:
So, you have these guys through history
that you know. Some have been in
decent shape, and then some like
Van Gogh,
or Mozart...
he wrote all of this beautiful music,
or Charlie Parker...The Artist is out there,
in spite of everything,
whether it be personal problems, or the resistance they have to the
art. They're still doing it.
I'm 66 years old, now...
and I've had a great run,
that I wouldn't trade for anything.

OL:
You mean that you're 66 years young.

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you.
I just think that it's so important for
people to continue to create.
I talk to Chick Corea about this
all of the time... and Chick is 72,
and he's at the top of his game...
and he said, "Glenn, this is what we do.
We are there to make people feel good,
man."
You know, he's out there
cranking it on the road,
50 weeks a year...
and I commend all Artists
that are doing that.

OL:
And like You, Chick
 has been doing that all of his life.

Glenn Zottola:
All of his life. He's got 20 Grammys,
and 44 Grammy nominations...
and he's has never sold out.
He had 44 nominations as a
Jazz Musician, oh my God!

OL:
He stayed true to his sound.

Glenn Zottola:
Yes!
So, we all are out there, you know...
including Oceanlight Records

OL:
Thank you, Glenn.
It's a pleasure to be in
your company, and to ask You to share
with all of our OL Viewers,
of your journey that
continues on, to this day.

Glenn Zottola:
What a beautiful service, of what
OL
is representing to give people
exposure to these Artists...
You get the inside, that they might
not get otherwise.
It's a fantastic service!

OL:

We Thank You for sharing
your experiences
with many up and coming Musicians,
who would love to know what it's like out
there, to be a Musician for a lifetime.


Glenn Zottola:
Right! They can always go to my website:
www.glennzottola.com
There's a lot of stuff on there.
TV, Video, Albums and everything!

OL:
Thank you. We'll certainly post the link,
Glenn!
For our OL Visitors and all
world-class Jazz lovers,
your own sound Glenn, has surely
been heard far and wide.
Tell us about your first 'road gig'
with the famed Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Who does their first gig on the road
at on 17 year of age, we ask?
None other than Glenn Zottola...
but we'll let You tell us about that,
Glenn...


Glenn Zottola:

You know, I've got to be honest with you.
Someone asked me about that recently,
and I didn't really enjoy it too much.
I did a little bit,
because I was playing with
some of the original guys. It was the first
time that I was on the road and you're
traveling in a bus, and they do these things
called hit and run. When you do a gig,
and they don't even check into a hotel,
you get in the bus and sleep overnight,
and go to the next gig. I was a very
Family guy, you know,
used to having my own room in my house,
and my boat, and my car...
living that kind of lifestyle... and I left,
after a short time. I said...
you know, this is just not for me.
I went from that Band, right into
Lionel Hampton...
the same thing.
You know, I've got to be honest.
I've never really, really enjoyed being
on the road,
except when I went on the road with
my own Band. But sitting in a Band,
or Trumpet section,
as glorious as that was...
I was always groomed to be a soloist
to be in front of a Band.

OL:
Each experience has its place.

Glenn Zottola:
Yeah, some guys are rug-rats.
I mean they do that their whole lives,
 and they love it. That's great, wow!
 It just was not my favorite thing.

OL:
Well, thank you for your honesty.
That's what Musicians today,
need to know.
Every experience means something.

Glenn Zottola:
When I got the TV Show,
I thought that I had
died and gone to heaven.
I had this huge office, right next to
Steven Spielberg,
at Universal Studios.
I had my own golf cart
to go to the gate, to the Studio,
to tape the show.
I had my own wardrobe person,
my own make-up person.
I have a runner... say I need
a box of reeds, and he gets it for me.
I said I died and went to heaven.

OL:
Now that's what You call a real tour,
right?

Glenn Zottola:
Ten minutes from my house...
so after being
a Jazz Musician my whole life,
to get into that environment,
 was oh my God,
I can't believe this.

OL:
That's wonderful, what a great story!

Glenn Zottola:
With Suzanne, instead of staying
in third rate Hotels,
I learned by limo and private Jet.

OL:
We look forward to talking about
your stay on the
Suzanne Somers show.

Glenn Zottola:
You know, I've got a lot to say
about that, being a Jazz Musician,
in that environment.
Let me end it off, saying this:
You use everything, and I did. You know,
I've done everything in my Career... Broadway, all kinds of stuff;
Big Band music and Jazz,
and I used every bit of it on that gig,
as being Bandleader on
Network Television.
Great questions, too.
I totally enjoyed it!

OL:

Thank you Glenn.
We look forward tomorrow
in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes
Weekly Series,

as we begin to travel through
Jazz Trumpeter Great...Glenn Zottola's

most celebrated Solo recordings,
including his many recordings,
with the many world-premier Artists.
The best of the best.
Thank you very much Glenn,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Glenn,
is there any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
1 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola:
What do you mean by, music commentary?

OL:
We've asked You the questions.
Now, it's anything that You'd like to share,
as far as your Career,
with our OL Viewers.

Glenn Zottola:
I don't know who your listeners,
or who your public viewers are.
I'm sure it ranges from a
lot of great people and Musicians.

OL:
We have a lot of up and coming Musicians
that read the OL Interviews.

Glenn Zottola:

I'd like to tell all Artists,
from Student on up;
is just to keep on going. It's not an easy
route; because of the Society we live in,
unfortunately. Someone at a store,
one day, who I got friendly with:
the Manager at a store,
I think it was at Bed, Bath & Beyond...
and she looked tired all of the time,
and I said, what's going on? She said,
"Well, I have two kids,
and I've been here, thirteen years."
I could see that she was not
having any fun. I said,
You're not having fun,
right? She said, "Absolutely not..."
and I looked at her and I said, You know,
I understand. I've been very fortunate my
whole life, because in spite of any of the
problems connected with it;
every time I got on stage,
I had a lot of fun. I love what I do...
so what I want to say to any Musician,
or any Artist...
Student on up: there may be
tough roads, or you maybe even make as
much money as other professions,
but very few Professionals can say that
they love what they're doing.
If you listen to any Steve Jobs
or Bill Gates, or any of these guys;
always their advice, is 'do what you love'.
I think that's the best thing that Artists
have to realize, that what they're doing...
not only is it valuable,
but you can really love it,
 each step of the way,
and that's worth a lot!

OL:

Wonderful, wonderful!
Thank you Glenn. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


--------------------------------------

OL:
Welcome Back, Glenn.
We are certainly enjoying
our time spent with You, this week,
this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series. Thank you once again.

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you, OL!

OL:
For our OL Readers,
Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician
Great...Glenn Zottola
will be sharing with
all of us, his most celebrated
Solo recordings, including his many
recordings, with the many world-premier
Artists.

OL:
Glenn,
your wonderful recording sessions
with music giants like Benny Goodman,
Lionel Hampton, Frank Sinatra,
Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme,
Gerry Mulligan, Milt Hinton,
and Zoot Sims, are legendary. Let's start
off with your recording with one of the most celebrated Jazz Artists in the world,
none other than
20-Time Grammy-Winning Jazz Legend,
Pianist and Composer...
Mr. Chick Corea!
Tell us about your
timeless recording with
the one and only  Chick Corea,
on the George Gershwin /
Ira Gershwin
classic,
 "But Not For Me,"
and how it came about?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, you know, Chick is my best friend.
He's a very colorful guy...
but I told him, that I felt
that he was not only the greatest living Jazz Artist,
but I felt that he's one of the greatest Artists on the planet, today.
He's 72 years old. He has
decades of amazing, amazing stuff.
We got to be very close friends.
We hang out a lot together,
and we jam together.
I got a call one night.
I was going to bed and I was tired.
He said, "Hey, what are you doing?"
I said, I'm going to bed, I'm tired.
He said, "Well, why don't you grab
your horn and come on over?"
I was reluctant,
because I truly was tired,
but you know, getting a call from
Chick Corea,
is like getting a call from
Mozart.
You don't really want to say 'no',
you know?...
so I grab my horns, and I go over to his
house. He happened to be rehearsing his Trio for a tour.
Some players I've never met before.
I walked in, and he said,
"What do you want to play?"
I said Well, why don't we do
'But Not For Me'?...
kind of like the Miles' arrangement,
which is kind of a classic
arrangement. That arrangement has little
interludes between each solo.
He said, "Sure!"...
so he sat down, and that's it.
He just started an
intro. There was no rehearsal, nothing.
One take. I laid down that track...
and then we hit one more
tune, which is not on my new album.
We did Miles' tune "Walkin' "
 Then I said, great, I'm going back
to bed! I went back home
and went to bed, and the
next day, he hands me this tape.
It's a real testament to him,
but it's a testament to Jazz,
how you can get together with a
bunch of guys that you've never met before. One take, and it just
happens... and I'm very proud of that track,
because it just all felt right. A lot of it,
has to do with Chick. Not only is he a
great player, but he a
great accompanist, oh my God.
He just gives you so much space.
That's true with any great player.
They always bring you up...
up to a higher level.
In fact, I've had people tell me that,
 "My God, I love playing in your Band.
I feel like I play better than ever."
Good players do that to each other.

OL:
Right, they bring each other up to
a higher place?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely. Unfortunately, there's not
enough places for guys to play anymore,
like it was when I was growing up...
where I'd go to Clubs and sit in with
Legends, you know what I mean?...
that were playing in those places,
and to be next to greatness.
I'm not a trained player, I play by ear.
It's all learned on the Bandstand,
playing next to Legends.

OL:
Wow Glenn, that's wonderful.
We didn't realize, after listening to
'But Not For Me',
that this was a
one-take recording. Incredible!

Glenn Zottola:
One take. No rehearsal. Never met the
guys, before. People hear it,
and they don't realize that,
that's what is actually happening.
It is amazing, and that's the
amazing thing about Jazz.
Sometime when it goes down that way,
it's even better. I know Stan Getz didn't
like to over-rehearse. A lot of guys don't
like to over-rehearse.
You want spontaneity, you know.

OL:
In your 'live' recordings with Mr. Corea
and his Trio, on this song
and also on the song, "Walkin',"
what was your first thought in how you
wanted to approach any type of particular
recording style, especially on the recording
of "But Not For Me,"
the Miles Davis arrangement?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, like I said... when I said to Chick;
that kind of laid it down, when I said to
him, listen, to the Miles' arrangement.
It's better than a rehearsal.
It kind of gives you a guideline of
where you want to go... what kind of
pocket that you want to put it in.
Luckily, the guys were so good.
As you know, Chick plays a lot of modern
music. With those cats, that he had in the
Band, at that time... plus Chick himself;
he has great roots. Those guys were able
to just fall right into that groove that
I wanted.

OL:
Tell us about the Musicians that were on
Mr. Corea's Trio,
and what it was like
working with them?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, there's a guy... he's actually Israeli,
and I was following his Career recently,
because he's out on his own now.
He does a lot of stuff in Europe,
with String Quartets and Symphony
Orchestras. His name is Avishai Cohen.
Anybody listening, can Google him.
At the time, when he was playing with
Chick,
he was a real straight ahead
Jazz Bass Player, and he still is, I'm sure;
but now he's doing his own music,
playing with String Quartets. Some of his
music sounds to me, for lack of better
words, very Mediterranean, now. He's into
a lot of grooves that are from his culture,
and everything like that. The Drummer is a
really good Drummer from New York,
Adam Cruz.
I have a lot of stuff with
Chick playing
drums...Avishai and me and
Chick
on drums. I have stuff with me and
Chick
; Chick playing the marimba.

OL:
Is it something you are looking to release?

Glenn Zottola:
I would love to, if he's cool on it. I sent him
some new tracks. Man, "That sounds
great." He like it. I thought it would be
interesting for people hearing him play
the marimba.

OL:
Wow, that would be interesting.
He's a Piano Man, so to hear him on
another instrument;
that's just another dimension.

Glenn:
 You know, I got to say something about
Chick. Chick
has been around a long time,
but he's not resting on his laurels, or faded
in any way. Being with him, is like being
with Mozart. He'll play me some chords
and stuff and he's so excited about music,
still. A hundred albums, 20 Grammy's,
44 nominations tied with guys who aren't
even in Jazz... but still fresh. In fact,
as far as I know, I think that he's doing an
album with John Mayer, right now.
John Mayer
came into his dressing room
I believe, and said, "We should do
something, together."
He does this stuff
with Gary Burton all of the time.
You know like when he was at the
Blue Note,
who can stay in the Blue Note,
for like eight weeks straight? Nobody.
He did a different Band every week.
Basically, what I'm saying; besides being a
great person, he's so fresh, still.

OL:
Working and recording with Chick Corea,
must have been like no other jam session.
Glenn,
listening to this spectacular gem of
a recording, we surely know the great and
spirited sound that You yourself, brought to
the already special Chick Corea
session...so can you share with us,
what was the one special memory that you
took away from playing on this session?

Glenn Zottola:
That it was perfect, for lack of better
words. I mean, it's not always that way.
In Jazz, a lot, it is that way, but this was
perfect... and the way the Band was
playing behind me, and with me;
I mean it just felt right. Everybody was in
communication, and I'm sure that it helped
that Chick was rehearsing all day long.
Everybody was like, there, before I got
there; so there was no effort.
Absolutely zero effort.

OL:
It just flowed out, so easily?

Glenn Zottola:
It just flowed out, for sure.

OL:
That's a terrific moment recording with
the great Chick Corea and his Trio,
Glenn...
and thanks for giving us
an inside look at some of your most
prized recording sessions.
Okay, now let's visit your special
Frank Sinatra
recording sessions...
Ol' Blue Eyes himself,
who was more than a Legend...
he had the world in his voice.
What was this great big world like Glenn,
playing on the Sinatra recording sessions?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, it wasn't a Recording Session,
actually it was Television. It was the
Mary Tyler Moore Juvenile Diabetes
Telethon,
in L.A. We got a call.
I was partners with Bobby Rosengarden,
a great Drummer, and we had an Orchestra
together. We got a call to go out there,
because we were already doing the
Jerry Lewis Telethon.
Bobby was the
Drummer on the "Tonight Show,"
all of the years it was in New York...
so, he called Doc. Said, "Doc, I'm in L.A.,
doing this Telethon, I need a Band,
can I borrow your Band." Doc said, "Sure."
So he basically gave us The Tonight Show
Band.
You can't beat that. We had a lot of
acts on that show and Frank was one of
them. What I can tell you about that night,
was playing Frank's charts, that I knew so
well; like, "I've Got You Under My Skin,"
"I've Got The World On A String,"...
I heard those charts so much. It was like
someone else was holding my Trumpet for
me; Nelson Riddle's charts and all of that.
Nelson Riddle
had the best arrangements
in the world. The music was playing me.
It was an amazing thing, especially with
a great Band, like The Tonight Show,
it wasn't a pick-up Band. It was a thrill,
and it was a thrill being on stage with
Frank
. I've  been thinking about doing
a project. I never really thought about
it much. I would like to say this now;
if someone is listening.
You know I always had a vocal approach
to playing through my horn, since I was
very, very young. The concept of singing
through the horn is very natural to me.
That's why I am very confortable around
singers...
Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee...

and I never collide with them because my
approach on the horn is a vocal approach.
I never thought about this...I've been
listening to a lot of Sinatra,
lately and he was amazing. That's why he
was the 'Chairman of the Board'.
He admits it himself, working in the
Tommy Dorsey Band.
He was listening
and watching some of those great horn
players, how they used breath control.
Tommy Dorsey
was a master at breath
control. I think that he got into that
before any Singer before him,
and he took that away with him,
as a foundation. Not only does he swing,
but just his whole phrasing and his breath
control, and the power he has,
it's amazing. What I'd like to impart to
horn players today, regardless of what
music you want to play; I just feel if
there's more of a vocal approach in
players playing, Jazz players...
the music would communicate more,
and have more emotion. I feel that it can
get a little mechanical, these days.
These guys, they are all virtuosos;
nobody is putting anyone down.
The modern music doesn't really demand
someone...The older music demands that
you kind of sing through the horn.
I'm realizing this now. I am going to try do
something along the line that will try
to get this vocal approach across,
because it's something that I'm strong in.
I was reading some interviews, that Miles
would hang out at Jilly's Club,
with Sinatra, and he talked a lot about
Sinatra
and Sinatra's phrasing. Miles Davis
of all people. Miles was a very lyrical guy.
My experience with Frank was definitely
a high point in my Career.

OL:
Bravo Glenn!
Yes, Frank Sinatra allowed the
arrangements to come through.
He wasn't intimidated by the arrangement.

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely!
He let the music breathe.
I love that fact that people, obviously got
that. No one has really been able to top
Frank.

OL:
Chairman of the Board!

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely!
But the thing I want to get across that he
had a way...Suzanne Somers told me that
she was a very good friend of Frank's. When he
went to gig, he would sit on a plane and he
would be writing up the lyrics to a song
over and over and over again. She said,
"I asked him, 'he said make those lyrics
your own so you will never take them back."
He really delivered the lyric,
but I want to say, he had that foundation
(breath control and phrasing).

OL:
Okay...
on the many sessions that You have worked
on; in general, do Producers prep Musicians
before-hand as to whether the session will
be an overdub session or a 'live' session;
and with your extraordinary versatility on
playing the Trumpet, Alto and Tenor Saxes,
Glenn,
do You bring all three of your
instruments to your recording sessions?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, yes and no.
For my own albums, I do. Tenor Sax
 is a new instrument for me, but I always
brought my Alto and my Trumpet to my own
recording sessions. For other people's
records; not so, I would just play
sometimes, Trumpet, because they already
had Saxophone Players, and stuff like that.
There was one album that I did which...
I didn't know, I had the guts to do that,
because I was just getting into Tenor.
This was a tribute to Count Basie,
with a lot of the Count Basie guys.
I brought my Tenor, and just put it on
the side. You know Frank West was on
saxophone and Freddy Green the bass
fiddle; I got inspired, and I'm sitting in the
Trumpet area, and I pulled out my Tenor,
and luckily I had a Producer that wanted
me to fool around like that. I recorded my
first recording on that album on Tenor,
from the Trumpet section. which is unheard
of, and I got so inspired... so yeah,
if it's someone else's album, I would be
playing on trumpet, but sometimes they
would ask me to bring the Alto. As far as
overdubs, I've done some on my recent
sessions, but all my 50 albums, all my old
records, never any overdubs.

OL:
Do You prefer 'live' sessions to overdubs?

Glenn Zottola:
Well of course. Although it's a funny thing;
at one point, I really wanted to do an
overdub. Most Jazz Players don't do that.
I remember doing lots of them in the pop
world, in the 60's and 70's. But I wanted to
do the overdub thing, and that's why I'm
doing that, now. I remember asking Chick,
and he said to me "Why do you want to do
that, Jazz is all about interaction."
He was right about that. I said, I want to
overdub. I asked him to write me a track
and he did. So, it's not a normal thing.
Usually Jazz Players don't do that.

OL:
The gifted Vocal Jazz Legend Peggy Lee...
of Stage & Screen can no doubt be one of
the most shining moments in your
illustrious Career, Glenn. You are featured
on Peggy Lee's beautiful samba-styled
Harold Arlen
song, "Love Held Lightly."
When You do your solo features,
what is most important to You as a
featured Artist, the entrance or exit
of your solo? Or is it just the whole feel
of the moment?

Glenn Zottola:
I never met Peggy before that session.
Of course, I knew who she was. I think that
was her last album of her Career.
She did the whole thing while she was in a
wheelchair. Her spirit was so great,
and she was so feisty. When she found out
that I worked with Benny Goodman,
oh man, she started telling me all of these
Benny Goodman
Stories, and we had a
ball. Working with a Legend like that,
it's like working with Sinatra, or Chick.
These are people that you read about and
hear about. Now, you're playing with them;
and they're loving it, they are loving what
you're doing, on top of it.

OL:
We understand that this recording session
with Peggy Lee was in the twilight years of
her extraordinary Career. You must have
really cherished this recording even more,
Glenn,
knowing this?

Glenn Zottola:
She had a Nurse there, at the session,
 but her spirit was bright, and she was
feisty and everything. Great Band and
Grady Tate
on Drums.

OL:
Glenn,
in this day and age, if it's not a
major Recording Studio booked for 'live'
Big Band, or Orchestral sessions, some of
the more economy-friendly Studios,
are becoming less in demand; as Musicians
can now record more independently,
with their own digital equipment.
In your view, what would be the pro's and
con's of this and can the two systems
co-exist, and still get a quality product?


Glenn Zottola:
There's a learning curve, to being your own
Engineer. It's not the best situation.
I've never recorded at Capitol, and would
love to record there. I've recorded at the
best Studios in the world, and I've recorded
at the best Studios in England, where the
Beatles
recorded "St. Pepper." There is an
advantage because you're not on the clock,
when you're recording in your own Studio.
Just relax, take a break whenever you
want, as many takes as you want.
The Jazz world is not like the Pop world,
where guys have unlimited time in the
Studio, to spend three months,
five months, or six months, doing an album.
All of the early albums that I did,
they all required that you do, 2 or 3 hour
sessions, because they had a budget...
so, the con is the fact that there's a
learning curve; and the equipment they get
to rent, is not cheap. Chick's microphones
are like $9,000 each. So not everybody can
afford that. I get a pretty good sound,
I think, that people have liked what I did.

OL:
Without question.

OL:
This next question Glenn, is a very unfair
question, but we'll just go for it. Which top
5 of the many recording sessions,
do You treasure the most?

Glenn Zottola:
The one with Chick, for sure.
Peggy Lee's
session.
Maxine Sullivan,
also.
Not because I didn't have as much to blow
on, as I did with my own albums,
but I'm a funny kind of guy.
I'm a head-liner, but I also love to
contribute, when I'm around Legends like
that. And I also love Singers...
so, those sessions were done really great.
They spent a lot of time on the mixing in
the studio. The quality level was really
high. Peggy's quality level was high,
the Band was great. There's a couple more.
 I like that session that I did...
 'My Secret Love' session.
That was a really nice session.

OL:
We're guessing that they all
had their own special unique moments?

Glenn Zottola:
They really do. Someone asked Miles on
an Interview, they want to know what was
his favorite. He couldn't even answer it.
I'm looking at my list here... a Jazz session
with Milt Hinton, that was extremely
special. Then Suzanne Somers, of course,
that would be a 'live' Concert Video.
The Steve Allen album...
I would say Steve Allen album was
 a very good album.
I've got to be honest, now that I'm looking
at all of this; I really didn't have any bad
experiences, recording. I loved them all.
I walked away with something really
special. They are all like a part of my
recording track, through the years.

OL:
As we will be highlighting even more of
these very recording sessions,
in this OL Weekly Interview with You,
Glenn...
for our up and coming Musicians,
who want to do session work, what goes
into prepping for a booked recording
session, and how important is it to be able
to sight-read, even when so many of the
great Musicians play instinctively by ear...

Glenn Zottola:
That's a really good question.
I pretty much improvise, by ear.
I'm a pretty good reader. I sit in the
Big Band, I did Broadway, I could read,
for sure... but as far as improvisation,
I don't know anything about chords,
or harmony. I play strictly by ear,
which a lot of the old cats, play that way. Lester Young... the first time I played with
 Zoot, he said, "I'm an ear player, too."
A lot of the older cats played that way.
They don't hear anything like harmony.
I don't even know what key I'm playing in.
It's all by ear. If you're going to do session
work... the guys that really do session
work, they're great Musicians;
but Jazz players that do session work...
you're not necessarily great readers.
They're great readers for what they're
doing, when they are doing a Jazz session.
All of those albums that I did; I walk into
the Studio, and there's charts there...
and very little rehearsal, or no rehearsal.
When I listened to them back,
I'm amazed that I was able
to play that stuff. I tell you why,
because I was using my ear,
a lot, because I love the music that
we were playing.
So, I didn't have to struggle
reading the charts.
They kind of were natural.
As opposed to when I did,
the Broadway show, "Evita."
It was really, really tough.
That music was changing
3/4, 5/4, 6/8,
every two bars, was a different time
change. I remember this funny story.
Bob
was playing 1st Trumpet,
I'm playing 2nd. Bob knows my ability, reading-wise,
my Brother, Bob. He's great,
like a Studio Player;
even played 1st Trumpet in
American Ballet...
so, he much more
schooled than me. I'm playing this stuff
perfectly. He turns to me,
in amazement,
and he says, "You're not reading this,
right? You're using radar."
I said (laughing), Yeah, you caught me.
Forget about trying to read that music,
it was impossible. I had to use my ears. You've got to use the strength
that you have, no?

OL:
Well Glenn, You've got great ears,
of course!

Glenn Zottola:
You've got to be to able read.
You don't have to be the best, or the
greatest, but you've got to be able
to read, if you're going to do
a variety of work.
You can't play in the Big Band,
if you don't read.

OL:
Thank you Glenn,
for that advice for our up
and coming Musicians! We look forward
tomorrow in Part 3 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

as we make a visit to the Television &
Stage aspect of your Performance Career...
from the Suzanne Somers Television Show
to Airchecks, to performing 'live', honoring
the great Benny Goodman, at
Carnegie Hall, NYC.
Thank you very much
Glenn,
for coming on as our Special Guest
Artist. Glenn, is there any music
commentary you'd like to share with the
OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
2 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola:
I think just the point that I made, with
Sinatra,
and the singing through your horn;
and trying to get that kind of emotion into
the music. I'm not being critical of
anybody, but I'm just saying that the music
today... sometimes, not with everybody,
but sometimes to me, it sounds a little
mechanical. I think if you're playing very
modern music, if one listens to Stravinsky,
or any classical music, it is very modern,
but you see that those players are playing
with a lot of emotion. I would advise
players to go back and listen to some great
Vocalists. Listen to Billie Holiday, listen to
Sinatra.
I think today, that Jazz Musicians
don't have the same rapport with Singers,
that Jazz Musicians had in the old days.
In the old days, a lot of Jazz Musicians,
knew the lyrics to tunes. Lester Young,
put with Billie Holiday.
There's a tremendous rapport between
Singers and Musicians. Today, it can be
mechanical, but just basically, I would like
to see players today really get that emotion
that you hear from a great Singer.

OL:
Thank you Glenn. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
-------------------------


OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

""Louis Armstrong
used to travel
 around the world.
An ambassador in Africa.
They didn't
 speak the language,
but the music spoke
 the language.
You don't need language
 with music."

...Glenn Zottola



OL:
Welcome once again, Glenn. This being
Part 3 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
we'll go right into highlighting some of your
most renowned and magical TV Gigs and
Stage Performances... from the
"Suzanne Somers Television Show,"
The "Martin" Show,
to jamming with
Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz,
and with no less excitement...
performing with living
Country Singer Legend Kenny Rogers
and Grammy Producer David Foster,
to performing, honoring the great
Benny Goodman,
at Carnegie Hall, NYC.
What a whirlwind of a Career, Glenn!

Glenn Zottola:
I have a lot to say!

OL:
Starting off with Universal Studios, in California... the celebrated
Suzanne Somers TV Show...
Visitors at your Official website,
can have the pleasure seeing some great
video footage of You performing with the
Band, at her Club Indigo 'live' show.
Suzanne Somers,
surely known for her
sparkling character that she played as
"Chrissy,"
on the famed long-running
TV Series, "Three's Company..."
What some may not have known,
is that she is a fantastic Singer and
Entertainer. On the video clip on your site,
she does a great rendition of
"I've Got The World On A String,"
as she features You on Trumpet solo.
Glenn,
You really pop on this set!
Then on the closing number, You provide a
nice warm and lush sound for Suzanne
on your Sax. Tell us more about the
wonderful moments of this show?

Glenn Zottola:
I have to say, that I've had a lot of high
points in my Career. Benny Goodman,
Chick Corea, Carnegie Hall.
They are real
high points, but Suzanne and the TV Show,
was definitely right up there,
with everything else. I grew up as a child
prodigy. I did a lot of TV when I was a kid.
After this world of music that I did,
traveling the world; I ended up back on TV,
with Suzanne, coming full circle.
At such a high level, I only wished that the
show would run as long as
The Tonight Show,
because I really, really enjoyed it.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven,
because here I am at Universal, as a Jazz
Musician, with a big office;
next to Steven Spielberg. Ten minutes from
my house. Doing eight shows a week,
for more money that I ever dreamed
possible in music. Every time
I got on stage, I was playing for tens of
millions of people,
which few Jazz Musicians
ever experience;
you know what I mean?

OL:
Yes, of course, sure!

Glenn Zottola:
I mean, not even Rock Musicians.
The biggest stage is not tens of millions.
It's an amazing experience.
It's hard to even explain.
Even I explained it to my friends,
like Chick Corea, or whatever;
what it felt like to be in that position...
after all of those years in music.
Then working with Suzanne,
who was so gracious,
and she loved me so much.
Let me say about her, you know,
that she's known as an Actress first,
but she has a tremendous love for Jazz
and Music. She used to go see
Carmen McRae.
She was good friends with
Sinatra
. I never had one musical
disagreement with her, in nine years.
Her instructions to me; she just told me
to do your Glenn thing.
She never told me one note to play.
I'd sit with her,
hand-in-glove. As her husband called it;
we had real simpatico. Her phrasing was
very natural, and I fitted in beautifully
with it. It was definitely chemistry, there.
It was definitely a very big high point.
There's a video on my website. One of the guys in the band, invited me to her
rehearsal. She didn't know me. I'm sitting
there, listening; it sounded pretty good.
I said, do you mind if I sit in? She tells the
story on stage, and she said like,
"Who is this guy?"
I pull out my horn,
and I say, what tunes do you know?
I'm like this crazy Jazz guy (laughing).
I said, do you know
'But Beautiful'? She said, "Yeah, I know
'
But Beautiful'."
 I started playing it with her,
and if you look at that clip on my video,
you'll see her melting on the show,
but she melted that day, at the rehearsal.
She literally melted in front of me.
When I got through the tune, she said,
"I want you as my Bandleader, now."
The chemistry and the love was instant.
It never changed from that moment, on.

OL:

That's wonderful...
the feeling that Lady Somers really enjoyed
working with You and with a shared mutual
respect for each other's talents, it really
shines through, Glenn... and rightfully so.
We understand that in all of your 9 years
of working with Suzanne Somers,
that she encouraged your featured solo
moments to be free-spirited,
and for You to just be the spectacular
Musician that You are.
Share with us Glenn,
the art of give and take,
when performing with and providing
instrumental fills for Singers?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely. Well, first of all, I think I helped
her fulfill a dream, because she always
wanted to sing standards and Jazz related
music, and I gave her that platform.
I brought her up to another level, also.
She had it in her, for sure,
but I gave her that feeding of foil.
We're back to what I said about Singers and
Jazz Musicians, possibly getting more into
Singers. I love Singers.
I feel today, that some of the
Jazz Musicians are a little disconnected
from Singers. Guys want to blow,
they want to play a lot of notes;
it's not a singing type of thing... but I feel
different. I come from an era where;
if I'm working with a Mel Torme,
or a Sinatra, or a Tony Bennett,
Joe
Williams, or Suzanne...
I love, as we say, filling the holes.
In other words, not getting in the way.
Just enhancing and contributing to
what they're doing.
I remember when Chick heard me play
 "But Beautiful."
I played that video for him. He said,
"Man, you're comping for her."
'Comping'
means, what a Piano Player does for a
Horn Player. And it's true, what I'm really
doing is accompanying her on the
Saxophone... so I love doing that.
 I love doing that 'give and take',
back and forth.
It's almost a lost art, today. I hear guys,
sometimes playing with Singers,
and they're colliding with the Singer.
They're playing,
not in the holes, they're playing when
they're singing, and they're colliding.
That's not the way it's supposed to go down.

OL:
We hear that often,
especially in today's music. Clamoring to be
heard; there's a time and space for both,
but just not at the same time?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely. That's why certain Piano Players
are amazing accompanists, because they
know how to make it sound better, by just
enhancing it...
rather than having to try to be
on an ego trip. Suzanne and I, were the
epitome of that kind of rapport. I've had it
with other Singers, too,
but the things is I got
a chance to do so much with her,
over the years.

OL:
Glenn,
during your time spent
performing on the
Suzanne Somers TV Show,
did You ever
think that You would be swinging
on a combo
jam session with Country Singer Legend
Kenny Rogers
on upright bass, & the
phenomenal Producer David Foster
on piano?

Glenn Zottola:
That was so funny.
The deal with the Guests, that any Celebrity
that came on, was whatever they wanted
to do, they could.
A lot of maybe Academy Award Actresses,
people would be surprised,
that they can sing. I was at a party with
John
Travolta. I was telling him that
I wanted to do this Stan Getz project.
He started singing these Jobim tunes...
and I found out he's a real Pro. He can do
Sinatra
stuff, and everything.
When I think of John, I think about 'Grease'.
The same thing with Kenny Rogers.
He came on, and he picked up the Bass,
he started swinging his butt off,
and I'm looking at him,
and I can't believe it. I went up to him
afterwards, I said, Kenny, listen...
I'm so sorry, I've got to be honest with you;
I'm not a big fan of Country Music,
but you sound great! He said,
"No, I started off in a group, singing and
playing bass in a group that was like the
Hi-Lo's ." So, he had a lot of Jazz in him.
Also Actor, Hector Elizondo came on,
we did James Moody's "Moody's Mood
For Love
." It was Hector,
Suzanne
and Myself,
and he sounded like a Be-Bopper.
I said, Hey Hector? He said,
"I'm from
New York...Birdland!"
He's like a Jazz Be-Bopper.
So I learned a lot about everybody,
you know.

OL:
Wow, that's great!
With the best of the best
in the TV Band, including yourself,
Glenn;
how much does musical
spontaneity play into a TV Show,
like that of the
Suzanne Somers Show?


Glenn Zottola:
Well for me, it was total spontaneity.
I ran that thing like a Jazz gig.
One day I come into the Studio,
and they're tearing out pages and pages of
sheets, on the script. Something was wrong,
and the Director was frantic. He was a good
Director. He did all of Dick Clark's Shows.
He said, "We had just lost one-third of our
script. How are we going to do this?
You're going to have to write all
new music."
I said, what do you mean, write all new
music? Listen, just tell me, give me a color,
give me a mood, give me whatever you feel,
in my headphones, 30 seconds before the
commercial break, and I'll give you what you
want. I did the whole show,
without a script, and he was in shock.
He said, "I've never
been with anybody in Television, who could
do that."
I said, Barry, I'm a Jazz Musician.
So, what I brought to TV, I don't think
anybody before me, or after me, has done
that. I ran it like a Jazz gig. Sometimes the
Bass Player would tap me on the shoulders
and say, "Hey Glenn, it's like 15 seconds
before back on, do you know what we're
playing?"
I said, give me 5 more seconds,
let me think about! (laughing).
I would never be there, if it wasn't for
Suzanne
, I'm not a TV guy, you know.
Let me tell you how it worked. That show,
I'm bragging now, down time on the show at
that time, was $50,000 an hour. Since you're
down, because someone made a technical
mistake and you're down for a half an hour,
it costs the network $25 grand. Nobody likes
that. I didn't have one minute of down-time,
because of any mistake I ever made.
 They were never down, because of me.

OL:

We love that, Glenn!
Those were good times, indeed...
and with more to come,
with the two TV Stars
Tisha Campbell-Martin

and Tichina Arnold,
most notably then of the
famed "Martin" TV Sitcom Show.
They were set to appear on the
Suzanne Somers TV Show,
as their show also filmed next door,
at Universal Studios,
in California as well?

Glenn Zottola:
The 'Martin' Show
was taping right next to
us. Suzanne said that, "We're going to have
Tachina and Tisha on, and can you go over
there, and find out what they want to do?"
I must have spent, a maximum,
maybe 30 minutes with them,
and we were laughing, having a ball.

OL:

On the Suzanne Somers TV Show,
Tisha
and Tichina did a knock-out duet
cover of Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing."
You were in on it, Glenn, from the onset,
when You were assisting them on the
arrangement, as prep,
in their dressing room...
how did that come about?

Glenn Zottola:
I brought a little tiny tape recorder.
I said, what do you want to do?
They were singing that
Chaka Khan & Rufus,
Mary J. Blige
tune, "Sweet Thing"...
and I spent maybe 20 minutes with them,
went back to the show, worked up an
arrangement for them, and that's
what you see.
They're very good, aren't they?

OL:
It looks like they've been singing together,
forever. They are very good!
It came through on the stage.

Glenn Zottola
:
They were very tight. They were like two
Sisters. I loved working with them.
They were a ball!

OL:

Moving over to another favorite Guest Artist
who appeared on the
Suzanne Somers TV Show...
Smooth Jazz Saxophonist Dave Koz
stopped by to jam with You and the
Band...Nice groovin', Glenn...
Both You and Dave killing on the Sax...
How often would cool Musicians like that of
Dave Koz,
sit in on the show and just jam
with You and the guys in the band?

Glenn Zottola:
I knew who Dave was. He was doing the
'Make A Wish' Foundation Show.
Dave
came on, and we hit it off.
We were just jamming on the commercial
breaks. I'm not trying to brag, I'm trying to
do this, so to tell everybody who I am...
trying to impart to younger Players.
I love doing a wide variety of stuff.
I'm proud of the fact that I can play with
Benny
Goodman, Chick Corea,
do Broadway, do Television...
and play with Dave Koz,
which is completely different music from
what I play. I'm like the real chameleon of
music. I've always been that way.
I think that playing by ear,
is a factor there,
because I just go where my ear goes.

OL:

Carnegie Hall Theater,
in New York City...
with Clarinetist Bob Wilber &
the New Jersey Jazz Society Band...

a momentous 50 year Anniversary,
in celebration of the great
Benny Goodman
(1930's)
Swing Band
sound.
You were a big part of this Tribute Show,
Glenn,
sitting in on the same chair as
Trumpeter great Harry James
once
performed... Tell us about your terrific
trumpet solo and recording cover
on the great Louis Armstrong's, "Shine,"
during this Carnegie Hall Tribute Show?

Glenn Zottola:
I worked with Benny for two years,
and that was an amazing experience.
I get a call in New York from a friend of
mine, who is a great Pianist, John Bunch.
He used to be Tony Bennett's accompanist.
He was working at the time, with Benny...
and he said, "What are you doing? Benny
needs a Trumpet Player, can you come over
to the
Astor Hotel, right now?" I said, sure.
I was living in Manhattan, so I went over to
the Astor Hotel. I walked in, and there's
Benny Goodman,
with the whole Band.
Not the Big Band, this is the Sextet,
a small Band. He doesn't say anything
to me. I pull out my horn,
and we jammed for 45 minutes.
We get through and he comes up to me,
and he said, "Can you leave, tomorrow,
to go on the road?"
I was trying to be polite,
because I knew he had a Trumpet Player,
and I'm not going to mention the name, who
has quite a name; this Trumpet Player.
Benny
says, "I didn't ask you that.
Can you leave, tomorrow?" Something must
have gone down, obviously. I said, sure...
and that's it. I went on the road with
Benny,
with his Sextet. It was a great Band.
Connie Kay,
was on drums,
a very famous Drummer.
We're ready to go on stage, and I go up to
Connie
and I say, do we have any charts?
He said, "Yeah, we've got charts."
He pulls out this old piece of ripped paper.
He hands it to me, and on it,
is a rift of this tune, "Undecided."
He said, "Here's your charts."
So, I got the message; okay there were no
arrangements, right? I went on, and I played
the gig, and that was it. Benny gets on the
microphone, and introduces me
for my ballad feature.
He talks to the audience for like
five minutes about me. He says, "You know,
I ran across this kid, and I hired him.
Everybody's been in my Band.
This young man can hold his own with
any of them."
He names all of these guys...
including Harry James,
and I can't believe that he said all of that,
because he wasn't that kind of guy.
After the gig, I said, Benny,
I really appreciate that. He said,
"Well deserved, young man."
I didn't have any problems with
Benny Goodman
.
He was very, very nice to me.
As for Carnegie Hall, you know,
you'd have to know the history of music.
In 1938, after Benny was on the road.
He thought that he was bombing out.
He was going to disband his Band,
but he didn't realize, over the radio;
he was getting this incredible
cult following of Teenagers.
People don't realize, this is very similar to
Elvis
, or the Beatles, later.
What they call the bobby-socks,
they were Teenagers,
and they were listening to this new music.
'swing'; which was very different from
what was before that. Benny Goodman
was the first white Big Band Leader to play
Black Music, because he had an integrated
Band. He had Lionel Hampton, he had
Teddy Wilson
, and his arranger was
Fletcher Henderson
,
a great black Arranger.
So, his music was not rhythmically,
a music that white kids were used to hearing.
To put it a better way...
what they were used to hearing, was much
more 'corny'. So, when Benny came along,
and kids started hearing this music,
over the radio, it was like hearing Elvis.
Same thing... and I have to tell people this,
because Elvis did the same thing.
All of these guys were around like
Chuck Berry
, and Elvis loved that music.
Elvis
was the first white guy to play that
music. Count Basie and Duke Ellington,
couldn't play the big fancy White Hotels
in 1938. They couldn't get into those rooms,
so therefore white kids would never
hear that music. Chuck Berry couldn't
get on Ed Sullivan, in those days.
So, when Elvis brought his thing to the
white kids, they went nuts. Same thing...
so, when Benny brought that music to the
white kids, they went nuts.
This was a radical new music.
Benny
thought that he was
bombing out. They would go into these
Hotels, and they didn't like the music,
when he was traveling across Country.
He was building up this cult following,
on the radio. So, in 1938, when he came to
Carnegie Hall
. which was the first time that
Jazz was ever at Carnegie Hall...
that was the beginning, really, of the 'swing'
era. That became the National Music of the
Country. The night that I did the Anniversary,
which was 50 years later,
we played the same
exact program of '38, same songs,
and everything. Anybody who was there at
the original '38 Concert, now in their
60's and 70's; we let them sit on the same
stage with the Band. As I was playing,
I was looking at their face, and you can
literally see decades come off of their faces,
as they were re-living that historic moment.
This is when 'Swing' music became the
National Music of the Country.
We're not talking about something esoteric,
like Jazz. This was the music of the Country,
that lasted all the way through World War II.

OL:
In this 50th Anniversary of Benny Goodman
at the Carnegie Hall, you did the cover of
"Shine?"

Glenn Zottola:
The story behind that... I was sitting in
Harry James'
chair, and with original
Benny Goodman
arrangements;
little hand-written notes from Harry James.
Harry
loved Louis Armstrong, and he asked
Benny
if he could take a try, because Louis
had a very famous solo on "Shine."
Harry
wanted to take a shot at it.
That's how "Shine" occurred.
It was just Harry playing a couple of
choruses on that very famous
Louis Armstrong
piece. So, it was an
unbelievably historic night,
playing the exact program of '38.
Isaac Stern
was there. Isaac Stern did the
Intermission, and unbelievable;
you should hear him talk about Jazz.
He said that when he came to New York,
he used to hang out on 52nd Street,
and go see Charlie Parker.
He was a big Jazz fan.
He said, "Growing up in Washington,
all of my Classical friends, we used to listen
to
Benny Goodman, this new beat;
we were going crazy, when we were kids."
Who would have thought, right? So,
at the end of the night, Benny Goodman's
daughter came out, and gave Benny's
Clarinet to Isaac Stern, to put into the
Carnegie Hall Archives
. It was a packed
house. I was on air, because the Reviewer
John Wilson
, of the New York Times said...
I don't know if this is true,
but it was a compliment; he said,
"
Harry James was not missed tonight,
with
Glenn Zottola's horn."
The reason why I gave you that "Shine"
track... I never knew that it was recorded.
No one said it was, and no one knew.
I get this tape from a guy that was in the audience. I don't know where it was
recorded. I got that like just last year.
All these years, it was the first time that I
 got to hear the Concert. I'm amazed that
 I could go back and hear it.

OL:

What a terrific story, Glenn! This is indeed
your life! As our readers are
enjoying listening to some of your most
celebrated recordings,
Glenn...
what would be one of your own
favorite recordings, so far?

Glenn Zottola:
I really like the Chick Corea track, for sure.
When I go back over my Anthology,
and I look back over all of the recordings,
I've got to be honest with you.
Every recording has a little something
that I like. There are different
periods of my musical development.
I really can't pick one thing.
I'm glad that they exist.

OL:

In your Career travels, Glenn, give us your
Musician's take on performing on
 both ends of the music world, from the
New York
Jazz music scene,
going all the way to the entertainment
Mecca of Hollywood (Tinseltown),
California?

Glenn Zottola:
Quickly on Europe, because I spent
a lot of time there, and I achieved a lot of
acclaim. The Europeans regarding Jazz,
is a totally different audience.
They are steeped in tradition.
At the time when I was going to Europe in
the 80's, they are not so fad oriented.
They remember and they're very
knowledgeable on Classic Jazz.
A lot of Jazz Musicians move to Europe,
because of that reason. Black Musicians
moved to Paris, and they were treated like
royalty. In Europe, if you say that you're an
Artist, it's like 'oh my God';
it's like saying in America, that you're a
Doctor. Whereas, if you say that you're an
Artist, or a Jazz Musician, in America;
they say, well that's fine, but I don't want
my daughter to marry one, you know!
(laughing
)... So Europe is completely
different, regarding appreciation of
history and the arts.
The two top towns in America,
for Musicians, is obviously
New York
and L.A. The best Musicians in
the world, are in New York, or L.A.
The New York Musician is very different,
than the west coast Musician.
I used to travel in Europe and people didn't
know where I was from. I would play a set,
and I would come off and the guys
 in the Band would say, "You're from
New York, right?" I said, yeah,
how did you know? They said, "By the way
that you play."
New York playing is very
aggressive. It's like the City!
Whereas west coast Jazz is much more laid
back, but Hollywood, is Hollywood.
There's nothing like it. I'm a New Yorker
at heart, you know what I mean?...
but when you talk about Movies and
Hollywood
, New York doesn't have that.

OL:
That's true. Each of the two Mecca's have
their own way of shimmering.
Thank you Glenn.

OL:

We look forward tomorrow in Part 4 of this 7
part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
where we get to shine a one-word spotlight
on Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician
Great Glenn Zottola's
One-Word Playback,
for the OL Viewers...
Glenn,
is there any music commentary you'd
like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 3 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola:
New York and L.A.;
they have their own vibe.
I'm anxious to see...
I watched the premier of 
Jimmy Fallon
with The Tonight Show,
which has not been in New York, since like
40 years ago. I'm curious to see how he does
with it. I'm sure he'll do great, but it is
New York
; and you know 'David Letterman'
and you know 'Saturday Night Live'
has a certain vibe, that is not Hollywood.
The cities are very different.

OL:

Thank you Glenn. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
---------------------
OL:
Glad to have You back, Glenn...
this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
We're at the segment Interview feature,
where we introduce a 'one word' Interview
question to You, Glenn, and if you can you
please playback a One-word Commentary
Note for the OL Visitors, that would be cool!

OL:

Blow?
Glenn Zottola:

The Trumpet!

OL:

Memories?
Glenn Zottola:

My life in music.

OL:

Lights?
Glenn Zottola:

Television.
 
OL:

Clifford?
Glenn Zottola:
It's hard to do. I have so much emotion, connected with Clifford.

OL:
If You had to choose one word, what would it be?
Glenn Zottola:
My Heart

OL:

Young?
Glenn Zottola:

Me, as a kid.
 
OL:
Contrast?
Glenn Zottola:

Jazz.
 
OL:
Mountain?
Glenn Zottola:

A Career.
 
OL:
Instrumental?
Glenn Zottola:

Orchestra
 
OL:
Illumination?
Glenn Zottola:

The audience.

OL:

Cool?
Glenn Zottola:

Miles Davis

OL:
Thank you very much Glenn,
for coming on as
our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music
commentary you'd like to share with the
viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
4 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola:

My commentary, is that I think what OL is
doing, subjectively for me, is a fantastic
service. I want to applaud
Oceanlight Records
for providing a
wonderful platform, so an Artist can
just tell a story.
I think that it's a wonderful thing.
 I wish there was more of it.

OL:

Thank you so much, Glenn,
and we thank you for being
a special part of it. and we have more to
share with our OL Viewers,
as far as our joy of having You on our
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
We look forward tomorrow in
Part 5 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly
Interview,
as Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician
Great...Glenn Zottola
tells us about the
successful run of Glenn Zottola Productions
Co.,
with his Production Business Partner,
Bandleader Drummer
Bobby Rosengarden
of
the Dick Cavett Show, & keeping it in the
Family, with a special music project
with his
Brother Trumpeter great,
Bob Zottola & more
...
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

------------------------

OL:
Welcome Back, Glenn.
This being Part 5 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
On this segment...
Collaborations!

Glenn Zottola:
Hello again!

OL:
Tell us about Glenn Zottola Productions,
and how your Big Band took off, gigging at
the Rainbow Room, in NYC, and how
Drummer great Bobby Rosengarden played
a partnering role in this successful venture?

Glenn Zottola:
Wow, I'm glad you brought that up because
Bobby
was one of the collaborations like
Suzanne
and Chick. We had a ball;
seven years together.
We actually met on the
Benny Goodman Sextet.
It's a funny story.
Bobby
is one of those real New York
feisty guys. He came up through
all the channels in New York. He was the drummer on The Tonight Show;
all of those years in New York,
for Johnny Carson. And then he was the
Bandleader on the Dick Cavett Show.
He was an incredible studio drummer.
He played with Toscanini and the
NBC Orchestra
and everything.
He's an incredible, incredible musician
and a beautiful jazz player too.
But as I get off and tell this funny story,
so I'm with Benny, right... and we were
planning to do a broadcast for 2020 TV.
The director is counting down like a minute
to go, or whatever. And Benny,
he could get a little spaced out.
He turns around and he sees Bobby
on the drums, and we were going to go on
the air, and he says, "I thought I fired you."
Bobby had this real fast New York
comeback. He said, "Yeah, but you hired me
back!"
And Benny goes, "Okay"...
and he counts off the tune. So Bobby was
one of those real New York Jewish
you know tough guys; you know that don't
take any crap, studio guys that grew up
through all of those channels.
So we first met on Benny's sextet and
then we played some jazz festivals together
and he called me up one night and he said,
"How would you like to lead your own
Big Band in the
Rainbow Room?"
and I said I've never led a big band before.
He said "Don't worry about it. I'll give you my
arrangements, and you can have my
bandstands.  It's
Johnny Desmond going in
and you'll do great."
So he set me all up and
I went into the Rainbow Room,
and it was a huge, huge hit.
I ended up doing many, many engagements
after that. I really appreciated that he
gave me everything that set me up,
and that was really the start of Glenn Zottola
 Productions.
I wanted to come off of the
road. My daughter was 2 1/2 years old
I wanted to spend more time at home.
So, I started to put together booking
people from my house
in Connecticut.

OL:
Okay, well booking over 300 Events a year,
with your Big Band, Glenn,
it must have been both exciting,
and busy at the same time! How did You
schedule in your recording sessions
schedule in between that?

Glenn Zottola:
I was doing 90 hours a week...
I had a band six nights a week at the
Rainbow Room.

I was Entertainment Director of
two major hotels, Crowne Plaza
and the Hyatt.
Plus I was doing Jazz Festivals.
Plus I was going to Europe.
Plus I was doing all of my Jazz shows
and Corporate gigs, too. So, it was intense,
but I loved it. I was young,
and I was on fire.

OL:

Yeah, yeah, well that's great,
so you basically worked 365 days a year?

Glenn Zottola:
It was here and there about seven years.
Bobby
was kind of semi-retired,
he had about 25 gigs a year.
And I built it up to over 300.
In those days, 'live' music was
still happening, it wasn't all DJ's.
You know what I mean?
I had the finest Clientele. I used to do
Oscar de la Renta's
wedding parties.
I did a lot of different parties for the
Rockefellers
.
I worked for the Woolworth Family.
I worked for a lot of upscale people in
Connecticut
and in New York;
the guy who founded American Express,
Great, great Clients that loved good music;
loved to dance, all that stuff.

OL:
Oh, wow,
it must have been really one of a really
 rich period?

Glenn Zottola:
It really was, I think the end;
from what I can tell from people telling me
today; It was kind of the end of the
glorious days of live music, which is sad.

OL:
What would be your fondest memory,
of working with Bobby Rosengarden?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, we had a ball.
We had a lot of laughs. We had really
become very, very close friends.
We would do a gig at the Plaza Hotel.
And afterwards we'd go out for dinner,
and we would have a lot of fun.
We were great teammates with
tremendous respect for each other.
Musically, I learned a lot from him about
being a bandleader for sure.
He was a great bandleader.
I learned a lot about business from him,
and how to run the show.
He was kind of a mentor for me
in that way.

OL:
Also, in the spirit of partnership...
on the classic and beautifully recorded,
Softly As A Morning Sunrise"...
with You on Tenor Sax,
and your Brother Bob Zottola
on Trumpet; take us to the beginning
of how this collaboration project
got started?

Glenn Zottola:
Let me refresh myself on that.
This is with Bob? Excuse me,
I'm sorry about that.
Oh, okay, have you heard that track?

OL:
Yeah, we believe that this is one of
the ones that you recorded first,
and then you set the track to Bob?

Glenn Zottola:
But how did you get that?
I don't even recall sending that to you.


OL:
We did our homework.

Glenn Zottola:
Oh, it's on my website.
Oh, you did your homework, OL.
I take my hat off to you!

OL:
Thank you.

Glenn Zottola:
Well, you know Bob and
I
have been together a long time
as brothers; the family jam sessions.
We have kind of a rapport together,
that's pretty amazing.
That track was just an experiment.
Where I basically...we were at long distance;
he's in Florida and I'm in L.A.
We've been talking about doing the
Zottola Brothers
album, forever.
I laid some stuff down with the Tenor,
and I emailed it to him, and
he laid down some stuff with the Trumpet.
And that's what that tracks all about.
I don't know anybody at that age. Bob is 77,
now... that has those kind of chops,
who plays with that kind of fire.
He's amazing!

OL:
We're sure that this will be
a great family affair.

Glenn Zottola:
He still loves music.
He's definitely not jaded or tired.

OL:

That's wonderful, wonderful.
What would be one of your
favorite moments in performing
and working with your Brother?

Glenn Zottola:
You know,  I just received an
interesting tape from a fan in Finland,
oddly enough. And he was at a club that
Bob
and I were playing at.
The quality is not good,
but the music was unbelievable and
he sent me this tape...
that was one night that really
sticks out for me; and of course
Bob
and I have done a lot of things
together. We did a Broadway show,
we did "Evita" together.
And of course we had the
Family Jazz Club. It was amazing;
that was a real spawning ground
for me. He led the band, there.

OL:
Okay, so working in the club with your
Brother, that was like the pinnacle?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, it was tremendous training.
A lot of stars played in that club;
Tommy Flanagan
and Bob Timmons.
To get to sit in there every week,
was a great spawning ground for me,
even though I was very young.
And then, we played together a lot later.
We were playing together when we
were kids in the house.
We always had that same mindset
on the music

OL:

Wonderful! Who are some of the great
Recording Engineers that you would
work with again, and again?

Glenn Zottola:
Umm... oddly enough,
there was a guy that just passed away
and he did a lot of my early albums.
His name was Richie La Page and
he recorded a lot of albums that I did.
He was great, other than that,
Oddly enough, when I did movies
when I first came to L.A.,
there were a couple of
Engineers in the movie world that I really
and truly loved the way they handled the
sessions. With movies, you know you
play all kinds of music;
if it's a period piece in the 40s.
You would have a lot of 40s music.
I found that the movie engineers could
really shift gears and they would get the
sound of my horn that I would really
want for the certain period.

OL:

Okay, Okay, all right, wonderful.

Glenn Zottola:
Also with Suzanne, there was a guy named
Bob Ludwick
. He was amazing. He was our
live Engineer for our live gigs. He was the
soundman on the TV show. He was the
original sound man that did all of the work for
the group 'Chicago'. So, he really knew how
to mic horns, which I really appreciated;
 this guy was great.
My horn always sounded pristine.

OL:

That's great, Glenn. Thank You once again!

OL:

We look forward tomorrow in Part 6 of this 7
part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we cover more of Glenn Zottola's
spectacular Stage events, from performing in
the many Jazz Festivals, performing with his
friend, Jazz Legend Bassist Milt Hinton...
to sharing the stage with
Singer extraordinaire, Patti Austin & more...

OL:
Glenn,
is there any music commentary you'd
like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 5 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, now that you brought up Engineers;
you asked me about what was it like
recording by yourself. It's not easy being
the Engineer
and the artist. I have to take my hat off;
Chick's
Engineer is a very good friend
of mine, Bernie Kirsch.
He actually tweaked and polish
Chick's
track.. It's amazing what he did,
like in a half-hour. And then, there is a very
famous guy at Capitol. He's like a legend.
Al Schmidt
, who does all of
Diana Krall's
albums. So, I have to take my
hat off to a great Engineer.
I mean in the old days,
the famous Engineer was
Rudy Van Gelder
.
Those guys get the sound of your
instrument and they carry it forward
and they're really responsible for that sound.
He got the sound on John Coltrane
and Miles, and all of that stuff.
So, my hat is off to  great engineers.
They really make the Artists' job easy,
and they also get the Artists' pure sound
out to the public...
I'll never forget I'll tell you a funny story,
working with Engineers. I remember I was
helping Chick, mix an album that
he did in tribute to Bud Powell.
And there's all this technical stuff
flying around the studio.
Everybody has their own viewpoint.
You know all this technical language.
I'll never forget that day.
I always quote it: Bernie at one point turns
to Chick and says,
"Which one sounds better to you?"
Chick says, "that one,"
and that was the end of the discussion.
Like he was so cool, the way he handled
all of those different viewpoints
in the studio, you know.
He just basically said, "Chick,
which one sounds better?"
So that's the bottom line.

OL:
Thank you Glenn.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
---------------------------------

OL:
Welcome once again, Glenn.
This being Part 6 of our 7 day Interview
for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
Quote from Jazz Legend Bassist
 Milt Hinton:
"Glenn Zottola - Top quality trumpet and
saxophone. I'm pleased to add him to the
list of musical giants I've played with.
A great asset to the world of jazz."
-Milt "Judge" Hinton

OL:
These shared thoughts and words from the
great Milt Hinton; Glenn... must have a
life-lasting effect, of which we are all too
happy to highlight this... a true testament
of your friendship and his utmost respect
for your talents?

Glenn Zottola:
A dear, dear friend.
That warms my heart and
I cherish that. Milton at the time was the
most recorded bass player in history.
He played with everybody. Miles, everybody
that you could imagine, Billie Holiday,
he played with everybody
and he was a dear, dear friend.
A fan and supporter and encourager.
And I cherished what he said, there.

OL:
Truly wonderful! You worked with,
honored with a plaque.
and celebrated Mr. Hinton's 80th Birthday,
at the Clearwater Jazz Festival,
with an audience 10,000 people?

Glenn Zottola:
Yeah, I had the whole audience sing happy
birthday that night. I have a moving story.
We went to the Sarasota Jazz Festival,
and at that festival, I think it's okay to tell
this. I don't think he'd mind. Ronald Reagan
sent a letter to Milt, declaring Milt Hinton
day
in Jackson, Mississippi
where he grew up.
He came up to me and he had tears
in his eyes literally, and he said you know
you're the only one that would really
understand that. He said,
"My Grandmother was a Slave,
in
Jackson and when they would
let the dogs out, to chase runaway slaves.
She would put pepper in our shoes.
They would smell the pepper and go the
other way."
He said "Because I play the
bass, because of jazz.
I play bass and music,
It's gone from that to
Milt Hinton day
in the same town."
He's was crying,
he said, "I wish my Grandma could
see this,"
and we hugged each other.
It was a beautiful, beautiful program.

OL:
We are sure, no doubt that her spirit was
there with  Milt...

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely. The point he was making.
Because of music, he was able to achieve
that. From being a kid, growing up in
Jackson
, to being a Jazz Star. 
Universal, Isn't it? Louis Armstrong
used to travel around the world.
An ambassador in Africa.
They didn't speak the language,
but the music spoke the language.
You don't need language with music.

OL:

That's right! Who are some of your
contemporaries that
You enjoy working with?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, mostly, I don't work with many
contemporaries.
The most contemporary guy would be Chick,
really. I moved to Hollywood when I
 kind of left the jazz scene and went to join
Suzanne Somers.
I left all the guys that were in my click;
 which were people like Scott Hamilton,
Ken Peplowski, Butch Miles
and
Howard Alden.
Pretty much swing-oriented
players... great players, but swing oriented.
They weren't really
contemporary players...
Warren Vache
. So, Chick was in another
world, because Chick is truly a
contemporary  player.
When I came to L.A.,
I did work with some wonderful Musicians.
I think I included for you, a track with a
beautiful Bass Player.
His name is Jim DeJulio,
who I met with Sinatra.
It was beautiful recording that I did
with him, and he had Roy McCurdy
on drums, who played with
Cannonball Adderley
.
I would say that that session
was more contemporary than the
usual session,
that I had with Swing Players.

OL:
Well, we are excited about everyone
hearing your wonderful tracks on this
OL Interview
and for sure on your Site.

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you.

OL:
Who are some of your contemporaries,
or fellow Musicians, that You enjoy listening
to and would love to work with?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, I like Joshua Redman,
on Tenor Saxophone.
I think he's a wonderful, wonderful player.
I met him, because he was in
Chick's Band
.
And he's a really cool guy.
I like the guy that works for Chick a lot.
He's from England...
Tim Garland
. I've been in communication
lately, with Wallace Roney, who was in
Chick's Band
because he was a big
Clifford
fan. I was telling him about my
'Clifford Brown'
Project. So, thank God,
there's a lot of really good players
out there. Joe Lovano, I love him.
He's a wonderful player...Eddie Daniels.
There's a lot of really, really good players
out there... even though I have my
complaint. There's a select few that I like,
and I just feel that Jazz Education
could be doing a better job.
There's a hand full that I love.
There is more that could done with
Jazz Education; that's why I respect what
Wynton Marsalis
is doing at Lincoln Center,
a lot. Exposing people to the history of Jazz;
Louis Armstrong
on up. It's really, really
important..he made that comment,
"The difference between a Jazz Musician,
and a Classical Musician, is that the
Jazz Musician doesn't respect the tradition
of the music."
It's a heavy statement, right? But,
a lot of these guys in school,
they start with John Coltrane;
they move up
 from there. John Coltrane would be the
first one to tell you, Jazz didn't start
with me.
So, I respect what Wynton
is doing. You never hear a
Classical Musician saying, Oh, Bach
and Mozart, yeah that's old stuff.
You never hear a Classical Musician call
Bach
or Mozart, old stuff. So, I think that
needs to happen in the Jazz world...
people have to go back and revisit these Legends. Everything that I can do and play,
I owe it to the Legends,
the Founding Fathers of Jazz.

OL
Right! Just as people are still
studying still, how Beethoven wrote
his Symphonies.

Glenn Zottola:
Exactly. They're re-discovering it.
My Brother said something about
Schubert
re-discovering Bach.
When you re-visit again,
you find out about things that you didn't
even realize.
So you go back to listen to
Charlie Parker
, or Louis Armstrong,
Lester Young
, or Roy Eldrige, or Clifford,
or anybody. That's the foundation.
You've got to do that, you know;
no matter what kind of music that you
want to play.

OL:
That's a key word there,
Glenn
that you said, Foundation?

Glenn Zottola:
Oh, absolutely.
What was I reading, recently?
Somebody really great. Basically, Miles.
I heard an Interview with Miles, on TV.
He was saying that it's an
evolutionary thing. They asked Miles,
"Who do you like... what do you think about
Louis Armstrong? He said, "Of Course,
we all build from each other, forward."
Miles didn't start the Trumpet, hello.
He was asked, "How do you summarize
Jazz?"
He said, "In two names,
Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker."
He didn't say, Jazz started with me.
He innovated some things sure,
but that's not the point.
So, that's what I would like to see happen,
and that's what I'm trying to do with my
Jazz Education Products.
I would like to see a little more attention
put on the Founding Fathers.

OL:
This is a continuing goal, Glenn.
We hope that we get closer and closer
to that goal.

Glenn Zottola:

Yes, trying to keep it pure.

OL:
Just to name a few more from your
9 year stint, performing on the
Suzanne Somers TV Show,
we see that
You've also worked with... Marilyn McCoo,
Hector Elizondo, Ben Vereen, Nell Carter,

and let's not forget one of our favorites,
Singer Patti Austin, who like You, Glenn,
is so musically diverse, in various genre's.
Again, on your terrific site,
You have a video clip
of a nice swing version of,
"Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,"
with Suzanne and Patti doing a closing
duet... and thanks in part,
to your trumpet solo, this number really
swings with that New Orleans Jazz Louie
feel. Do You have an overall picture of how
You want to perform your solo parts,
depending on who the Guest Artist is?

Glenn Zottola:
Well you know, first of all, I have to give
Suzanne
credit. She's kind of like me,
like a chameleon. You see her with Patti.
Suzanne's
an Actress first, you know,
and Patti a Singer. She seems to fit into
any scenario, it's unbelievable.
I've got to give her credit, it's the way
she sounded on that tune. So, for me,
I'm just always listening.
Like I mentioned to you,
how I love playing with Singers, right,
and filling the holes and all of that.
I'm always listening and getting my signals
from the Singer, from the Stars that I'm
working with... and then I do my best to
contribute my message to that; rather than
being on some weird ego trip.
I always want to play in good taste.

OL
Everyone should see that video and hear all
of the great work that You did on that show.

Glenn Zottola:
Thank you. I mentioned this earlier,
it was a pinnacle for me, I had a great time,
I really did... and a lot of it had to do with
Suzanne
. She gave me carte blanche
musically, to do whatever I wanted.
I remember once, one of the Directors came
up to me and he said, "Can't you play some
Rolling Stones?"
I'm looking at him like,
are you out in space, somewhere? It's a
Jazz Band, it doesn't even have a guitar
in it. So, I went to Suzanne, and I said,
You know, so and so is bugging me about playing the Rolling Stones. Suzanne said, "Just stop, don't worry about it." She went to this guy, and she just really
laid him down. I never heard anymore
of him telling me what to play.
She backed me up 100% on that show.

OL:

Switching gears & mouthpieces...
It's great Glenn, that Musician Trumpeters,
can get a wonderful endorsed product of
yours, through your association RS Berkeley
Musical Instruments Co.

They have released
a copy of your trumpet mouthpiece,
called the "Glenn Zottola Trumpet
Mouthpiece"
as part of their Legend
Series
; of which it is now available at select
retailers around the world?

Glenn Zottola:
Yes, I'm so excited,
it's a real tribute to my Dad...
Master Mouthpiece maker.
This Company, R.S. Berkley,
is a great Company. They make wonderful
Saxophones, and they started this
Legends Mouthpiece Series.

They did a tribute to Stan Getz.
I'm friends with Stan's Daughter.
They got Stan's mouthpiece from
Stan Getz's
Daughter. They put out a
Stan Getz
model. They put out a
Charlie Parker model
, for the Alto.
They have Louis Armstrong, Woody Shaw,
and Dizzy Gillespie. I was really honored
when he asked me to do my mouthpiece.
In 1979, I went to my Dad.
I was getting very busy,
in the professional scene,
doing a lot of varied work.
I had my Dad take one of the mouthpieces
that he made.
I played with my Dad's mouthpiece
my whole life, but I had to make some very
minor alterations to fit the bill for me;
for all of the different styles that I had to
play. So, that's the mouthpiece that I
played with, my whole Career.
It's a one of a kind. You really can't get it.
So I'm thrilled that I was able to get that
duplicated, so others could have it.
That Company is R.S. Berkley
in New Jersey. Beautiful guy, his name is
Les Silver
; who runs the Company.
He's a Saxophone Player, and he's a really sweet guy. He has a tremendous love
for Musicians.

OL:
Anyone can purchase the Glenn Zottola
mouthpiece at R.S. Berkley?

Glenn Zottola:
Yes, that's correct.
 
OL:

How do You feel about Social Media,
as it relates to your Career, now...
and what would You say, Glenn,
would be the
advantages, if used responsibly?

Glenn Zottola:
As you know, Social Media,
you can't deny it. It is what's happening.
Even major Celebrities are on Twitter.
So, I'm trying to learn more,
and more about it. I'm on Facebook,
I'm on Linked In, I'm on Twitter,
and I have a Website. I'm trying to learn
more and more about it, because through
media like YouTube, it is a way to reach
a lot of people. I already have reached a lot
of people, and I'm thrilled about that...
but I do want to expand it, because whether
you like it or not, it is the future.
I mean there are some things that
I don't like about it, for sure.
I feel that it can get impersonal,
but you can't deny the power that the
internet and social media has.

OL:

Yes, that's right Glenn...
If it's used in a really positive and
responsible way, like you said,
it's a very powerful tool?

Glenn Zottola:
Absoulutely. I mean it's part of the world
that's changed, for sure. You saw the role
Facebook played during the revolution in
Egypt. It's unbelievable that social media
would have caused a revolution.
It's powerful stuff, and also a word of
warning as we all know,
it can be dangerous too.
Like anything that is powerful,
it can be used for good, or bad.

OL:

We look forward tomorrow in
Part 7 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes
Weekly Series,
as we take a tour on
the best of
Glenn Zottola's Broadway Gigs,

his recordings and works with
Saxophonist Great Zoot Sims
and famed
Talk Show Host / Musician
Steve Allen...
and then wrapping things up, finding out
about what's next for Jazz
Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician Great
Glenn Zottola
...

OL:

Glenn,
is there any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
6 of 7 segment?

Glenn Zottola:
So yeah, I would like to up my presence,
now that I have all of these Products out
there. I've got a Website, and I have
Interviews, including this one.
I would like to get a wider reach.
I'm not on Television every night,
right now... so a good way to do that,
would probably be through Social Media.

OL:

Thank you Glenn. We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


----------------------------------











OL:
OL would like to extend our
immeasurable thanks to You, Glenn...
for sharing some of your very
valuable time with all of our OL Viewers
for this week...
This being Part 7 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
 
We have no doubt that Musicians
reading this worldwide, have come away
from this OL Interview,
with knowing even more highlights 
about your 'shining' Career!
Thanks for sharing, Glenn!


OL:
A Quote from Saxophonist great
Zoot Sims:
"Glenn has 'big ears' - he is a natural jazz
musician... I find him equally talented on
both trumpet and alto."

-Zoot Sims

OL:
Glenn,
as a young lad,
You've had wonderful
opportunities to play with so many
of the celebrated great Jazz Musicians
of the world...
One night on a Jazz & Blues Club Gig...
Zoot Sims
was on Tenor Sax,
and You were on Alto Sax.
Would You say that often being in the
special  moments & Gigs like this,
stays with You, and puts a Musician into a
new dimension of performing?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, Zoot is a Legend to me, and many
others. Milt Hinton, one; we did that gig
with Zoot. My first gig with him,
he called him "The salt of the earth;"
which he was. He was very underrated,
I think. They both came up together,
Stan Getz
and Zoot. They were both in
Woody Herman's Band
. Stan went to much
higher levels, with the public awareness,
with his hit 'Ipanema' and so on.
But Zoot was equally talented,
and he never reached that kind of fame.
Although the character on the
Muppett Show
, called 'Zoot',
is named after the one that plays the
Saxophone. But the point is,
that he never reached the fame and the
monetary reward  that Stan did.
So, when I first met Zoot;
he found out that I was a player
who played by ear,
he said, "Me, too!" So,
we really hit it off; both being ear players,
playing by ear. We had instant simpatico,
we really did... kind of like when I first
performed with Suzanne.
It was a beautiful thing,
and he was a Legend to me.
He was very nice to me, and very
complimentary. Again, that's another thing
that I highly cherish.

OL:
Glenn,
what would be your own
special quote
for the great Musician, Zoot Sims,
as You think about him, today?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, I think that I'll have to quote
Milt Hinton
, saying that,
"He was the salt of the earth."
What I mean that... he swung like crazy,
but he played with so much soul. Really,
so much soul. I remember doing
a tune; I'm a young guy, and I'm hot stuff,
on this gig... and I played this solo,
with a million notes. It was a good solo,
I got a standing ovation...
but then Zoot comes in, he waits a little,
but he comes in and played one note,
but it was the right note, with the right
sound. He made the one note swing,
and he put it in the right place.
Bells went off in my mind.
I said, oh my God, that's where it's at.
It was like four years worth of College
in one note. That's the way I learned how
to play music. I learned so much just being
next to these guys. It's just osmosis,
you know what I mean?

OL:
Yes, from interviewing You Glenn,
it's very evident that You also listen to the
orbits that they are in?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely, you said it right.
You know it's like in Star Trek,
the Vulcan's mind meld. I get in their heads and in a few seconds,
it's amazing on what I can find out.
It's like the greatest way to learn.

OL:
That's a great analogy, we love that.

Glenn Zottola:
Yeah...what a privilege to play next to
Benny Goodman
every night. I mean,
why not get in their heads,
and find out what they're doing.
Playing with Chick Corea, playing with
Zoot Sims, Milt Hinton;
on and on and on.
Why not get into their heads and absorb all
of that experience?

OL:
Right... and at the same time, you're
balancing your own orbit?

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely. You can never be anybody else.
I tell people that. You don't have to be
afraid. Imitation, or another word for it;
that's a tremendous learning tool.
'Emulation'. Emulate to greatness,
you know. I want to advise people,
that is the quickest way to having your
own individual style...
is to emulate those you love.
That's the fastest route that I can
think of.

OL:
Like You said,
"Everyone listens to someone."

Glenn Zottola:
Absolutely. For a while in the 60's and 70's,
people were like,
"I don't want to sound like
anybody else, I want to be different."
I don't think any great player, ever set out
as a goal, to be different. They became
different, naturally, organically.
But I never resisted...
oh I don't want to play like him,
I want to be different. That's not the route.
You arrive at your own individual sound,
by emulating those before you,
not by resisting it.

OL:
Available now and on iTunes...
You are featured throughout; on the
incredible Concord Records CD,
"Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight..."
of what was at the request and the
visionary insistence of
Talk Show Host Legend Musician,
Mr. Steve Allen,
himself.
That's quite an honor, Glenn!
We especially love You being featured on
Trumpet...for the track,
"You Go To My Head."
Put us all there right at this session,
with Mr. Allen's free-style approach
for the Band?

Glenn Zottola:

Well, Steve blew me away,
because I didn't know that he could play
that good. He's a Comedian, right?
He did liner notes for the CD I did,
called "It's About Time."
The one with Jim DeJulio. That has
"Dewey Square"
on it. I gave you that
track. Anyway, he did the liner notes.
He heard my playing and he never
heard me before, he flipped out.
He loved it. Concord wanted to do
Warren Vache
, because Warren has been
recording on Concord, forever.
Steve
insisted that I do the session.
And I never even met him.
He didn't even know me, but he heard me,
right? So I get to the session.
And I knew the guys on the session.
And Steve, he didn't say anything.
He just sat down at the piano,
with no arrangements. He started playing
songs and we had to make up arrangements
as we went. It's a great band;
Ken
Peplowski on Tenor, Howard Alden,
Frank Capp
, kind of like the west coast
version of Bobby Rosengarden,
and the bass player,
Chuck Berghoffer
.
It's a great album and I love that album.
In the beginning when I started my career
in New York, the founder of Concord,
Carl Jefferson
; he sent an A&R guy to
New York
, to interview me and talk
with me. He said he wanted to sign me
with a label. At that time, he only had
Scott Hamilton
and Warren Vache,
 I believe. So we sit down
for a while, and the A&R guy says,
"Well, you know I love your playing, etc,
etc; but you know if you play the trumpet,
or saxophone, you'd be a lot easier to
market."
So I said, well, let me get this
straight. Are you implying that I give up
an ability that only one in three people
in the entire planet has, to solve your
marketing problems? Anyway,
the deal didn't happen and we just parted
ways. Now 30 years later, I'm doing this album with Steve Allen for Concord.
So, after the session's over,
Jefferson
comes up to me.
He's the founder of Concord, he says,
"My God, you are amazing, and I have to
apologize for what happened
30 years ago."
And he said, "Would you be willing to
record for me, now?"
I said absolutely,
but he passed away, shortly after that.
So, it never came to fruition, sadly,
as Carl Jefferson did so much
for music...
So, that's the wild story on 'that session.
So, after that session was over,
the beautiful thing was Steve
invited me down a couple of times to his
office, in Beverly Hills. We sat down,
and he ordered out for lunch.
We had lunch, and we talked.
He played the piano, I played saxophone,
with him in his office,
and we just hung out. It was unbelievable.
He had so many stories,
he's got such a history, you know?

OL:
Incredible, wow. We enjoyed that.

Glenn Zottola:
He had a lot of Jazz Legends on the
Steve Allen Show:
Art Tatum,
Oscar Peterson
, Lester Young, and
 Coleman Hawkins
. He had a lot of jazz
players come on his show.

OL:
In today's music world, and with
the vast use of the internet & Social Media,
more and more Artists are taking more
direct control of their Careers,
via marketing and promoting.
While Major Record Companies are
streamlining their Artists Roster line-up,
more and more Independent Record Labels
are growing in numbers, but pale in
comparison to some of the major
Record Labels as far production
and budget,
and things like that. Do You believe that
there can be a happy medium between
these two entities in working together?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, I've got to be honest. I'm a little lost
on the subject, because there are those
that say the CD business is over,
with the advent that what Steve Jobs
did with the digital downloads.
I think it's a moving target. I think it's
changing. I don't know if it's really
settled yet. I know that there's a lot
more avenues, and a sense that an
artist now, can put out their own CD's;
let's say, put it on CD Baby or iTunes.
So, you can get around the major labels,
which is a good thing. But then again,
the major labels have the money to
promote your product, which means a lot.
So, again, back to your earlier question;
I think it's going to be a question of each
individual artist really learning about the
business, from this angle. There's a lot to
learn; social media, marketing,
promotional independent.
There's a learning curve there, for sure.

OL:
So, would you say,
it's pretty much like a work in progress?
 
Glenn Zottola:
Well, it is for me. Maybe if you talked to
someone more knowledgeable, they would
have a better take on it. At least for jazz,
but I'm told that even the pop artists are in
trouble as far as record sales.
So, I don't know where it's really settling
out. I do know that there's a lot more
routes for people to take, for sure.
Like a friend of mine, he was hoping to
get a Grammy nomination, at least.
So, he produced the CD himself,
he's a very good player in New York.
He put it on CD Baby.
He did it all himself, no record label.
Nothing happened,
in terms of the Grammys.
So, I don't know if the game is fixed;
in the sense that I don't have the statistics
on how many independent records are
winning Grammys. For example,
I'm sure that there are some maybe,
that have, but I don't know how many.
Because it seems like the record labels
do control the environment, a little bit,
you know? For example, I use for my
research; I use Spotify,
it's a free service. It's amazing,
I can go on there and listen to
any CD. In fact, I have a friend who runs a
radio station, in New Jersey. She programs
her entire show from Spotify.
She has no hard copy CDs, in the Library.
So, for me, let's say I'm doing an album
with 15 tunes, in all truth of the matter,
it might be hard to get someone to really
want 15 songs. They might want just one.
They want to compile their own set list.
Now, the reverse side of that, is that older
people, who don't have any skills with the
Internet; but they're not a large part of
the buying public.

OL:
But happily, LP's are coming back.
Especially in the European Market,
people are demanding that they want
something to show for their purchase.
LP's are starting to slowly creep back into
the market, and that's an exciting thing.

Glenn Zottola:
I went into the Whole Foods Store
the other day,
and I saw this huge bin of LP's.
I couldn't believe it.

OL:
Glenn,
on our last tour stop with You,
on this OL Interview for the week,
we've come to an equally impressive
dimension of your Music Career...
to where You've played in the
Orchestra Pit,
on the best of of Big Apple City Stage
Arenas...
...BROADWAY...
Rattling off some of the
Hit Broadway Shows
that You were a
part of..."Annie", the original "Evita",
"Dancin"
, "Barnham", "42nd Street",
& on the road playing lead trumpet in the
original "Chicago" national tour with
Jerry Orbach, Gwen Verdon
and
Chita Rivera.
Tell us about this
extraordinary run of shows and how
B'way rehearsals in particular differ from
preparation for TV Show rehearsals?

Glenn Zottola:
Chita
was amazing. They're all amazing...
Jerry
, too.
There is a big number in "Chicago,
"All That Jazz",
where the star character
Roxie Hart
makes an entrance down the stairs
from the Bandstand.
Every night, when we would do a show,
Chita
would just come up and lean on my
shoulders, waiting for the
entrance, and we would chat
and have fun. She was so relaxed
and such a pro, and made it fun!
We worked seven shows,
eight shows a week.
She was an amazing, amazing Entertainer.
Oh God, I was so impressed with her.
That was a great experience.
I try to tell people... I was just telling
someone yesterday, about this; you used
everything, I used it all. I use my efforts,
and everything that I did to television.
I ran that show like a jazz gig,
I used all of my experience with
Broadway
, from playing Weddings...
As a musician, you do all kinds of work.
If you're smart, you will use it all.
It all comes to your rescue, at times.
So, Broadway was a whole other genre.
I couldn't stay there. Like my Brother,
Bob
, did Les Mis for 17 years.
I couldn't have that kind of discipline.
There is a benefit to that, and incredible
pension. But it wasn't in my nature.
I was groomed to be in front of the
audience. A funny story:
I walk into the studio one day,
and they were ripping pages
from out of this script.
The director is frantic.
He did all of Dick Clark shows.
He said, "My God, what are we going to do,
we have to write all new music,
we don't have any time, we're going on the
air."
I said, wait a minute Barry, relax.
Just give me whatever color or mood,
whatever you want; like 30 seconds before
the commercial break, and you've got it.
And that's what he did.
I gave him a perfect show
with no music, with a script that
had completely changed. And he said,
"I never saw anybody on television,
operate that way ever."
I said, Barry,
I'm a jazz player. That's what I do,
improvise. He actually recommended me
for The Tonight Show,
because Branford Marsalis
was leaving. He was so impressed with my
work. What I'm saying is, you bring it all
to the table.

OL:
How did Broadway rehearsals differ from
preparations for a Television show?

Glenn Zottola:
Broadway
is definitely more expansive,
because it's all written music. I had more
control over the TV show, because I was
improvising a lot of it,
and I was the Band Leader.
So, I was able to have control on how
I was going to fit the music into the show.
On Broadway, it's all scripted out,
you're just reading music.
You've got to basically, do a lot more
rehearsals and it's not subject to change.
Don't forget I'm playing a show for a cast.

OL:
What would be one of your
favorite Broadway Shows
that You've worked on?

Glenn Zottola:
It would be "Chicago."
First of all, it's a jazz oriented show.
It's in the 20's. The music was jazzy.
I loved the fact that we were
on stage, not in the pit.
The band was on stage for
the whole show. So, it's like doing
 a real jazz gig, you know what I mean?

OL:

Wonderful!
As we come to a close for this
OL Interview, Glenn...
can You expound upon your own quote of
what the "vintage period of jazz..."
and what the preservation of it means to
You, in the music world of today?

Glenn Zottola:
Well, I call it the Golden Age of Jazz.
You find that in a lot of genres.
You'll find the Golden age of film,
all of those incredible productions.
I saw the other night, "Funny Girl,"
with Barbra Streisand. Oh my God,
you can't still see movies like that anymore.
So, the Golden Age of Film, you have the
Renaissance of Paintings.
Then, you have the Golden Age of Music,
which started with
Louis Armstrong
in 1920,
and kind of ended with Charlie Parker in
1950. Those golden ages, I feel need to be
cherished, preserved and studied.
Of course,
things move forward, there's nothing wrong
with that; but if you don't have a
foundation, as you don't take what came
before, it's not going to have the same
substance. So, I keep trying to fight this
point that the golden age needs to be
validated. And that's why I say,
I respect what Wynton Marsalis
is trying to do at Lincoln Center.
I wish that the jazz education system
would do a better job at that;
really putting attention on the
Golden Age of Jazz.

OL:
There are some who touch people
with their talents,
and Jazz Trumpeter great Glenn Zottola
is one who has touched so many people,
let alone other great Artists.
It is therefore fitting that anyone who
reads this OL Interview and listening to
his wide range of classic recordings,
will also feel his musical touch for a
lifetime! OL celebrates the major Stage,
Recordings & Screen contributions of this
exciting and enduring Artist...
Jazz Trumpeter Glenn Zottola!


Glenn Zottola:
I want to say one more thing; I repeat
myself...on a fantastic job and platform
that you have given me. As I said,
I've done a lot of interviews around the
world; this is probably the best one
I've ever done. Because OL has done its
homework. Your tremendous love for
artists, your questions are
right inside of my head.
I just want to validate what you are
doing. I think you've done a fantastic job,
and I love what Oceanlight Records is all
about. I just want to tell people that your
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series
should be
supported, also.

OL:

Thank you so much, Glenn.
We can't tell you enough how much that
means to Oceanlight Records and the
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series
.
Thank you so much for doing such a
wonderful and informative interview.
It is a joy to have you on the OL Series,
one of our top interviews of all time...
 
Glenn Zottola:
Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
You're very welcome.

OL:
Jazz Trumpeter/Saxophonist Musician
Great...Glenn Zottola
!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


Playlist samples:
Jazz Trumpeter / Saxophonist Great
GLENN ZOTTOLA

1. Just The Two Of Us (Only Trust Your Heart" CD) -
feat. Glenn Zottola & Sonny Constanzo
Personnel on track one:
Sonny Costanza, Mel Lewis, Gene Bertoncini,
Michael Moore, Harold Danko
2. But Not For Me -
(Chick Corea Trio & Glenn Zottola: Trumpet and Alto Sax)
3. But Beautiful:
 Suzanne Somers and  Glenn Zottola
4. So Many Stars (Only Trust Your Heart" CD)
5. Milt Hinton Clearwater Jazz Festival
6. Greensleeves (Glenn at 16 years old)
7. Stardust
8. Killing Time (Glenn w/ Maxine Sullivan)
9. Samba Rioja
10. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams -
(Suzanne Somers TV Show w/Guest Patti Austin)
11. Sweet Thing
(Guests Tisha Campbell/Tichina Arnold -
on the Suzanne Somers TV Show)
12. Dewey Square
13. Fine and Dandy (Steve Allen Band and Glenn Zottola)
14. Cottontail
15. I've Got To Wear You Off Of My Mind  (w/ Peggy Lee)
16. Gentle Rain (Only Trust Your Heart" CD)
17. Struttin' With Some Barbecue
18. China Boy
19. Shine (Glenn Zottola ' live' at Carnegie Hall)



Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
CHARLES CALELLO
PRODUCER ARRANGER CONDUCTOR LEGEND
www.charlescalello.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 6/1/14 - 6/7/14

playlist at end-box#2

OL:
The smash Broadway Musical
"Jersey Boys"...
brilliantly highlights the timeless
legendary musical
arrangements and memories of which
Musical Legend,
...Charles James Calello...
who helped to create many of the
great original
"Jersey Boys'
classic hit recordings,
in the Pop/Rock Music World &
was once one of the Jersey Boys, himself!
OL
is honored to do a special feature
Interview this week of June 1-7, 2014!
Welcoming...
Celebrated Producer Arranger
Composer, Singer & Conductor...

as we get to visit with Mr. Calello,
covering many of great moments &
recording session
highlights of his legendary music
arrangements for the Stars!...
From Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons'
Top 100 Billboard Hit, "Walk Like A Man,"
to Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights,"
to Odyssey's smash hit,
"Native New Yorker,"
 to Barbra Streisand's,
"My Heart Belongs To Me,"
& so much more...!
It's happily a long list, folks!
The Pop/Rock Music World, calls him
'The Hit Man'!
Oceanlight Records is honored to
present this OL Interview, by welcoming
the Master behind the Music...
...Charles Calello...
conduit of some of the greatest
Pop/Rock Music
ever written & performed...
Through the musical vision of
Mr. Calello's
legendary
Grammy winning Arrangements
to the Stars, and more than
100 Billboard
Top Charting Hits!
As part of Frankie Valli &
 The Four Lovers,
historically known as
The Four Seasons
early years, and those magical
and timeless arrangements for...
Frank Sinatra, Juice Newton
Bruce Springsteen,
Engelbert Humperdinck,
The Toys, Neil Diamond,
Barry Manilow, Paul Anka
& more...
For those millions of radio listeners
out there, whether you're driving
in your car, or in your comfort zone
listening to all of the top 40
great songs, chances are that
you've heard one of
Mr. Calello's
great Pop/Rock
arrangements,
through a long line of one of these
great Stars.
Need we say more? We certainly will,
on this OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly
feature, with Mr. Charles Calello as our
Special Guest Artist!
 
 
OL:

Welcome Charles, and
thank you
for giving us and all of the OL Site Visitors,
for what will be a 7-part
Interview on the
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

for the entire week of June 1-7, 2014.
We're excited to spend this week with You.
Thank you
and welcome...
  
Charles Calello:

Thank you very much for inviting me.
I'm looking forward to doing this.
You're probably going to rattle
my memory in a lot of areas.
  
OL:
That's great, Charles!
Let's travel throughout your very
illustrious career.
It is legend that in 1958,
You and your Band where
performing 'live' at a New Jersey
Night Club
in Newark...
and Pop/Rock Singer sensation,
Frankie
Valli of The Four Seasons,
 
walked in that night,
and was blown away after
seeing your Band perform.
Charles, with your stellar success as 
Producer and Arranger,
it's always interesting to go
back to the very beginning,
when You first knew
that music would be your life.
Tell us about your early musical influences,
growing up as a youth, in your
native Newark, New Jersey?

Charles Calello:
Well, as a kid, my Mother listened to
Country music.
She was an avid Country music fan.
My Father was a Club Date Musician.
He played weddings,
bar mitzvahs, and also played for shows.
Well, between my Father
practicing the Trumpet,
and listening to him play exercises in
popular songs;
and my Mother listening to country music...
I grew up with a pretty wide base,
of musical tastes from my Family.
 

OL:
Wonderful, wonderful! 
What became your first instrument,
and who introduced it to You?
  
Charles Calello:

Well, my first instrument;
I don't really remember
what happened to it,
but my Father introduced me
to the accordion.
And the reason why he wanted me
to play the accordion, back then...
pianos, in most of the halls
 that they played, were not usually in
tune. They were in very bad shape.
And you couldn't really hear them,
after they got a couple of hundred
people in an auditorium.
The Accordion Players
always played an hour before
any weddings, or bar mitzvahs,
and always made more money.
So, my Father thought by introducing
the accordion that,
that would be a decent career for me;
If I ever wanted to just play music.
As a result of that, I don't
remember what happened
to my first instrument,
but my last instrument,
the last accordion that I had;
I remember I kept it in a closet
for a couple of years, and eventually
I brought it back to the
Company that I bought it from,
which was Sano at that point.
I donated it to someone who was in need.
I think that I donated it to a blind girl.
I don't really remember her name.

OL:
Wow, that's wonderful. Charles,
even before your travels into the
Pop/Rock Music scene,
You actually have a jazz and
classical background?

Charles Calello:
Well, sort of. As a kid,
I think the first record that I
actually listened to on my Father's
Victrola as they were referred to
back then;
was a record of Miles Davis,
playing the song "Move,"
which was arranged by
Gerry Mulligan
, and that fascinated me.
The first record I ever bought was,
"Day by Day," by The Four Freshmen.
So, my background as a youngster
around the age of 13...
well, I think at that point,
most of the kids were starting to work
the Pop Music and R&B.
I was starting to buy jazz records,
or records that were musically
a little more interesting than just
Pop Music.

OL:
Your Dad was a consummate
Trumpet Player,
who also recorded for
Frankie Valli / The Four Seasons

early recordings?

Charles Calello:
Yes, me being the Arranger,
I used my Father in the
beginning. He was the only
Trumpet Player that I
knew... well, outside of the
Trumpet Player who was 
in my Band.
My Father played the trumpet solo on,
"Big Girls Don't Cry." Then he played on,
"Let's Hang On,"
"Workin' My Way Back to You,"
and all of the other records,
up until I think around '66,
that we used horns on.
He also played on some of
the earlier records that I produced.

OL:
So, it's kind of a Family affair?

Charles Calello:
It was sort of a lot of fun to have
my Dad, there.
The other cool part about it,
is that every now and then I'd hear
one of these records on the radio,
and it reminds me of watching my Dad
in the Studio,
playing one of my arrangements.

OL:
Wow, that's wonderful!

Charles Calello:
If my Father was alive today,
he would be 104.

OL:
What is the most important element
of making music, and being in the
Music Business itself;
that You to took away on lessons
learned from your Dad?

Charles Calello:
My Father's influence,
was for me to learn as many
songs as I could,
which was beneficial while I was
trying to establish myself as an Arranger.
I wound up coming off the road with my
Band, and also ended up, doing Club Dates,
which were similar to my Father,
although it really wasn't
something that I was really interested in.
But my Father encouraged me to
learn songs. And the more songs
I would know; he felt that the more work
that I would get, because
that's what leaders back then
really wanted. They wanted people
who had tremendous libraries.

OL:
When did You join your first Band,
and where was your first gig
with the Band
?
  
Charles Calello:

When I went to Arts High School,
I was about 15 years old at the time.
There is a Band called
Johnny Mars & The Rhythm Stars
;
which was the hot Band in the
High School.
Johnny
was in my same neighborhood;
although most of the kids that went to
Arts High School
, came from Essex County,
or the surrounding counties.
But fortunately, Johnny lived 
about maybe four or five blocks from me,
and the Guitar Player in the Band,
also lived in that area.
But what was interesting about it,
was that he was already working,
playing Club Dates and doing
Concerts. The Accordion Player was
 Larry Yannuzzi.
He also went to Arts High School;
he got a scholarship to go to Harvard
and he became an Eye Doctor.
He became very famous.
So, when he left the Band,
I was the one that they asked to join the
Band. So, that was the first Band that
I actually joined, and we started to do
weddings. We were basically Italians,
working Italian Sandwich Weddings,
back then. Officially, we would do
Concerts for the Military,
and things like that.

OL:
It was a great experience?

Charles Calello:
Yes, it was!
  
OL:
Okay Charles, we're back in the 1950's
and you're out on a gig, performing
a few sets with your Band,
what's the song list on your sets?
  
Charles Calello:

We used to do, "Night Train,"
"Flying Home," and do
some Broadway standards. We also sang,
like The Four Freshmen.
So, we did a lot of their
songs. "It's A Blue World," Day by Day"...
And we also had the lead Singer,
who sang pretty
much like a Tony Bennett, type.
So we used to do
production numbers with him like,
"Ol' Man River."
We had a pretty decent show,
and we were sort of
like a highbrow Band,
not very commercial in the
area, but most of the Musicians thought
that we were like the best band in town,
because we had the
best musicians and the best arrangements.

OL:
Oh, okay, interesting...
You went to Newark Music & Arts
High School
,
in Newark, New Jersey?
What was your experience there?
  
Charles Calello:
When I went to school there,
Connie Francis
was attending the school.
Connie
was doing a daytime
Television Show.
Occasionally, she would sing
at some of our events,
so we started to accompany
Connie.
There were other people
that were also pretty influential
in getting me more interested
in music.

OL:
Connie Francis
is one of the great Singers.

Charles Calello:
She lives not too far from me.
I still see her, occasionally.
The other thing about
going to the Arts High School,
is that you have all of
the best Musicians from the area.
Although I wasn't
really knowledgeable about what would
happen to my Music Career.
When I went to Arts High,
I had to play an Orchestra instrument,
so I took up the Bass.
And that's what really got me started,
playing with Johnny's Band.
I originally started as a Bass player.

OL:

How did Family and Friends,
play a role in your love for music?...
You talked about that earlier.

Charles Calello:
Well, my Father was really a good
Trumpet Player.
He had a great sound.
But he was not a modern jazz
player. He played sort of like
Louis Armstrong
.
My father heard Clifford Brown
and he blocked Clifford's records. 
My Father asked me one day when I was
playing a song on the Accordion,
"If I bought the sheet music to it?"
I said no, I just heard it on the radio
and I played it. So he said,
"Where did you get the chords?"
So I said, well, these are the
chords that I think that should be there.
So he says, "I've got to buy the music,"
so I said no, I'll write it out
for you. So I wrote the lead sheet out.
He took it out on his Club Date,
and he came back and said,
"Where did you get these chords?"

I said, well, these are the
chords that I think is on the sheet music.
He says, "No, my Piano Player says
that these are better
chords than on the sheet music."
 So, my Father then
influenced me to write down the
Clifford Brown
solos.
I would come home from school each day
and write out the solos that
Clifford Brown
played on
records. So, my Father actually
started me learning
how to take down dictation.

OL:
Your arranging music,
basically and instinctively,
 started almost immediately,
at that point?

Charles Calello:
I must've been about 15 years old
when I started to do this.
While kids were outside playing baseball,
I was in sight listening to Frank Sinatra
records. I would try to write the
arrangements on paper.
I would first listen to the trumpet part,
and then the saxophone part,
the trombone part, the strings...
I'd try to write those parts out,
and because of my knowledge of
harmony, from playing the accordion,
I figured that if they were playing a
G minor chord,
and the lead trumpet player had an F,
that it would have to be harmonized
in that position; would be the
7th on the top, etc.
So, it was pretty easy to figure
out. Although I learned later on that
some of the voicings that Nelson Riddle
used were a lot different
than what I was hearing.
But that's basically what I did
when I was a kid. I really owed that
to my Parents, because they allowed me
the time to do it.

OL:
With Pop/Rock Music being a
formula-based approach,
did You fold your jazz and classical
background; with jazz being
improvisational as it is, and the more
disciplined-focused style
of classical music into your Pop/Rock ?
How did that all come together in the
Pop/Rock world?

Charles Calello:
That's a very interesting question,
because I really paid no attention to
Pop Music, until I met Frankie Valli.
Again, we were this highbrow Band
and Frankie was really the one
that introduced me to Pop Music.
I used to look at Pop Music
as being extremely elementary.
Frankie
was the one that actually
showed me why Pop Music was
so important, and what was involved
with Pop Music. I started to
understand that some of the Singers
that he was into, really were a lot more
musical than some of
the people that I was listening to.
So, with my background, and also being
introduced to Pop Music,
the way I learned it from Frankie;
basically from a Rhythm & Blues kind of
standpoint. That's basically
how I formulated my approach to
making records.

OL:
What better example than the great
Frankie Valli
,
to be introduced to Pop Music.
That's the best way, wouldn't you say?

Charles Calello:
At that point,
I didn't really realize how talented
Frankie
really was because we were kids.
While I was a kid. He was a little older
than I am. I had no idea how much
he was in tuned with
what we needed to do,
in order for us to have a career in the
Music Business.
Pretty much everybody that's associated
with the four seasons, really owe their
careers to Frankie.
If it wasn't for Frankie, none of us would
have been successful.

OL:
Before Digital Downloads and CD's,
there were turntables, 45's and LP records.
Who were some of the Artists that were
on your turntable?
  
Charles Calello:

Like I mentioned before,
Miles Davis
was the first record that I ever
listened to. I listened to that
record about maybe 2000 times. [laughing]
I listen to it pretty much, you know,
2, 3, 4, 6 times
a day, for a long time. I bought an
Oscar Peterson
record,
when I was around that same age,
and I started to buy Jazz records.
I started to buy some of the classic Singers
at that time; Sinatra,
Nat "King"
Cole, not really understanding
that Nelson Riddle really wrote
all of those arrangements.
I also became interested in the
Vocal Groups; sort of like
The Four Freshmen and the Hi-Lo's.
I was also interested into listening to
Big Bands: Count Basie,
Duke Ellington
, even West coast music,
like Stan Kenton, Shorty Rogers,
Andre Previn
...
People that I really admired.
Plus, taking into consideration,
that I'm not too far from New Jersey,
was Birdland, and I got to see a lot of the
great Jazz Artists. I would buy records
that they made,
like Cannonball Adderley.
Those were the records that I really bought
as a kid.

OL:
Charles,
it seems like you've had a wide
listening variety of music, that's great.
No one could have a better take on it
than a Producer and Arranger of your
stature, as one who's Career
spans from all media formats of music
to date. What do You think about
Digital Downloads, and it's immediacy of
getting music to the
Consumer buying public?

Charles Calello:

Well, there's a lot of pro's and cons' about
digital downloads and what it has done to
the Music Business. When we first started to
make records, there were approximately
6,000 records a year,
that were released.
Now, there is about 80,000 records.
We're done talking about CD's.
The advantage today, is  kids don't
have to go to a Record Company
to get their records released,
because the equipment that they need
to record with, is accessible,
it's inexpensive today.
As a result of it, the digital
world has helped a lot of Artists.
The negative factor is, that the music
became something that the kids
could get for nothing. But as a result of
the digital downloads, being able to be
delivered to the kids
immediately; that's a tremendous asset.
The industry that I was associated with...
for 75 years, existed exactly as it was.
We wanted to record in the Studio,
we made a record, people wanted to buy
it, then they would go to the store.
Now, all of a sudden, sitting at home in
your living room, or digitally download it,
or view the Artist. It's another
mechanism, in what happened to
our Industry.

OL:
So there's pro's and con's?

Charles Calello:
There's positives and negatives about it.

 OL:
Thanks Charles, for that take on it.
Now, moving into your later education,
You went to the
Manhattan School of Music
in
New York City
.
What were your favorite courses?

Charles Calello:

Yes, I went to
Manhattan School of Music
...
basically, because after I got out of
High School,
I was still studying arranging.
When I was in high school,
there was a teacher that introduced us
to Schillinger, which was a method of
writing music through mathematics that
I became interested in.
George Gershwin
wrote parts of
Porgy
and Bess,
Using the Schillinger System.
Glenn Miller
also studied it and he used it
 as an Arranger, to create
music... So, I wanted to learn more
about the techniques of writing
arrangements. So, when I went
to Manhattan School of Music,
it was only really an extension of Music
and Arts High School. Because a
lot of things that they taught,
we basically learned like
theory and harmony and classical harmony.
All of those things I had already gone
through in High School, so I was
pretty much aware of that,
but what it gave me an opportunity to do
was to be exposed to a higher level of
Teachers that were able to
expose me to a lot of different music that
I'd never heard, or different Composers
that I didn't know about.
  
OL:
During this time, while attending
Manhattan School of Music
,
You met up with and started
working with
Songwriter Producer Bob Crewe
.
Tell us how this came about?

Charles Calello:
Yes, through Frankie Valli.
Frankie
was trying to get
one of the songs that we recorded out
on the market, and brought it into
New York,
and ran into
Bob Crewe.
Now you knew Bob Crewe
from the mid-50's, when he recorded for
RCA
and he had the hit record,
"You're The Apple of my Eye"...
As one of The Four Lovers. At that point,
I joined Frankie's Band as a Four Lover
around 1958
or 1959. We met Bob Crewe,
where Frankie rekindled a relationship,
and we became Bob Crewe's Studio Band.
  
OL:

Your very first music production
"The Name Game" recorded by
pop/rock-soul Singer Shirley Ellis,
a major hit in the 60's. Charles,
can You please share with the
OL Readers,
for those
who would like to know the difference
between Producing and Arranging?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, that came about three years later.
In the beginning,
I made 4 Four Seasons records.
 I also made a few records for
some other people.
But primarily I was an Arranger for
Bob Crewe
, and the records that we made,
were basically in-house.
It took a while for me to at least meet
a couple of people that would actually hire
me and give me an opportunity to make
records. In 1965, I met Al Gallico,
who published songs for Lincoln Chase,
and he was recording Shirley Ellis.
He and Shirley wrote together.
Al
hired me to make "The Name Game,"
and I recorded that record in 1965.
That year, I had two records in the
top 10 of the Billboard charts,
that were listed as the top 10 songs
of the year. One was "The Name Game,"
the other one was, "A Lover's Concerto."

OL:
Fantastic!
These are great recordings!
The incredible Pop Icon Frankie Valli
walks into a New Jersey Club one night.
Your Band was playing and Mr. Valli was
blown away by what he heard.
Do You remember what song that
your Band was playing,
at the moment he walked in?
  
Charles Calello:

No, I don't remember what we were
playing. Our Band was so good musically,
that it really didn't matter, what he heard,
when he walked in. What would've been
heard that he would never have heard
in any of the bands that were local...
First of all, most of the kids that were in
Bands were playing by ear.
We were Musicians; we could read,
we also knew harmony. Most of the kids
that were playing in bands, were playing
guitar and have Vocal Groups.
They would sing basically,
not really knowing the essence of what they
were really doing, because they weren't
schooled. So it was like a new world for
Frankie
, when he heard our Band.
  
OL:-
Tell us about your music arrangement
approach on "Walk Like A Man,"
and what it was like to
brainstorm with Mr. Valli /
The Four Seasons,
on their vocal approach,
to what is now without question,
one of the greatest classic hits
of the century?
  
Charles Calello:

When I started to make records with
Bob Crewe
, I realized that writing arrangements and making
records, were two different businesses,
and the musical brains that made the
records, were myself,
Bob Crewe
, and Bob Gaudio. Frankie,
was not very vocal in how to make the
records, at that particular time.
Although, his instincts were always there
about what to do, vocally. We worked;
it was Myself and Gaudio and Crewe,
that got together to lay out
what that tracks would actually do.
So, I started to work with Bob Gaudio.
Bob Gaudio
, I found out was
really, really brilliant. He didn't read
and write music, but yet, he was
really amazing.

OL:
He has a great ear...

Charles Calello:
Bob Crewe would also add his
musical ideas. So what I would do,
is that I would sit there
and write out the records,
and they would dictate what they wanted
the instruments to do.
And then I would write them out...
so that they would make musical sense.
When we first started to make the records,
I was being directed by
Bob Crewe
, who already had
half a dozen major hits.
So my education was; I started out by just
being a cog in the wheel.
It wasn't until "Dawn (Go Away)"
that I actually had an opportunity
to make what was the first of
many Charlie Calello records,
for The Four Seasons.

OL:

These are great recordings...
they are all just so classic
and we find ourselves listening
to these songs all of the time.
Charles,
one of the elements of your
great arrangements, overall, is that they
always capture and reflect the
sign of the times...
From your pop-styled shuffle
arrangement of Neil Diamond's 60's classic,
"Sweet Caroline,"
to the Pop Singer sensation
Ariana Grande,
who we see as the luckiest
young Artist on earth to be working with
the Calello's.
How much does social surroundings
play into the musical direction you
would take when arranging a song?
  
Charles Calello:

When it came time to do "Sweet Caroline;"
I was actually called by mistake.
Neil Diamond
...
I don't think he really knew who I was,
but Tommy Catalano, who was producing
the record, worked for
Bob Crewe
, at one point,
called me to make the
record. It was a strange experience,
because there was really not a whole lot of
feedback from Neil,
as to what he wanted. They just wanted
to add horns and strings to the record.
They had cut the track in Memphis,
and the track sounded okay, and the song
sounded okay, but it needed something to
bring it to life. I wrote the horns
and strings on the record.
When I would listen to a track
that was made, where I had to write
the ones in the strings;
basically, what I would do is that
I would take the information
from the track, and would try to
make that live. And try to capture the
essence of what they were trying to do
with making the track and make it live.
Little did I know that the,
"Sweet Caroline,"
bom, bom bommm!
would become so famous.

OL:
Yes, it's such an integral part of the song.
You can't sing it, without singing
bom, bom bommm!
That's the hook right there!

Charles Calello:
Well, that's basically what an
Arranger does.
He looks for ways to be able to put
musical ideas to enhance, or increase the
value of the song.
Like I said before, making a record,
and writing an arrangement,
are two different things.
In making a record, you have
to keep the listeners attention,
because you only have one aspect of
selling it... that's the person
listening to it. And a 'live' performance,
you get away with murder,
because you have
the visual which enhances the sound.
Making a record is a lot different.
There is one point you mentioned about
Ariana Grande
;
I first worked with her when she was
seven years old. I wrote an arrangement
for a pop song that she wrote.
When she got to be about 12, 
 I did a Pops Concert, with her doing seven,
or eight of the songs for the show.
She was amazing, singing with a
Symphonic Orchestra. I also wrote
some arrangements for her to perform.
My wife was instrumental in helping her
get her first agent.
That agent got her, her first gig,
on Broadway, at 13 years old.
She was brilliant as a kid.
You didn't have to be a rocket science to
know that she was the
goods. You meet somebody like that,
you know that if they work hard enough,
they can really do it.

OL:
She has an amazing voice,
an amazing talent.
Yes, we saw her on the
Billboard Music Awards
Show.
She's got some future ahead of her.
She's already breaking ground.
That's a special young talent, there.
  
OL:

Thank you Charles.
We look forward tomorrow
in Part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes
Weekly Series,
as we take a look back at Charles Calello's
collaborating arrangements with the famed
Songwriting Hitmakers
Bob Crewe
& Bob Gaudio,
& famed Recording Sessions for...
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons,
Juice Newton
Barbra Streisand
and Frank Sinatra.
Thank you very much Charles,
for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Charles,
is there
any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
1 of 7 segment?
  
Charles Calello:

The only thing that I can really add to this
 is that I was really fortunate for the
opportunity to grow up in New Jersey
and be close to New York City,
and play a part in what I
considered to be one of the
most exciting times in music,
which was the development of Pop Music.
Real Pop Music
,
as what we know today,
from the 50's, 60's and 70's;
what a privilege to have had that
opportunity, I'm really grateful for
the people that bought the records
and made it possible for me to
continue working.

OL:

Wow... Well, we are also grateful for
your arrangements, because they are
such classic hits!
Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And
thank you all for visiting
OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


--------------------------------------

OL:
Welcome Back to Legendary Arranger,
Charles Calello.

It's great to be with You, Charles,
this being Part 2 of our 7 day Interview
for OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
Thank you once again.
 
 
OL:
As we go through a string of your
Arranging Hits,
let's go to the 1960's production
recording session of 
of The Four Seasons' hit record,
"Dawn (Go Away),"
Your arrangements,
Charles,
not only created the
now infamous hook 'chimes' sound
on this song; how were the
vocal arrangements and harmonies
laid out for the Singing Group?

Charles Calello:
The song was written as a folk song.
It wasn't written like we ultimately did it.
I found Sandy Linzer,
who wrote the song with Bob Gaudio.
Sandy
was writing with the student of
my Father's. My Father said that
he had a student who was writing songs,
and would I like to hear the songs.
So, he brought him to my
house. The songs were awful,
but the lyrics were brilliant.
So, I called Frankie. I said Frankie,
I met this guy who I really think is great.
Sandy,
I think was about
19 or 20 years old, at that point;
and I brought him to Frankie's house.
We introduced him to Bob Gaudio.
The first group of songs that he wrote with
Gaudio,
was "Dawn (Go Away)."
Now, the night before the session that
we were going to record them,
I met with Gaudio, like I did regularly
to be able to go over the songs,
and write out the arrangements,
and he started to play me this song.
Prior to that meeting,
Frankie
and I were in the car,
and we heard the Kai Winding record
of "More,"
which is the theme for the movie
...Mondo Cane.

OL:
Oh yes ...Mondo Cane.

Charles Calello:
And Frankie said,
"We  need to make a record with that
gallop beat."
So when Gaudio played me, "Dawn,"
he played it as a ballad, like a folk song.
I heard the song and I said, give me about
20 minutes with this.
I worked on it,
and I wound up putting the whole
record together, on the piano.
Frankie
and Gaudio
were in the other room.
When Frankie heard what I was doing,
he jumped off the desk and he said,
"What's that you're playing?"
I said,
that's "Dawn."
He says, "Oh my God, that's great!"
I explained to Gaudio
 that I was going to use 'bells'
and 'chimes', and I was going to use this
figure from West Side Story
[dong... dong...], all of the ingredients.
I wrote this thing out, and Nick Massi
re-did the vocal arrangement.
They went in to do the vocal
arrangement. At that point,
Nicky
was pretty much doing all the
vocal arrangements. Nicky was really
brilliant at that.
He was great at doo-wop, but he was
also great at doing commercial parts.
And what I stuffed them with,
I stuffed them with a whole bunch
of different chords that they had never
thought about using, so it gave them
a lot to work with. Sandy had
never heard any of his songs recorded.
He didn't even know that we recorded
"Dawn..."
He came into New York one day,
and I brought him to the Studio,
the first time that he was in the Studio and
Tom Dowd
was the Engineer on the date
that we cut it at Atlantic Records.
It was the first record that we made on
8-track. So, Tom was about ready to close
the Studio;
I said, Tom, can you put up "Dawn..."
I think he had just finished the vocals.
I heard it, I knew that this would
blow Sandy, away.
So, Tom put up the tracks,
and rolled it back to the top and put up
the voices, and play the record.
Sandy
started to cry. It blew him away.

OL:
That's interesting, we never knew that,
"Dawn..." 
started out originally, as a folk song.

Charles Calello:
Well, that's one of the things that
Arrangers do.
What they do is they take the songs,
and they try to find direction for the song
that could fit into the marketplace.
That's why "Let's Hang On,"
was a little bit of
'Satisfaction'
with the fret guitar,
and a little bit of
Motown,
as a result of the rhythm section.
I would fit the songs so that they would fit
into the feel, so that they would be
radio-friendly.

OL:
The 'falsetto' signature singing style
is a huge part of the Jersey Boys' sound.
How much did that play into
your ongoing creative arranging direction
for The Four Seasons' celebrated hits
that you Co-Produced?
  
Charles Calello:
Well, the songs were basically written for
Frankie.
In my opinion,
Frankie
was one of the most original
Singers of that era,
because Frankie really had his own style.
And that was something that was unusual
in Pop singing because pretty much,
everybody sounded similar.
The Girl Singers...
You couldn't tell one from another,
although you could tell a little bit,
but it wasn't like they had their own
signature sound.
Frankie
had his own sound.
When you heard Frank Sinatra,
you knew it was Sinatra. You knew it was
Nat "King" Cole
. You knew those Singers,
right away. I turn on Country Radio,
as much as I like Country Music;
without listening every day,
I can't tell the difference between one,
Singer and another.
They are all pretty much starting to
sound alike to me, because the same
musicians make the records.
Back at that time,
if you recorded in New York,
well, the musicians made the
same records. So if the arrangements
were different, and the singer wasn't 
different. It's hard to tell the difference
 between the artists.
But the Four Seasons basically had their
own sound...
It was a throwback of doo-wop,
but they really had their own sound.

OL:
For sure.
Did Frankie always sing in falsetto?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, the first time that I ever heard him,
he sang in falsetto. He's not really a Tenor.
He's really a Baritone, strangely enough.
 He's got a very strange voice,
because he could like turn a little knob
in his throat, and sing in a Tenor range,
and go in and out of his falsetto,
without you ever hearing the difference.
So, we'd go to record a song,
and he'd say that it's in the wrong key.
And I would say, no Frankie,
that was the key that we rehearsed it in.
Until we found the slot where vocally he
would put it, he would have
to play around with it until he
found out where he was going to place
the song.

OL:

Ah, we see...
You yourself, Charles,
were once an actual performing
 member of The Four Seasons,
which were formerly known as
The Four Lovers.

How did this come about,
and what were the different
musical styles,  as the group evolved into
The Four Seasons
?
  
Charles Calello:

When the Four Seasons recorded up
until 1965, Nicky was with the group.
So, 62, 63, 64 and part of
65, Nicky was in the Band.
I got a call after I cut the track,
for "Lightnin' Strikes."
I cut it on a Friday and I was going
to do the background vocals that
Monday night...
We finished it on a Friday night.
That Monday I was going to go
and finish the record,
and I got home and I got a message
from Tommy DeVito.
He said, "Charlie, you've got to come to
Pennsylvania, and finish this Tour
with us."
So, I called Tommy back,
at the hotel. I said Tommy,
I can't do it. He said,
"What do you mean, you can't do it?
You better be here."
And if you saw
"Jersey Boys,"
you'd know that when Tommy said that,
you better be here, you better be here
[laughing].
They sent a car for me.
I didn't even have a Fender bass,
at that point. I didn't own an instrument.
But most of the songs that I did since they
made the records, I knew all of the
vocal parts, and all the parts.
Since I was a Four Lover member,
I knew the previous repertoire...
So, for me to perform the half of dozen
or so records, it's not really
that difficult. They knew that
I could just step in,
without even rehearsing.
The rehearsal took place in a car,
on the way to Ohio.
The first gig we played was the one in
"Jersey Boys,"
where you see they get arrested?

OL:
Oh, yes.

Charles Calello:
We were working a State Fair,
and we were at a
Race track. At the end of the show,
the paddy wagon
showed up. Frankie walked off the stage,
he says, "Are you Frankie Valli?"
They put handcuffs on him.
"Are you
Tom DeVito?"
They put handcuffs on him.
"Are you
Bob Gaudio?" Handcuffs.
"Are you
Nick Massi?"
I said no, I'm Charlie Calello.
He said, "Where is Nick Massi?"
I said, he's no longer with the Group.
So, they let me go, I never went to jail.
That was my first gig with the Seasons.
I actually stayed with them
for about a year,
and then I replaced myself with
Joe
Long. We finally got Joe back,
because I was running
back and forth to New York,
making records, and it was just
too big of a responsibility.

OL:
Okay, being on the road,
and making records, sure.

Charles Calello:
My real focus, I was a Record Maker.
I wanted to Arrange and Produce Records.

OL:
Right,
so you wanted to stay on that path...
but we're sure that the experience
must have been terrific for that year.

Charles Calello:
What was different about it,
was that we were doing
Concerts. Prior to that,
the only real jobs that I played were
weddings, bar mitzvahs, and nightclubs.
We were doing Concerts in Colleges,
and Performing Arts Centers.
So, as far as that was concerned
that was really a lot of fun.
 
OL:
Now, we come to the one and only
Barbra Streisand.

Your producing arrangement
on her classic, "My Heart Belongs To Me,"
is truly one of the most beautiful of her
recorded ballads.
It has melancholy feel to it.
In working with Barbra
and Songwriter Alan Gordon
on this recording,
can You walk us through that
production moment?
  
Charles Calello:
 I was in California, recording
Engelbert Humperdinck.
I got a call from
Michael Lang,
who was representing me
at the time; and he said that he just
spoke to Charlie Koppelman,
who was running the
Entertainment Company.
He called me to find out if
I wanted to co-produce some songs
from the movie that she had made,
"A Star Is Born..."
because she wasn't happy with some
of the records.
So, Michael put the deal together,
and I went back to New York,
and a week later we flew out to L.A.,
again, and we met with Barbra.
Alan Gordon
played this song for Barbra;
she loved it. So originally,
we were just going to do songs from
the movie, but then Alan came in with
this song, and I went to the piano
and I started to rehearse her.
I laid the whole record out on the piano.
It was really fun working with her.
She's an amazing talent.
There is not a note that goes by that
she doesn't hear.

OL:
She's incredible!

Charles Calello:
Her standards are as high as you can get.
I found her a piece of cake to work with,
because I realized that the only reason
why she had somewhat of a
bad reputation with people,
was that she worked with people that
really couldn't deliver
what she wanted...
but if she worked with people
that really could deliver
the quality that she was looking for,
she was a piece of cake.
She's very, very creative.
I laid out the whole record.
The intro that I played on her piano,
at her house, is the intro to the record.
I put a tape recorder up;
I taped her singing the song,
and I laid out the whole record.
I took it back to the hotel,
and wrote the arrangement.
But what was really funny about it,
while I was in the hotel writing the
arrangement, she called about every
half an hour.
She'd go, "Charlie, Charlie, Charlie,
you could've been a contender,
Charlie." [laughing]
"How are the strings.
Charlie?
I love strings. How are the strings coming?"
She was like motivating.
As I was writing the arrangement...
when you write for an Artist like that;
it's almost like you're not
pushing the pencil.
They're over your shoulder,
watching you write every note.

OL:
So, it is a give and take thing, right?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, and as a result of it,
I wrote the arrangement.
I went into the studio,
and I think it was the second take of the
rundown. I ran the arrangement down,
she pressed the talk back button,
and she said,
"That's gorgeous, let's record it..."

and when we recorded it, I think it was the
second take that we used. And then,
the insert where the girls come in
and sing, she wanted to use the Oreos,
who were in the movie.
She called the Singers in,
and at the session, I gave them the parts
to sing that one section, where the girls
come in. When I came up with the idea
in the studio, she said,
"How did you do that? How did you
come up with that?"

So I said, that's my background,
working with the
Four Seasons,
coming up with the background parts.
She was really a lot of fun.

OL:
Wow, that's wonderful!

Charles Calello:
I'll tell you a little bit about the session.
We went to record the tracks at 7 o'clock
at night. At 4 o'clock in the morning,
we were still recording.
She was relentless. "Let's do one more,
let's do one more!"
 
Finally, the Drummer had a
9 o'clock date, crawled out of the Studio
on his hands and knees,
so that she wouldn't see him,
and he went home. She said,
"Come on; one more."

And then somebody said, well,
"Jeff
left."
Jeff Porcaro
was the Drummer.
He was the drummer in the Group
Toto,
also.

OL:
Oh yes, we certainly know of the great
 Jeff Porcaro...

Charles Calello:
Barbra was calm about it.
Then the next day,
I wrote the sweetening arrangement,
and we went in and recorded it.

OL:
That's a wonderful story, Charles.
 Thanks for sharing that with us.
We listened to that song all of the time,
it's just gorgeous,
what you did with it.
It really is.

OL:

Another great.
Frank Sinatra's,
his
warm and emotional take
on the Bob Gaudio / Jake Holmes
penned tune,
"Michael and Peter,"
from his acclaimed '69 "Watertown" CD,
is something to behold.
We love your legato-styled
strings arrangement,
on this track, Charles.
Was this session recorded 'live',
with Mr. Sinatra?
  
Charles Calello:

Yes, we did it at Columbia 30th St.
I'll tell you this interesting story about
that Studio. I was 18 years old,
and the Singer in my first Band,
was friend's with D. Anthony,
who managed Tony Bennett.
Tony
was doing an album with
Count Basie
, at
 Columbia 30th St.
I was invited to the session,
through this Singer.
What was really exciting about it;
I had never been to a real
recording session.
There was Count Basie's Band.
Tony Bennett's
singing in the middle
of the room, and Mitch Miller
was producing the record.
As I was watching this, sitting at
Columbia 30th St.,

I said to myself,
this is what I want to do.
The guy that was conducting the
Orchestra, was a guy by the
name of Ralph Sharon, who was
Tony's
Arranger at the time.
I said, this is what I want to do.
11 years later, I was in that same Studio,
recording Frank Sinatra.
I never expected him to show up.
I just figured that we would cut the
tracks and Gaudio would go out to
California,
and put his voice
on it. At 7 o'clock,
and I got on the podium,
and I brought my hands-down and
I started the session. I was halfway
through the first rundown,
when the air in the room changed.
He walked in, and I didn't see him.
The only thing that I could tell you,
is that the music went from
black and white to color.
That's what happened when he walked
into the room.
It was like something that you can't
explain that happened. All of the sudden,
the music came alive.
The Musicians saw him walk in the room,
and everything changed.
I was almost finished with
writing the arrangement down,
and I feel a tap on my
leg; I was at a podium,
maybe about 18 inches off of
the ground... I turned around,
and I looked, and there was
Frank Sinatra,
face-to-face.
I had never met him.
Gaudio
got the music keys,
and I never expected him to show up.
He looked at me, and he says,
"Are you
Calello?"
I turned around to say hello to
him, and nothing came out of my mouth.
I said, oh my God, this is Frank Sinatra,
what am I doing here? My idol.
The experience was overwhelming.
I actually became pretty good friends
with him, later on. He was really
a great guy to hang around with.

OL:
One of our favorites of all time...
We love him. That's great.
Terrific, terrific!
  
OL:

Okay... How spread apart in time,
was the recording date for the
"Watertown" session
for Mr. Sinatra?
  
Charles Calello:

He didn't sing the song.
He had to learn the song.
We cut the tracks,
and we cut them on three different days.
I think we cut them over a period of a
couple of weeks.
He came in for the sessions,
and then Gaudio went to California,
 and worked with him on the vocals.
When the record came out...
because they weren't from the
American Songbook, the public,
or the Record Company didn't support the
concept. But over the years,
it has become a lot of
his Fans' favorite record.

OL:
We love the poignancy that You 
brought out on Frank Sinatra's
 "Michael and Peter" track, Charles.
It has a very reflective thought about it,
and it brings out his intimate side...

Charles Calello:
There's nobody who could sing a song
like Sinatra.
Being in the Studio with him,
and watching what he
does to a song; it's hard to explain.
He was able to live every word he sang.
He put himself emotionally into the music.
And it was like, when he told a story,
he told it from the bottom of his heart,
and you believed him.
That was the secret of the way
that he put songs together.
He just spoke them in a musical fashion.
  
OL:

Of today's Crooners, and in terms of
sound and swagger,
who do You feel that would
best reflect the golden age of the
legendary Crooners
of yesterday... from Frank Sinatra,
to Dean Martin, Al Martino & so on?
 
Charles Calello:

About the only Singer that I heard,
was a Pop Singer, that actually
sings the music. well...
was Bobby Caldwell.
I made a couple of records with
Joe Bwarie,
whose actually the
lead Singer in Jersey Boys,
on Broadway right now.
Joe
really has a handle on this music.
Of course, there is a couple of people
that have high profiles,
that are doing the music right now,
that I'm not really a fan of the way
they sing the music.
But the only real one, that I felt
was able to stylize it,
and add his personality to it,
was Bobby Caldwell.

OL:
We saw Bobby Caldwell 'live',
years ago, at the time, it was called the
Westbury Music Fair
,
in Long Island.
It was great to see him 'live'.
He has such a clear, crisp sound.

Charles Calello:
I am not a fan of Michael Bublé,
or Harry Connick's
version of this music,
because it sounds like it's not
real to me; but Bobby's versions of them,
really sounded real to me.
I'm sure there are other people.
I don't really listen that much,
anymore... but he's really one that
comes to mind.
I just recently did a duet with
Deana Martin
, and her
Father. And what was really interesting,
I got a copy of the voice track, from
Capitol Records
with Dean's
voice on it, for us to do the duet.
The Engineer called it off, and it was
take 2... So the final vocal was the
second take.
They used to record them 'live' with the
band. Today, that doesn't happen anymore,
with the singers.
They spend days on getting the
performances. Someone like Dean Martin,
was magical. His performance was magical.
He just stood in the Studio and sang!

OL:
He's another one of our favorites.
We are a big Fan of Dean Martin!
Is the duet actually happening now?

Charles Calello:
It's out now on iTunes.

OL:
Okay great, will definitely look to get it.

Charles Calello:
It's called "True Love."

OL:
Okay, thanks for that.

OL:

Mr. Calello,
all of us here at OL,
join a long list of those,
congratulating You,
as having over 100 Top "Billboard" Hits,
spanning over a period of 50 years!
  To spotlight some of the
Top Billboard Hits,
that You Produced and Arranged
for none other than
one of the most successful
Pop Country Female Singers of
the 80's...Juice Newton.
To highlight a few of her hits
that You arranged...
"Angel Of The Morning,"
and
"Queen Of Hearts," these two hit songs,
having sold more than 1 million copies;
and let's not stop there...
more hits,
"Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me,"
and "Break It To Me Gently." 
Charles,
in the making
and arranging of a song,
at what point in a production,
do You often have that
"this is going to be a hit"
feeling begin,
and what are the essential ingredients
that are needed to come together
and make this happen?

Charles Calello:
Well, when we did "Angel In The Morning,"
the record really sounded good,
but the guitar player
that we hired, we cut the record at
Capitol Records
in California.
I like to work with three guitars.
I was one of the few arrangers that did
three guitars, and I used to write for
all three guitars. Most Arrangers
just gave guitar players chords sheets,
unless they had something specific
for them to play.
But growing up making
Four Seasons
records, working with
Bob Crewe;
working with three guitars,
gave us a lot of flexibility.
So the night before the session,
I requested a guitar player,
there was a new kid in town, in L.A.
His name was George Doering,
a very talented Guitar Player.
He wound up playing on all of
Juice's
records.
One of the things that I wrote in the
track was... I wrote this drum figure,
which was like [di di di dum...],
Which was almost like a march,
to make it a little more 'rock'.
George
was trying to get a sound
on his guitar, and used power chords
to go [ji-gi-ta dang!]...
and when he did that, I heard that
on the track. I said to myself,
this is going to be a huge record.
Every time I made a record;
if the record got to me,
if it blew me away,
I knew that somebody else would hear it
the same way...
Because we all have feelings;
if it invoked a feeling in my heart,
then I knew it could reach
somebody else.
That was one of the things that was
really exciting about that record.
"Queen Of Hearts,"
was very unique, because we used
four guitars on it, "playing with the
Queen of hearts..."
Those were four different guitar players
just overdubbing that [ji-gi-ta dang!]...
Just to get that sound,
we used the 12 string,
we used a tenor guitar,
a regular acoustic guitar,
and a gut string, like a Spanish guitar...
Four different guitars that were
mixed together.
And it played with those kinds of sounds.

OL:
All of the combinations of those guitars,
brought that one sound?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, you know it was fun to be able
to experiment,
and have the ability to be able to do that,
with those kinds of records.

OL:

You've arranged a total of
10 Top Billboard Hits
for Singer Juice Newton,
of which these were also successful
on the Country Music charts,
as well as the Pop Music Charts.
How much does the 'genre' type of
music play into your
thought arranging process?

Charles Calello:

When we did, "Break It To Me Gently,"
I heard Juice sing...
Juice,
to me, was a Saloon Singer.
What I mean by that is;
she would sing like the kind of person
who was in a saloon,
having couple of drinks,
pouring her heart out.
She really, really knew how to get down.
She had a soul about her,
that was different,
and although we made pretty
pop-styled records; when she did,
"Break It To Me Gently,"
she actually won a Grammy for the
performance. But when we were
making the track, for some reason,
the track wasn't sitting the way
I wanted it.
I figured that the only way
that I could get the sound that I wanted,
was that I had to bring in the guy
that played on "Native New Yorker,"
and some of the other hits that
I had in New York... Who played keyboards,
was Richard Tee.
Now Richard had his own style of
playing. But Richard,
he knew how to play music like
a gospel piano player.
He overdubbed the electric keyboard
part, which made all the difference
in the world. Then when we put the
record together,
I thought that was one of the
best records that we made together.

OL:
You gave her such a great sound,
and she had so many hits.
She was always on the Radio.

Charles Calello:
Juice
was fun to record,
because it was like a Studio
kind of record. We had the best players.
We had the ability to spend time
on the record, to make them good.
It was a lot of fun.
  
OL:
Thanks for that!
Lastly, in this segment, Charles...
In your days working with
Columbia Records,
as a Staff Arranger and Producer,
how did it compare to working with the
Capitol Records
Artists?
  
Charles Calello:
My experience with Columbia Records,
how can I phrase this?...
was sort of like bitter tears.
What I really went to
Columbia Records
to do;
I really wasn't able to do,
because of the politics.
It was the first time that I was
introduced to a big Company,
and at the time I went there...
There was a regime change
that was taking place.
I was hired by the wrong regime.
One of the first artists that I wanted to sign
was Valerie Simpson,
who I had worked with.
I loved Valerie as a writer.

OL:
She's great.

Charles Calello:
I brought her to Columbia,
and they told me I couldn't sign her,
because I was white. So I said,
what do you mean?
They said,
"Well, we only have Black Producers to
produce Black Artists."
 I said, well, that doesn't make any sense
to me, because some of the hit records
that I made, were with Black Artists.
I happen to think that talent is talent.

They were concerned,
at that particular time, about payola,
and things like this; because they were
a Public Company.
I wasn't used to the politics.
Ultimately, I did record the
Laura Nyro
"Eli..." album, which was
the first record...
that's actually my favorite record,
to date, that I made.
It was the first CD that I believe
David Geffen
was involved with.
That was his first client.
David
ultimately became the owner of
Asylum Records
.
He signed the Eagles, Jackson Browne,
and everybody knows David. Laura
was his first client,
and the thrill of making that record was
really, really great...
but I lost my job, over, making
the record.
The budget for making records,
back then, was about $20,000;
I spent over 40, and the record to this day,
in my opinion, is still a classic.
I lost my job over it.

OL:
Laura Nyro was on many turntables.

Charles Calello:
One of the other things that I
couldn't do; was I didn't have the flexibility
to do what I wanted to be able to do
in the studio, because the union with
the studio, made it impossible for us
to do some of the things
that we wanted to do.
After all Columbia Records was the audio
standard, at that particular time;
with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra,
Barbra Streisand
and people like this.
Pop music was just starting to become
part of their repertoire.
They just signed Bob Dylan,
Simon
and Garfunkel...
The transition was taking place,
but it hadn't really fully taken place,
until after Clive Davis took over.
A lot of those artists were signed before
Clive
took over.
Like John Hammond brought in
Bob Dylan
, Simon and Garfunkel,
Blood Sweat & Tears
,
some of other the Artists...
But after that time, it started to loosen
up, where we could actually
record outside of Columbia,
but I wasn't a happy camper, there.

OL:
Okay, fair enough.

OL:

Thank you Charles,
for this wonderful time that we've
 spent with You in this segment!
We look forward tomorrow in
Part 3 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

doing one-take moments on your
extraordinary production work with these
icon Artists and their hits...
from Odyssey, to Barry Manilow,
to Neil Diamond, Glen Campbell,
the late great Laura Nyro & more...
Charles,
is there any music
commentary you'd like to share with the
OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview
2 of 7 segment?
  
Charles Calello:
I'll tell you one little story about
Columbia Records
.
The song, "When I Need You..."
The one that Leo Sayer had a hit with.
I cut that song with
Albert Hammond
, for Columbia records,
and without someone to push the record,
the record was not a hit with
Albert Hammond
. Leo Sayer
copied the record, note for note,
then had the hit.
I lost about four or five records,
with people copying the exact record
that I made, with other Artists,
because they promoted it.

OL:
On the same label?

Charles Calello:
No, they would hear the record.
Like,"The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine,"
I originally cut it with Frankie.
It was written by Gaudio, and Crewe.
The Walker Brothers
heard the song,
because it was never a hit.
They cut it, and they copied the record,
and had the hit with it.
There were several other records
that I had that were like that,
but a lot of it had to do with
somebody really promoting the record.
I wasn't experienced enough,
at that point, to really know
how to use the Columbia machine.
I was too new in the business,
and was dealing with making records
as an Arranger, and not as a marketer,
or promotion person. Until I learned
that end of the business,
it wasn't a happy place for me.

OL:
Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


---------------------------------


OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

"I happen to think that talent is talent..."

...Charles Calello


OL:
Welcome Back Charles!
We're so excited to pick your brain
on these sensational and timeless
Pop Hits of the Century!..
by some of the world's greatest Artists!
With so many hits from your
Discography of arrangements Charles,
we would like to visit
some of the world's and some of
OL's
favorites, in this segment...
covering a one-take moment of
some of your greatest
Hit Producing Arrangements...
This week,
being Part 3 of our 7 day Interview
for OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
First Hit Song up!
 
 
OL:
The Disco music era basically
ruled in the 70's.
The new sound was everywhere...
especially in the New York City
Dance Club scene;
 sparking a whirlwind of
social and recreational partying style
with the Disco crowd.
The hit song, that You magnificently
arranged, Charles, none other than,
"Native New Yorker,"
by the famed group Odyssey.
Tapped right into, if not,
was a major player in the success of
Disco. Give us your one-take moment
on your Co-Producing this song,
with Songwriters,
Sandy Linzer
and Denny Randell?

Charles Calello:
"Native New Yorker"

came several years later.
What happened was...
I quit the business for almost
2 years... and in 1973, I came back,
and the first record that I made with
Frankie Valli,
was
"My Eyes Adored You."

Frankie
and I hadn't worked
together in about 6 of 7 years.
And while we were
making Frankie's
"My Eyes Adored You,"
Bob Crewe
came in on one of the
sessions that we did.
We did several different Artists
during the period that Bob
was in. I cut the record
"Voulez-vous Coucher"

with Disco-Tex and His Sex-O-Lettes.
Bob
had a hit record with
Monti Rock.
And he cut the song with
Monti Rock.
So, Bob was into Disco,
as early as '73.
After "My Eyes Adored You,"
we did "Swearin' To God."...
"Swearin' To God,"
was actually
the first Disco record that I made.
That was all Bob Crewe's
brainchild, he wanted to make a
Disco Record, and he wrote the song
with Denny Randell... and when
we made the record,
I sort of liked the fact that
these were like really musical records,
that you could really do a lot of things,
that you couldn't ordinarily do
with regular Pop Music. There was a lot
of flexibility with Disco,
because it was using Orchestras
and Bands. You could do a lot of things.
So, by the time we did
"Native New Yorker,"

I already had a couple of records
under my belt and I had a pretty good
handle on the direction.
I was working with Sandy Linzer
and Denny Randell.
I think Denny wasn't really visible
at that time, on the date,
that Sandy wrote the song with him.
They went in to make the record,
so they called me...
Sandy
called me to help him
make the record.
When I heard the song,
I played the record on the
piano, and Sandy said,
"What did you do?"

I said, well, that's the way the song
should go.
I played all
of the figures on the piano,
and I just wrote it out.
I said, this is where I hear this record.
Sandy said, "Don't go any further,
just write that down."

That was one of the fastest
arrangements that I wrote.
It took me about two hours to write
the arrangement on
"Native New Yorker."

OL:
We just love the strings on that track!
We just love the way it moves,
it's just incredible.

Charles Calello:
Well, it starts off with that
New York sound,
with the saxophone.
All of a sudden, it goes into that
disco feel of music. It was really very...,
in my opinion, cleverly written.
I liked all of the figures that I wrote
out. I liked the key, I like the way the
Band sounded.
I liked the way the Musicians played it.

OL:
Charles, in some of the experiences
that You've shared with us, thus far...
do You arrange music
right on the spot,
like You did with Barbra?...
Do You do that often,
or do You sit and think about it,
and map it out at the piano, beforehand?

Charles Calello:
It depends on the style.
When cutting a Pop record,
what I wanted to do,
is that I wanted to get a feel
for the song. I would play the song
on the piano,
until I felt comfortable,
and I would find a direction,
and a feel for the song.
Once I heard the Artists
singing it in my head,
then I could write it down.
But to just sit down and write notes on a piece of paper,
without having a direction...
Unless you have the
concept, you can't write it.
It's sort of like, what makes a
great painting? A painter looked at
something, he had a vision of what
he wanted to do,
and he painted it. Well,
without having a vision,
I wanted it to sound like New York.
When I did "After The Lovin' "...
I wrote the arrangement for
"After The Lovin',"
with David Rose's
"Stripper,"
and mind. I don't know
if you remember that song.
David Rose
had a hit in the '60's,
called "The Stripper"
[singing a little sample of it].
So, all of the horn riffs
that I wrote on "After The Lovin,"
came from that.
"After The Lovin' ,"
to me,
was Engelbert Humperdinck,
doing the male stripped tease.

OL:
Ah, okay [laughing]...

Charles Calello:
There wasn't a guy in the world
 who I knew who was
going to sing a girl to sleep,
after the lovin'.
I had to have an image in my mind,
in order to create the sound.

OL:
Ah, okay... interesting!
We've got to visit that
David Rose
song.
  
OL:
Next Hit Song Up!
"Daybreak..."
written by Barry Manilow
and Adrienne Anderson...
This shuffle good-feel
Pop masterpiece is so inspiring!
So many radio spins of the
Arista Records
recording;
we love your shining arrangement of
how the song builds into such a
 sunny frenzy,
with the orchestral and
background vocals, surrounding the
wonderful vocals
of the great Barry Manilow,
one of the great Pop Singers, ever.
We'd just like to say thank you,
 and we celebrate your awe-inspiring
arrangement on this recording,
Mr. Calello!
Tell us about this session?
  
Charles Calello:
That was the only record I think,
that I made for Barry. I got called to do,
I think... one or two arrangements
for him. Although Barry had worked for
me, doing jingles,
and I knew him really well.
Barry
was an Arranger.
He sort of put the concepts
together, himself.
There he rarely, would allow
someone else to come in and take control.
He basically made the tracks,
and I think I sweetened
that record.

OL:
It's such an inspiring sound.
Whatever you're going through in life,
it lifts you up, it really does.
It accomplishes that.

Charles Calello:
I thought that the record turned out well.
I didn't think he was pleased with it.
I left the session, not really
knowing if he was happy with it.
So, I never really got
a take on it. Similar, like the same,
I walked out of the Studio,
after doing "Sweet Caroline."
I didn't think that even Neil Diamond
liked the record.
  
OL:

This leads us to "Sweet Caroline..."
written and recorded by the one and only
Neil Diamond...
This mid-tempo pop radio favorite
in the 60's and 70's,
has an almost ballad-like quality
charm to it.
As Neil Diamond sings the chorus part
of the song,
it took just 3 famous notes of
your Arrangement that followed.
It was just that clear for You?

Charles Calello:
Yes, that little shuffle feel,
but after I recorded it,
Neil
was very, very expressionless.
So, I walked out of the studio,
not really knowing if I made
a great record,
or not. I always try to write the
best arrangement that I
could, and I knew musically,
that it would sound good...
And I always try to get it to feel good,
before I would put the notes on a paper,
I just wouldn't write it,
not less, I really wanted that.
So, I always thought the stuff
that I wrote, was really pleasing to me.
If it was pleasing to me, I knew that
somebody else would like
it. But when you don't get any feedback
from people in the Control Room,
it's hard for you to know,
if the direction you're taking,
is really acceptable.
So, on some of the records that I made,
I walked out of the studio,
thinking that I made a really good record,
but not really knowing if the people
liked it.

OL:
We think that when it's put out there
for all of the listeners out there...
the Consumer-buying public,
that's the real test.
There are some artists who are
quoted as saying that they didn't
like their performance,
and yet it turns out to be one of
their greatest performances, ever.
We guess it's all subjective,
but we love the feel of this song,
"Sweet Caroline."

Charles Calello:
That's one of the problems
that you get when you have Artists
that produce their own records.
It's hard for them to be objective.
Very few artists can be
objective when they're doing
the whole thing.

OL:
That's a very good point.

Charles Calello:
Billy Joel
is unique in it.
Paul Simon
was unique in it.
They make their own records.
McCartney
made his own record...
but usually, most of the people
that try to make their own records,
or tried to do everything;
are usually not successful.
Like Harry Connick really can use
a Producer, in my opinion.
He would be one person.
I think that his dimension of his music,
and his talent could be expanded,
if he just had all of the feedback.

OL:
When he first came out,
he was definitely doing the Sinatra path,
and in some respects, being compared
to Sinatra. But it seems that he also...
like Michael Bublé, they went off
into a more contemporary sound,
and tried to expand.
So yes, we see what you're saying
with that.

OL:
Glen Campbell is one of the most
beloved Country Singers in America...
a true Legend
What some may not know is that Glen
first started out as a session side-man
on the Guitar.
On your arrangement of his Pop-Country
crossover Hit Song, "Southern Nights," 
written by Allen Toussaint; did working on
Mr. Campbell's
track,
add a new dimension, knowing his
background as a session side-man?
  
Charles Calello:
Glen Campbell was an interesting session
to do. Glen was filled with a lot of energy.
We cut "Southern Nights" at
Capitol, Studio A.
He wanted to rehearse
his rhythm section. So, we flew out to
meet with him, and I put the
rhythm section together, 'live'
with his Band, in the afternoon.
I gave the Bass Player the bass lick.
I said, I want you to play
[bom bom boy-u bom bom Bom].
So, when I gave him the lick,
he started to play it. Glen said,
"How come the bass isn't playing on the
beat?"
I said, because I want to try
this figure, to see how it fits with the
feel that I'm going to create.
So, I gave the Piano Player the licks to
"Put Another Nickel In."

I don't know if you remember
this song [singing it].

OL:
Oh yeah, we know that song!
Got it!

Charles Calello:
So then, when the bass part
played against that
melody, and he heard it;
he was very, very impressed,
because they were parts that
they were playing. They just weren't
playing the chords.
And Glen came up with the intro lick.
That was his lick. When we put the
record together, and then,
to try to keep that flavor,
when I sweetened the record,
I used like trumpet clarinet.
I didn't use like regular horns,
I used almost like a Dixie Band,
so it sounded like New Orleans.

OL:
It certainly does have that feel.

Charles Calello:
I will tell you something very
interesting about that.
"Southern Nights"
was written by
Allen Toussaint.
I had the hit record
with "Southern Nights,"
when he had the hit record with
Patti Labelle,
with "Voulez-vous Coucher..."
At the same time, he copied
my arrangement on
"Voulez-vous Coucher..." 
with Patti,
and I was making another hit record;
I saw that he made.
I thought that was pretty funny.
Glen
is a great Singer,
a really good Musician.

OL:
Yes, we are sorry that
Mr. Campbell
is suffering from
Alzheimer's. He is without a doubt,
one of the greats & one of OL's
most loved, celebrated, and respected
Artists, ever...
we wish him well...

OL:
With equal measure, Mr. Calello,
there's no way that we could
leave this segment,
without asking You about the amazing
60's Girl Group, The Toys...
A Denny Randell / Sandy Linzer
adaptation of the great
classical Composer John Sebastian Bach's
"Minuet in G,"... 
produced their Pop/Rock, R&B styled
hit song, "A Lover's Concerto."
Charles,
your great arrangement
opens nicely with great
horn arrangements,
while at the same time,
the tambourine claps compliment the
solid vocal performance of each
member of the singing group:
Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt
& 
June Montiero...
who were signed to the
Dyno Voice
Record Label,
during the famous Brill Building era,
where many legendary Artists
flourished in NYC. 
At the height of popularity of the
60's Girl Groups; where, in the song,
did You place the emphasis on the hook?
  
Charles Calello:
Ah...
This was an interesting session,
because Sandy Linzer
and Denny Randell actually paid for the
session, themselves. And
"A Lover's Concerto"
was the fourth
song on the session.
We didn't have time to really
record it. It was 9:55.
We usually booked the Studio
for the Musicians, from 7 to 10.
So, I ran half of the arrangement down.
As soon as I played it, and they got
the idea of the feel; I said to the
Engineer, take it!

OL:
Right then and there?

Charles Calello:
It was the first take.
It was the rundown, that was
the record. We wrote the arrangement
at my house, the night before,
and recorded it... and it was not
the preferred song on the session date.
Yet, when the record was finished,
it was obvious that this was
the hit record.
There were a lot of very successful
people that heard the record,
and thought that the record was not good.
Some very, very high profile people
that were in the record business,
I won't mention the names. Finally,
Bob Crewe
heard it,
and he said, "This is a hit!" So,
Bob
bought the record from them.
Even though they were signed to his
Company, they had the ability to go
and make records for other people.
Bob
bought the record,
and put the record out on his own label.

OL:
We see...
Was it just that one, out of the
4 or 5 songs that
were recorded at that session...
he bought just that one?

Charles Calello:
There were several songs that were
written at that time. Sandy and Denny
were really writing great,
at that point. A lot of songs that they
wrote... pretty much anyone of them could
of been hits. I don't know why there wasn't
 a decent follow-up. Why that thing didn't
hold together, but I think a lot of it had
to do with the time period,
and what was happening
with Bob's Company.
But they were fun records to
make. It was always fun,
working with. Sandy and Denny.
  
OL:

Tell us about working with some of the
up and coming Artists,
who would come in and out of
the historical music haven
The Brill Building located in the creative
Tin Pan Alley neighborhood of
New York City?

Charles Calello:
It reminds me of the music business,
of where a person went to try to get songs,
or where a person went to try and
sell songs.

OL:
So, that was the spot?

Charles Calello:
It was the tin pan alley of the 60's.
That was the spot!
  
OL:

Thank you Charles,
we're having a ball, learning
about some of the behind the scenes
Production stories!
We look forward tomorrow
in Part 4 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

where  Producer Arranger Great
Charles Calello
shares with us, a one-word playback on
OL's weekly one-word commentary
segment of this Interview...
more is on the way!
  
OL:
Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


----------------------------------

OL:
Welcome back, Charles...
this being Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
We're at the segment Interview feature,
where we introduce a 'one word' Interview
question to You, Charles, and if You can
please playback a One-word Commentary
Note for the OL Visitors,
that would be super!
 
 
OL:

Earphones?
Charles Calello:

Love them!
  
OL:

Conductor's baton?
Charles Calello:

Can't live without it!
  
OL:

New Jersey?
Charles Calello:
Terrible place to live. 
[just kidding...]
  
OL:

Concept?
Charles Calello:

Very important in making a record.
  
OL:

Melody?
Charles Calello:

My favorite part of music.
  
OL:

Produce?
Charles Calello:

Make it happen.
  
OL:

Arrangement?
Charles Calello:

Be creative.
  
OL:

Hook?
Charles Calello:

Most important in a record.
  
OL:

Flourish?
Charles Calello:

It has to have a good story. 
  
OL:

Movie?
Charles Calello:

Play is the thing, again, the story!
 
OL:

Thank you very much Charles,
for coming on as our
Special Guest Artist.

OL:

Thank you, Charles.
We look forward tomorrow in
Part 5 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Interview,
as delve into
Producer Arranger Charles Calello's
Orchestral Projects,
Stage Show Productions & more!
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!...


------------------------------

OL:
We'd like to welcome Back the
Award Winning
Producer Arranger, Mr. Charles Calello!
This being Part 5 of our 7 day
Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.

These are the Musical Performance gems
that golden Careers such as
Mr. Calello's
are made of!

OL:
Charles Calello...
15 Grammy-Nominated
Grammy Recordings!
More Top Ten Hits than any other
Arranger!
Inducted into the
Vocal Group Hall of Fame,
as one of The Four Seasons!
Served as Assistant Conductor for the
Florida Symphonic Pops Orchestra!
In tribute... The Charles Calello Show,
"The Master Behind the Music,"

at the Maltz Theater in Jupiter, Florida!
Guest appearances with
The Sunshine Pop Orchestra!
'Live' Concerts with
The Charles Calello Orchestra!
"The Hit Man," including Tours with
Country Star Ronnie Milsap
& still going!
All we can say is 'Wow', Mr. Calello!
What is that magical element that
You can share with all of the Artists who
would like to follow in your foot-steps?
 
Charles Calello:
The preparation is a lot different.
When you do a show, there's a lot that
you have to do, other than music.
A Show needs to entertain the Audience.
You just can't get up there, and play music.
So, throughout the years, and going to
Concerts, and critiquing the Artists that
I worked with, and giving them feedback;
as to how to improved their shows...
when it came down to putting my own
Show together, I knew that the only way
to make it successful, was to be
prepared. You need to have the proper
dialogue. You need to be able to have a
good concept for the performance;
and you need it to be entertaining.
You really have to wow people,
 and let them walk away, saying,
'I really enjoyed this. This was unusual.
I can come back, and see this, again.'

OL
So it all comes down to the big picture?

Charles Calello:
It's a much different animal, than making
records, because with records, you only
have the one selling point, people
listen to it. Visually, with a 'live'
performance, they're listening and they
are seeing your reaction to the music.
All of that, plays a major part on how the
Audience reacts. Especially, if you're
Conducting; like I would always be there,
Conducting. And they would know if I
was feeling it, or not

OL:
Right... that's part of doing a
'live' performance, for sure?

Charles Calello:
 Right.

OL:

What production preparation goes into,
when performing 'live' with an Orchestra?
 
 
Charles Calello:
Well, everyone of these Shows are
different. I have fun when I go out with
Ronnie Milsap,
because we do Symphony
dates, and we do Ronnie's 'Standards
Record'. It's always fun to get in front of
an Orchestra... a Symphony Orchestra,
and play your own arrangements.
When you get in front of an Orchestra,
and you put the arrangements up, usually
Musicians will tell, in 30 seconds,
if you know what you're doing.
Usually what will happen, is when I put
the arrangements up, the Musicians will
react. And because of the way that they
react, it's invigorating, because you see
that they're actually enjoying playing the notes that are on the paper.

OL:
Well, we certainly saw that on your Site,
on one of your 'live' recorded
Stage Performances. It's just fantastic,
we have to tell You that.

Charles Calello:
Thank you.
There's an interchange of encouragement,
back and forth with the Band.
What a Conductor is
really supposed to do, is to motivate.
So, if you motivate the Band, and if the
Band is really, really cooking,
it's a tremendous amount of fun.
Plus, you get instant gratification.
I make a record, I don't know if the
people like it, until six months later.

OL:
Yes, it's a whole different feel.
  Tell us about the Singers
on your 'live' Shows,
including your very talented Son
that You feature,
Charles Calello, Jr.?
  
Charles Calello:
My Son really is a good Singer.
He's also a good writer,
and a good Performer...
when he does his own music.
The first Concert that I did,
I used him, because I know that he's a
good Entertainer, and he could sing the
songs, but also Frankie Valli is his
Godfather. So, I thought that it would be
great for him to sing, and also when I first
bring him out on stage, I have him do,
"My Eyes Adored You."
And I said,
you know, that it's really great to have
my Son sing that song. The way I
introduce him, is I sort of set it up,
because the record that I made with
Frankie was very important, in both of
our lives, because we haven't had a hit
together, in about seven years,
when we cut that record.

OL:
Yes, well Charles, Jr. did a terrific job,
he's a great Singer.

Charles Calello:
My Son sings those songs, probably better
than anybody else that I've ever used on
the Show. He really nails it.

OL:
He really does. He has his own style.
  
OL:
Now, in 2006... Along with Frankie Valli,
Bob Gaudio,
and Artie Schroeck;
You all had a long overdue and celebrated
reunion,  happily for many Fans
around the world,
returning back into the Studio to
record again.
What did that feel like to work as one of
the original Jersey Boys,
including many of the
Musicians who worked on the original
Four Seasons
recordings?
  
Charles Calello:
 We actually made a record for Universal,
"Romancing the 60's."
It was fun to get
together. Actually, we hadn't worked
together, in a long, long time.
We did it in New York, which we hadn't
recorded in New York, in 30 years.
It was fun to go back there. And it was
also fun to collaborate, with Frankie,
Gaudio, Myself
and Artie... although
Artie
and I were never in the same room,
working together, when I was working
with the Seasons, and when he worked
with the Seasons, because I went to
High School with Artie. I got him started,
writing arrangements.
I used him as a percussionist,
playing on my records. I had the
opportunity to bring him into the record
business. So, when I went to work for
Columbia
, I got Artie to write the
arrangements for Frankie. But they knew
who Artie was, because we all grew up
together. It was fun to work together. It
was really enjoyable. We were a lot
older. It was a lot different, and it was
videoed. I never saw any of the
footage, but it was videoed, and we took
a bunch of pictures. We did some of the
things from Jersey Boys. It was a lot of
fun. Of course, I have about 500 pictures
from that session.

OL:
Wow, that's great!
Your noted work in Film is yet
another dimension to
your versatility as an Artist, Charles.
 You were a musical technical advisor
on the film:
The Transformers: The Movie (1986).
You also composed the music for the film:
The Lonely Lady (1983),
starring...
Pia Zadora, Lloyd Bochner, & Bibi Besch.
Also, a John Depp vehicle film:
Cry-Baby (1990),
features the trendy ballad,
"A Teenage Prayer."
Do You look at arranging music
differently, in comparison to
producing music for Film?

Charles Calello:

Well, I scored a couple of films, and I
made a lot of records that were used in
films. For example, when we did the
Transformers
in 86, that was a cartoon. I
didn't compose the music, I orchestrated
it for the movie. In the film,
"Lonely Lady," I actually composed... It was one
of the earlier movies, starring
Pia Zadora
.
I found out that that was a very difficult
business to break into, because it was
sort of like the record business. Unless
you worked with a group of people, that
were comfortable with what you were
going to be able to do; it was hard to
break into it. Because I was always so
busy in the record business, it wasn't
something that I pursued. One of the
things that I liked about scoring for film,
was the fact that you really get a chance
to use your composition ability. One of
the other things that's really strange
about it; is that you can go and write an
entire score for a motion picture, and
they could change the film. And
sometimes the films that they put out, are
not the films that you want your music
in. So I tried to view it; that if I couldn't
tell my kids to go see the movie, then I
wasn't going to get involved with it. So
you can draw your own conclusion from
it. Although, I probably could have broken
in, if I plugged away. It wasn't
something that I felt comfortable in,
because you had no control over it.

OL:
Once it was released to the Film
Producer?

Charles Calello:
I didn't want to write music to where
there were sex scenes, or violence, and
things like that. It just wasn't something
that I wanted to get involved with.

OL:
Oh yes, we can respect that.
What do You think of the Pop Songs,
moving forward?
  
Charles Calello:

Well, I'm going to quote Weird Al
Yankovic. "
In the 40s, they wrote songs
that said I love you in the 50s is was I
love you the 60s. It was I love you, the
80s. I love you." And it got louder and
louder and louder.
So, the thing that
happened to pop music; it became I guess
a lot more aggressive. When you listen to
songs. Songs are songs. In the future,
when they start to re-record songs; I don't
know how many rap songs that you're
going to be able to cover, and say hey
let's do a new version of this rap song.
But I do know that people never get tired
of the standards; the great songs that
have been written like... Going back to
even the music from the 60s, 70s, and
even the 80s; there are some really, really
great, great songs.
One of my favorite songs,
which was recorded by Barry Manilow;
was, "Trying To Get The Feeling."

OL:
Oh, we love that song.

Charles Calello:
Musically, it's brilliantly written. The pop
songs that are being written today, every
now and then you'll catch one that really,
really is cool. And I think that writing
songs, really hasn't changed a whole lot.
You listen to Adele's music; she wrote
great songs.

OL:
She's one of the exeptions, that we think
is the real deal.

Charles Calello:
Also, the kid that just one. This Grammy,
who plays the piano and sings...

OL:
John Legend?

Charles Calello:
John legend. The song that he's got the
hit out with right now, I really, really
love it.

OL:
"All Of Me" Yes, that's the one that's on
the charts right now.

Charles Calello:
I once saw Steve Allen do this, where he
was talking about writing pop songs, and
this was many many years ago. But he
says, "Imagine going to a record company
and tell them that you want to record a
song, and they say let me take a look at
the lyrics... And you gave them the lyric,
and then the executive agreed I can't get
no satisfaction, I can't get no
satisfaction, no, no, no satisfaction, but I
tried, but I tried, but I tried, but I can't get
no satisfaction. They probably would
have thrown you out of the office, but
when you put the music together, and
you make the record, it has great
significance
."

OL:
It takes on a different concept or a
different direction.

Charles Calello:
So, pop songs are either great, great
songs, or they could also be great
records. There's also a lot of things that
are written today that I think are really,
really wonderful. There's a lot of good
music that's written today.

OL:
Okay, speaking of favorite songs; what
would be one of your favorite four
seasons songs?

Charles Calello:
I think of all the records that we made,
I would say there were three that
stand out in my mind...
"Dawn (Go Away),"
"Workin' My Way Back To You
," and "Let's
Hang On
," I'm sure that other people have
other favorites, but those were the most
fun to make.
  
OL:

Thanks so much Charles,
and that was fun to know! We're all
enjoying traveling
with You this week, highlighting some of
the special musical times of your life
and Career!.
We truly look forward
tomorrow in Part 6 of this 7
part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we cover more of Charles Calello's
hit-making chart toppers,
with even more Stars...
from Englebert Humperdinck,
to Dr. Buzarrd's
Original Savannah Band,
Bruce Springsteen,
Roberto Carlos
& more!
  
OL:

Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
-----------------------

OL:
Thank you and welcome once again, to
Producer Arranger, Mr. Charles Calello!
This being Part 6 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.

We're going to go right into more of the
Top Charting Hit Pop/Rock Songs
Produced and Arranged by Mr. Calello;
finding out about his favorite
recording moment
for each of these great Songs,
 and the featured Artists! 
Here we go!

OL:

(1976-RCA) "Cherchez La Femme"
Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
?
  
Charles Calello:
What I did when I wrote the arrangement,
I wrote the song "Whispering," and the
melody, as one of the counter lines in the
song; which was [da, da da di da, da da
da, da....] , Sandy Linzer, who produce
the record loved that melody so much
that he took it from the middle of the
record, and put it at the introduction.
One of the things that took place with
that record, what was really, really
great; when I met with Stony Browder,
to go over the songs,
Stony
said to me... He said,
"This record has to be
Esther Williams
in the swimming pool. It has to be the
MGM Musicals." It had that character.
What he did was he painted the pictures
for me.

OL:
Visually.

Charles Calello:
And he also wanted it to be like Duke
Ellington. So, I hired a big band; it was
very similar to what we used on "Swearin' To God."
But this was a real big band.
It was for trumpets,
four trombones, five saxes.
And I hadn't heard a disco record
made with that band.
When I wrote the
arrangements. I wrote the arrangements
to the songs, with that instrumentation,
and with that kind of flair in mind. And I
think that
"Cherchez La Femme," was
one of the coolest records, of the time. It
just sounded so great on the radio.

OL:
Ditto on that; because there so many
wonderful things that you have going on...
on this record. It's just fabulous to listen
to. Even if one doesn't dance, you can
just listen to it. There is no sound that's
getting in each other's way. One thing
enhances the other, on this recording.

Charles Calello:
Well, that's part of arranging.

OL:
That was so masterfully done.
We must say... well done.

Charles Calello:
Thank you.
  
OL:
Next song..
(1975-Columbia)
"Jungleland" Bruce Springsteen?
  
Charles Calello:
That was an interesting session. I got
called by Mickey Eichner, who was head
of Columbia Records, at that point; and
said that they signed Bruce Springsteen.
He was a new Artist, he had one record
that was out. He was putting out a new
record, and he wanted to put strings on it.
I went to the studio, and met with him.
Jimmy Iovine
,
was the second Engineer on
the date. He was sort of an apprentice at
that time. He also wound up engineering
that part of the session, at that point.
Bruce
was very, very interesting, because
I met with him, and he said he wanted to
sit with me and tell me what he wanted
the strings to do. So, I made an
appointment to meet with him at
11 o'clock at my office, and I met with him.
I played the cassette that he gave me,
and I said what do you want the strings
to do?
So, he stared out into space, and he,
and I could see him humming; although
he sort of heard something in his head, he
couldn't explain it. So, after about
10 minutes, he says, "You do it, man,
I'll see you tomorrow night. [laughing].
So, I didn't pay too much attention to
the song, because I was real busy
that day. I went home and I figured there
were only two sweetening arrangements,
so, I start them at 11 o'clock at night,
I finished them by 2 in the morning,
so that I would be ready to
send them to the copyist. I listened to
"Jungleland," and it took me from
11 o'clock to 6 AM,
to write the arrangement.
That's how much the song
mesmerized me.
And just not to interfere with the song,
it took me seven hours to write the parts,
so that they would sound like they would
fit in the record.

OL:
So, space is very important to you,
as an Arranger?

Charles Calello:
Oh yeah...

OL:
And you can hear it on this track.
Bruce Springsteen
and strings,
it really works on this track.

OL:
(1983-RCA) "Baby I Lied"
Deborah Allen?
  
Charles Calello:
Well, that record. We made for
Capitol Records.
Capitol didn't like it.
And we sold the record to RCA. I brought
the song to Juice Newton, and they
wrote the Juice Newton song. This would
have been great for Juice, because it was
right with the type of records that we
were making. Because they passed on the
song, I cut the song with Deborah.
All though Deborah didn't sound like
Juice,
I made it like I would make a
Juice Newton
record. The song itself,
was great. The interesting part about
that; it took me about 17 hours to get the
vocal on that, because if you just listen
to, and read the lyrics. The song was,
"if you tell me that you're going to leave
me ... tell me that you're just going to go
away, it's not going to matter. But now
that you're really telling me this is true,
for real, and you're going to leave;
I'm going to tell you, I really lied,
because that's not really the way I felt."

To get that message across, Deborah had
to believe that she was having this
conversation, and this was going to be
her last shot to try to keep this guy.
Although she wrote the song, and she
sang really well, her depths of emotion
were not there, and it took me 17 hours
to really put the vocal together, to get it
to be real. One of the things that was
really unique about it, after I made the
record... I thought it was a hit, and I was
surprised at Capitol Records passed on it.
But, you know, Motown passed on
"My Eyes Adored You."
And 33 other
Companies passed on
"My Eyes Adored You."


OL:
Honestly, we find it hard to believe that
anybody would pass on
"My Eyes Adored You."

OL:
(2004-Sony Discos) "Pa Sempre"
Roberto Carlos,
we understand he is one
of your favorites to work with?

Charles Calello:
Yeah, Roberto was great. I recorded with
Roberto
for almost 30 years. That was
last time I recorded with him, in 2004;
10 years ago, it's hard to believe.
Roberto
is probably one of the most
sensitive Artists that I've ever worked
with. He's just a beautiful, beautiful
man. His music is always inspiring.
His emotional connection with the music,
was always great. When I started to
record him, I became aware of him
through my Brother, who brought
me a song that he had written.
My Brother did an English translation of
it, and I was trying to contact the
Brazilian people, to see if I can get the
rights to the song, to write an English
lyric to it. And as I was trying to contact
him, he was trying to contact me, to hire
me to write the arrangements for his
records. So, we became really good
friends, and to this day I still regard him
as a friend. That record was written for
his wife, that died.

OL:
We understand.
His emotion comes through on the track,
right from the onset.

Charles Calello:
It's the kind of music that an Arranger
likes to make, because it's real.
You've got to capture it in the emotion.
But Roberto is really the best; I loved
working with him. Every time he comes to
Florida
now; I always make it a point to
go see him.

OL:
That's great.

OL:
(1975-Arista) "All By Myself"
Eric Carmen?
  
Charles Calello:
"All By Myself" was an interesting record
to make. Eric was signed to
Arista Records,
and I got a call from his
Manager. They said that Eric wanted to
put strings on a record. He cut the track,
and I added strings to the record. I found
out later on, that Eric wanted to take
credit for writing the arrangement.
So, I wrote the arrangement, and gave
him the baton to conduct. He couldn't get
through the first four bars, because it was
all ad lib. So, I made the record,
and I was really, sort of a little
disappointed that I never got credit on
the record, but I thought that the
ingredients that I added to the record,
really made the record have a lot more
importance.

OL:
It was the difference maker?

Charles Calello:
I thought so. Those things happen.
It's not a whole lot that you can do about
it, and I think that was the last time that
I ever worked with Eric.
We did that song, and this song
"Never Gonna Fall In Love Again,"

which I really liked.

OL:
Oh yeah, that song too, another great
arrangement, that You did, Charles!
  
OL:

(1976-Epic) "After The Lovin"
Engelbert Humperdinck?

  
Charles Calello:
 "After The Lovin'..." When I met
Engelbert,
he walked into the room.
He was 6'2". A really gorgeous looking
guy, well-built.
We're rehearsing the song...

OL:
Is he from England?

Charles Calello:
Yes, he's from England. Actually,
he was born in India. His Father was in
the Military. He was born in India,
but he's an English citizen. When I made
the record, I made the record, like a strip
tease; an old vaudeville kind of feel.
I wanted to paint that picture.
I always got a kick out of listening to it
on the radio. It was Engelbert's biggest
record. I recorded him about four years
ago. He still sings great. He still sings
really, really well.

OL:
As as Singer, he's always delivered
a solid performance.

Charles Calello:
Although he's had a good 'live' career,
his career seemed to be limited. He didn't
do a lot of media, and a lot of visible
things, like in movies, and stuff like
Tom Jones.
I think it would've helped his
career a lot, but I guess that's not what
he pursued, but he was always a
great Singer!

OL:

Charles,
a big thank you!
You're the tops!
Tomorrow in Part 7 of this 7
part Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
as we come to the end of this weekly
OL
Interview, we'll check out more
records that Mr. Calello has arranged,
from Peter Allen, to Lou Christie,
Lorrie Morgan
and of course more
Frankie Valli...
!
it has been a blast to cover more than
5 decades of
Mr. Charles Calello
"The Man Behind The Music!"
  
OL:

Thank you Charles.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly!
 ------------------------------
OL:
Welcome Back, Charles!
It's great to have You back on again,
this being Part 7 of our 7 day
Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
Behind every great song, is a great story...
When a Songwriter's words and music
come together with a great Performance,
it magically takes flight through great
Producing and Arranging.
"This Master Behind The Music,"
Producer Arranger
Composer, Singer & Conductor

...Charles James Calello...
gave us the "bom, bom bommm!" in
Neil Diamond's
"Sweet Caroline"...
And as a member of and providing
the classic string arrangements
and orchestration on many of
Frankie Valli &The Four Seasons'
Hit Songs, "Walk Like A Man,"
"Candy," "Dawn,"
"Let's Hang On,"
"Working My Way Back To You,"
"Ronnie...
"
the soaring sounds for Barbra Streisand,
Frank Sinatra, Bobby Vinton,

& endless other Stars!...
We would need more than
7 Days in this OL Interview,
but are gladly grateful for the time spent
this week with Mr. Calello...

OL:
In this final segment of this OL Interview,
we'd like to ask You about some more of
your stellar Recording Arrangments!

OL:
(1975-Private Stock)
Charles,
Just to footnote on The
Frankie Valli
recording of
"Swearin' To God"... that You talk about
this song in the earlier OL interview
segment, and your lifetime association in
working with Mr. Valli and your
friendship... What we didn't know is that
this was the first disco song that You
recorded...?

Charles Calello:
Right... yes it was.

OL:
Well, Mr. Calello, we happily open with
this knock-out disco arranged song on the
OL Interview Playlist
, because it is our
favorite of your Arrangements,
recorded by the super cool and crazy
talented original 'Jersey Boy',
himself... legend Francis Castelluccio...
Mr
. Frankie Valli!
For this record and many others,
we are so glad that You returned
back into the Recording Industry,
after your 2 year hiatus.
But actually, You never left...
because all of your legendary
Arrangements on so many classic
Pop Songs are pretty much
timeless and revered as some of
greatest recordings in music,
period.
As we are sure that all music lovers
around the world, celebrate your Arrangements, too!.

Charles Calello:
Thank you!
 
OL:
Now, let's go to:
(1983-Arista)
"Not The Boy Next Door"
Peter Allen
?
  
Charles Calello:

That was the last record that we made
together. Peter was the first person that
I knew, that died of aids. Very early on,
it wasn't long after we made that record,
that he died. The first time I met him, he
was married to Liza Minnelli, when I was
recording Liza Minnelli in the 60's. I also
made a record with him and his writing
partner. He made some really, really
good records, and I always respected him
as a writer. This one record;
"Once Before I Go..."
He really, really wrote great songs.

OL:
Didn't Peter write "Fly Away" with
David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager?

Charles Calello:
Yeah.

OL:
That's a popular favorite.
  
OL:

(1991-RCA) "Something In Red"
Lorrie Morgan?

Charles Calello:
I never made a country record with the
Symphony Orchestra. But that's what we
did. We use like a pop orchestra,
to record "Something In Red."
It was actually her career song.

OL:
That was a big song for her?

Charles Calello:
That was a big song. It wasn't as high a
chart record, as it was a career song for
her. On the same session that we did,
she had another number one record,
with a traditional country song.
But this is the one, that people
remembered about Lorrie Morgan.
Also, I regard that as one of my
favorite records.

OL:
It's a beautifully recorded song.

OL:
(1966-MGM) "Lightnin' Strikes"
Lou Christie?

Charles Calello:

Lou Christie…
I started to record him
when he was on Colpix Records.
I recorded him two times before we did
"Lightnin' Strikes."...
"Lightnin' Strikes" was the third session.
He played me the song, on the second
session that we were going to do.
The song wasn't completed. I had to
rewrite the song, two other times,
and the third session that we did, which
was one on the MGM Record, we finally
put the pieces together. We rehearsed it;
the Angels were the background singers.
When we cut the record, I thought that it
was going to be a #1 record. I brought it
to Lenny Shear, who was head of MGM,
at the time. He listened to the record,
and threw it in the garbage. In front of
me, he threw it right in the garbage.
He said, "I paid $3000 for this piece of
crap."
I went home. I was totally, totally,
totally destroyed. I was driving back on
Jersey Turnpike, going home. That day,
 I said to myself, my career was over
[laughing]

OL:
Wow, that's such a great song.

Charles Calello:
The song was released six months later,
and Alan Gallico called me, and he says,
"Hey
Charlie, do you remember that
record that you rehearsed with that kid?"

He said, "I see it's #1 in Pittsburgh."
[laughing].
It became a #1 record!

OL:
Go figure!

Charles Calello:
I still talk to Lou, every now and then.
Lou's
a great guy.

OL:
So is he still singing?

Charles Calello:
Yes, he still goes out and does dates.
We actually did a concert together,
where we did "Lightnin' Strikes" a couple
of years ago. It was really a lot of fun

OL:
That's great.

OL:

And saving the best for last...
(1978-Unidisc)
"Sing, Sing, Sing"
Charles Calello Orchestra?

Charles Calello:
I got an opportunity to do a record,
a disco record, after I had those couple of
hits. The record company president was
Bob Reno
. I forget the name of the label.
He had "Fly Robin Fly" and he had a
couple of other disco records.
He wanted to do a big band disco record.
That's what this wound up being.
A big band disco record. I had the
greatest time making this record.
I still think that had it been on another
label, the record could have been a lot
bigger. But I know that "Sing, Sing, Sing"
made the disco charts, which was really,
really cool. For about 15 years, it was like
on everybody's exercising tape. It had a
good life. When I perform in person,
I very rarely do it, because it wasn't that
big of a hit; but some people still
request it.

OL:
It's a great recording.
We really love it!

Charles Calello:
Thank you.

OL:
Charles, all of us here at OL
would like to very much
extend our utmost of thanks,
You gave us your
precious time and shared your
Professional wisdom
and experiences with so many!
We are sure that all of our OL Viewers,
came away with a wealth of
knowledge about the inside workings of
how music Productions are put together.
Your genius sounds are all around this
world, and we wish You continued
legacies to build in your future
and upcoming Projects!

Charles Calello:
Thank you. This was great.
It was fun to do!

OL:
Thank you, to
Producer Arranger Conductor great
Charles Calello!
And thank you All for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!

Playlist samples:
Producer Arranger Conductor Legend
CHARLES CALELLO

1. Swearin' To God - Frankie Valli ("Close Up" CD)
2. Walk Like A Man - The 4 Seasons ("Big Girls Don't Cry" CD)
3. Native New Yorker - Odyssey ("Native New Yorker" CD)
4. Stone Soul Picnic - Laura Nyro ("Eli And The Thirteenth Confession" CD)
5. My Eyes Adored You - Frankie Valli ("Close Up" CD)
6. My Heart Belongs To Me - Barbra Streisand ("Superman" CD)
7. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond ("Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" CD)
8. Lightnin' Strikes - Lou Christie ("Lightnin' Strikes" CD)
9. A Lover's Concerto - The Toys ("A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack" CD)
10. After The Lovin' - Engelbert Humperdinck ("After The Lovin' " CD)
11. Break It To Me Gently - Juice Newton ("Juice" CD)
12. Dawn (Go Away) - The 4 Seasons ("Dawn (Go Away) And 11 Other Great Songs" CD)
13. Southern Nights - Glen Campbell ("Southern Nights" CD)
14. Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen ("Born To Run" CD)
15. All By Myself - Eric Carmen ("All By Myself" CD)
16. Let's Hang On - The 4 Seasons ("Let's Hang On And More Great New Hits" CD)
17. The Name Game - Shirley Ellis ("The Name Game" CD)
18. Not The Boy Next Door - Peter Allen ("Not The Boy Next Door" CD)
19. Pra Sempre - Roberto Carlos ("Pa Sempre" CD)
20. Michael & Peter - Frank Sinatra ("Watertown" CD)
21. Something In Red - Lorrie Morgan ("Something In Red" CD)
22. Daybreak - Barry Manilow ("This One's For You" CD)
23. Cherchez La Femme (Se Si Bon) - "Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band" CD
24. Sing, Sing, Sing - The Charles Calello Orchestra ("Calello Serenade" CD)

*photo/album credits: see www.charlescalello.com








OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

"Remember, being a great musician is just something that you do.
But being a great person is something that you are..."
\
.Bashiri Johnson



Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
BASHIRI JOHNSON
PERCUSSIONIST PRODUCER COMPOSER
www.bashirijohnson.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 8/10/14 - 8/16/14

playlist at end

OL:
We'd like to Welcome the multi-talented
and world renowned
Percussionist Producer Composer
Educator Clinician Artist...
...Bashiri Johnson...
to the OL Oceanliner Notes Weekly
feature as our Special Guest Artist!
The famed Percussionist Bashiri
(the Bashman),
is like no other... in that virtually in
every musical corner of the world,
his magical rhythms,
grooves & flow...as touring on the
Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson
The Immortal World Tour...
are just the beginning
of spending our week here at OL,
with Mr. Bashiri Johnson!
His tribal and the essence of his creative
and percussive feel, can be heard on
many recordings... from Beyonce,
to Whitney Houston, Donald Fagen,
Madonna, Steve Winwood
,
Rolling Stones, Celine Dion
,
Gloria Estefan, Barbara Streisand
,
Miles Davis, Mary J. Blige, Ray Charles,
Jay Z, Eric Clapton, Sade, Kenny G,
Lionel Richie, Aretha Franklin, Sting,
Queen, Gypsy Kings, Peter Paul & Mary,
Bob Dylan, James Taylor,
Herbie Hancock, Luther Vandross
& so much more...
It's really impressive, folks!
 
OL:
Welcome Bashiri,
and thank you for giving us and all
of the OL Site Visitors, for what will be a
7-part Interview on the
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
for the entire week of August 10, 2014.
Nice that You can join us in between your
touring! Thank you and welcome...
 
Bashiri Johnson:
It's my pleasure to be with you guys.
Thank you for the opportunity.
 
OL:
Bashiri, you're a Brooklyn Native...
Tell us about how growing up in
Brooklyn
, and how music first
started for You?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Well I grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in the 60's and 70's. Bed-Stuy was a unique neighborhood and a very wonderful place in America. I experienced amazing historic events, and witnessed growth, evolution and change first hand, not only in the Black Community, but in the world.  So music first started for me as a multi sensory immersion in Black Culture and World events. I believe it was that immersion which fueled my deep interest in music, rhythm, self expression, and my instrument: percussion.

OL:
We understand that before all of the
wonderful percussion instruments were
introduced to You, that
beating your own rhythms, came natural
on anything that You got your hands on
to create a beat?

Bashiri Johnson:
Yes, my Mom said that she was called to my Elementary School because of my disrupting class due to my incessant playing and banging on the school chairs and desks.  My Mom went to meet with the teacher and asked if I had finished my schoolwork. The teacher replied yes, I had. My Mom told the teacher that she should probably give me more schoolwork to do.  Well, eventually the banging stopped, and I found percussion instruments and the drum to be a better outlet for my groove making.

OL:
While attending High School in
Brooklyn
, who, or what was the most
influential moment that spoke volumes to
You, in wanting to become a
Professional Musician?

Bashiri Johnson:
My High School experience was wonderfully liberating for me.  I went to a new school, only 2 years old, which had a completely new curriculum and program.  John Dewey High School offered its students many freedoms and options for graduation.  It was there in High School that I began to explore not only music, but sports, girls, and activism.  But I would say that the desire to play in the band with the guys I was hanging with, was what initially drove me to start playing the drum.  After I started playing the drum, it became my passion.

OL:
Bashiri, your Music Career, spans and
crosses over to many genres of music and
Artists... who are some of the Artists that
influenced You?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Oh boy, I was influenced by so many artists, and so many people.  Ali, Miles, Sly, Malcolm, James Brown, Sun Ra, Motown, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Hendrix, Cream, Bootsy, Airto, Tony Williams, Big Black, Angela Davis, and many many others.
 
OL:
On your "Whatcha Livin For"
video for viewing on YouTube,
You very carefully and thoughtfully
demonstrate some of the percussion
instruments that You like to use, when
recording to a track. Can You share with
our OL Readers, some of the individual
characteristics of some of the percussion
instruments that You often use,
when performing?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I don't necessarily have a 'default' set of instruments that are going to work for every project.  But I do have a percussive approach to each project.  I do my best to imprint the track with something that feels and sounds like it was always there, not added or contrived.  I try to channel the sounds and rhythms that work in a track that makes you feel like if it wasn't there, something is missing.  That's what I work hard at to achieve, being an integral and essential part of the music.
 
OL:
What was the first Production that You
performed 'live' with your percussion
instruments set?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
One of my first gigs that I can remember where I had a full-ish perc set up, was with a band I was in called Solar Caravan in the early 80's.  The band was headed by brothers David and Trevor Gale.  One of the first professional perc set up gigs I did was at the original Live-Aid concert in Philly with Mick Jagger and
Tina Turner
back in July 1985.

OL:
What was the first recording that You put
your special percussion tracks on?

Bashiri Johnson:
One of my first professional percussion overdubs was on the Album 'Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin' by Stephanie Mills.  But probably one of the first records to get a Bashiri Johnson sound was 'Candy Girl' by New Edition in 1983.

OL:
Tell us about some of the Masters that
you've studied your craft with?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I had the good fortune to have spent about 3 years being mentored by MtumeMtume is the father of my musical career, and I owe him a huge debt of gratitude.  He not only schooled me in percussion, but allowed me to be privy to the inner working of the creative process, the music business, and how to be a professional musician and conscious citizen.  Prior to Mtume I did some study with Olatunji, Ladji Camara, Jazz Mobile, Richard Landrum, and
Sam Ulano
who taught me how to
read music.  My style of playing is from Mtume, and his influencer, Big Black.
 
OL:
Bashiri, respectively, you're also known
as the Bashman. This is also the name of
your Production Company, where You not
only perform, but write and Produce in
various projects and media, also?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Yes, yes.  I have been writing songs and composing music for many years now.  I still consider myself a student, for I feel I have so very far to go and so much more to learn.  But I have been producing projects for myself as well as many other artists, and love doing so.  Music is one very effective form of expression.  But I try to take a rhythmic approach to all the creative ventures I'm involved with, and I find that opens me up to even deeper expression.

OL:
Tell us about your your Recording Studio
in Brooklyn... 'The Lab' & what... to date,
would be one of your favorite projects to
have been Produced there?

Bashiri Johnson:
I have a recording studio housed in my apartment where I have most of my percussion instruments, and a full blown state of the art recording facility.  I'm able to do music for anything from TV Commercials, Film, Records, etc.  It's quite a blessing to have a space to create in.  I think one of my favorite projects that I recorded in my studio was my Musical Alphabet CD, which is on ITunes. That record I'm very proud of.
 
OL:
When you're working on other Artists'
projects at other Studios, what would you
say are some of the advantages of
working from your own Studio,
in comparison?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I think the advantage of working on a project from my studio, is that I'm in my world.  I'm in waters that I'm quite familiar with, and I have a process that has been tested and proven.  However, I'm always very happy and excited about working in other studios, for that is exactly where I got all my experience as a session player, in the NYC Recording Studios.  I really prefer to be global, and not just confined to one location, session-wise.  These days I'm able to do sessions from anywhere; hotel rooms, the beach, my backyard. 
Technology is a handy tool.

OL:
Bashiri, we're going to be covering as
many Artists as we can, that you've
worked with over the years,
but given your spectacular
recording history and impressive
credentials, we're believing that
maybe this just might be impossible in
one week... hey, but we'll love trying!...
So, on that note,
in closing in this part 1 segment, tell us
about your years of working and touring
as a Band Member, with the great
Whitney Houston
, and what it
meant to You, when we lost her?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Recording and Touring with
Whitney Houston
was one of the
highlights of my life.  I was extremely fortunate to have played percussion on some of her biggest hits like "You Give Good Love," "I'm Every Woman," "I Will Always Love You," as well as played behind her in her band for many years.  Being in the band gave me the incredible joy nite to nite, to see her, hear her, be touched by her greatness.  I saw and heard her do remarkable things vocally on a consistent basis.  She was truly loved, and is now deeply missed. 
I played on her last tour, and played at her funeral services. 
Dearest Whitney, we'll always love you.

OL:
Thank you Bashiri. We look forward
tomorrow in Part 2 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series, as we
travel with Bashiri, in words, on his tour
with Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson
The Immortal World Tour,
and so much more!
 
Bashiri
, is there any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 1 of 7
segment?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Yes.  I would say, never settle, always be a seeker of truth, knowledge and excellence.

OL:
Thank you Bashiri.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!




==========================================

OL:
Welcome Back, Bashiri. We're excited to
catch You in between your
Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson
The Immortal World Tour, this being
Part 2 of our 7 day Interview for OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
Thank you.
 
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Happy to be back with you.

OL:
Bashiri, for our OL Readers,
the entertainment concept of Cirque Du
Soleil, in itself, created by the Canadian
based Entertainment Company,
consists of a 'live' show
extravaganza, filled with music, dance,
drama, lots of colorful imagery
and circus arts?
 
 
Bashiri Johnson:
That is correct.  This Cirque MJ show is like a fan's dream show, only without the actual man, Michael.  But he is certainly in the house with us all during this show. There is so much going on during this show that just one viewing is not enough to take it all in.
 
 
OL:
As You are currently on tour for the
Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson
The Immortal World Tour,
the Jamie King Produced Show, that pays
tribute to the legacy of Michael Jackson,
his life and music...
Bashiri
, can You take us behind stage,
sound-check and all...
and give us a glimpse of what goes into
your own preparation as a Percussionist
for an extraordinary production like this?
 
 
Bashiri Johnson:
My preparation for the Cirque MJ show is varied.  I like to keep myself fit and in the right mindset first.  That entails lots of rest, exercise, diet and proper choices.  Stretching and keeping myself limber is important for me.  We usually do a couple shows per city, so the traveling is not as grueling.  Sound checks are late afternoon which gives us all plenty of time to individually check our gear and prep for the evening's performance.  This show is a well oiled machine right now, so things are flowing nicely.

OL:
With Cirque Du Soleil featuring all of the
wonderful Dancers and Musicians on the
mega hits of the great Michael Jackson...
from "Billie Jean," to "Beat It,"
what scene, or song would be one of
your favorites to perform your
magical percussions to?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I especially like 'Black Or White' for rocking' out, and 'Man In The Mirror' for its message. 

OL:
Okay, so on any given night,
after the Michael Jackson Immortal
Concert is over... the audience is going
wild with excitement of just having
experienced the show of a lifetime...
what goes on inside of You, Bashiri,
at that very moment?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I am just thankful.  Every nite at the conclusion of every show, I just give my personal and intimate thanks to the audience of that city, to Michael Jackson, and to God and the universe.  I am very grateful to be able to do what I love, and be appreciated for it.
 
 
OL:
Tell us about working with the Band?
 

Bashiri Johnson:
The Cirque MJ Band is a great band with 4 MJ veterans: myself, Jonathan Moffett, Don Boyette and Jon Myron Clark.  There is a certain group ethic of high quality and excellence that we all aspire to each and every performance.  Not just between us, but that feeling is shared by each musician and vocalist.  These performances for us are the real thing, as if Michael was on stage with us in person; and it sure feels like he is,  with this show.

OL:
For some of us mere mortals, who have
yet to see and experience
this electrifying
Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson
The Immortal World Tour, we would
highly suggest to our OL Readers,
to visit the Official Website:
www.cirquedusoleil.com
for all press media about this amazing
Concert Event!
Bashiri
, with
Michael Jackson's
"Xscape" CD
being released
respectively, posthumously this year;
has this impacted even more record
breaking sales and artistic popularity
of the Show, if that's even possible?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Yes it has.  We play some of the CD's tracks during Intermission, sell CD's at the merch tables, and promote the new album.  There is a full arena participatory dance that is done during the hit song 'Love Never Felt So Good' that is one of the highlights of the whole nite.  Not to be missed, and big fun for everyone in the audience, and really enjoyable to witness from stage.

OL:
In a long line of your credits, Bashiri,
which also includes Drum programming
work that You on Michael's
"In The Closet" CD Maxi Single in 1992?

Bashiri Johnson:
Wow, that was a while ago, and was a fun nite of remix programming on the drum machine with David Morales producing and programming as well.  I'm just happy to have been in the room.

OL:
As a natural born Percussionist,
yourself, how do You feel about digital
programming in general, when many
Artists seem to be taking that route in
today's recording world?
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I think digital programming has its place, and is a useful tool.  Just like TV, computers, video games, etc. are useful.  So are books, musical instruments, and sports useful.  I think we as humans today have to find that balance between the digital and analog.  That's why when drum machines were first introduced and being used in music, I embraced them, as opposed to rejecting them.  All things advance and evolve, so I'm not going to stay still or be fixed.  I try to stay open.  If an artist can make an emotional impact using digital tools, then that's great. Art can be expressed in many different ways.

OL:
Lastly, in this segment, Bashiri...
what would be the mainstay advice that
You can give to a Musician who wants to
embark on and have a successful
touring experience in the long-term?

Bashiri Johnson:
Keep it interesting, and remain interested.  There is so much that goes into a production. Try to learn about, and experience the entirety of what you're involved in, as best you can.  That will help with the monotony. And that will help you be more interesting as well.

OL:
Thank you Bashiri, for that advice for
those touring Musicians! We look forward
tomorrow in Part 3 of this 7 part
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,
doing one-take stories with You; from all
walks of musical life, on your recording
sessions ... from Al Jarreau,
to Michael Franks, Lenny Kravitz, Drake
& more!.
Thank you very much Bashiri, for coming
on as our Special Guest Artist.
Bashiri
, is there any music commentary
you
'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 2 of 7
segment?
 
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Stay positive, and see you on the next segment.

 
OL:
Thank you Bashiri.
We
'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL
's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!






==========================================

OL:
Welcome once again, Bashiri. This being
Part 3 of our 7 day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series!
What we would like to do in this segment, is to ask You, Bashiri,
about some of your
most noted collaborative, interesting
and classic recordings, with some of the
most world celebrated
Recording Artists...
Singers, Musicians and Rappers!
If You could give us a little
mini-story on each these recording
sessions, we'd love it!
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Sure thing.

OL:
Let's start off with your first major
Recording gig...
(1979-20th Century Fox Records)
"Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin' ":
Stephanie Mills
?

Bashiri Johnson:
Well, I didn't play on the title track, "Whatcha Gonna Do."  But I remember Mtume asking me to play with him on one of the other songs on the album, as I was still being mentored by him at the time.  It was a learning experience like no other for me, to be in the studio recording with your teacher.  Little did I know that album would be so successful for Stephanie Mills.  And little did I know Mtume would present me with one of my 1st Gold Records.  That Gold Record is on the wall of my studio, and is one of my most cherished.
 
  
OL:
(1994-Le Music Records)
"My Favorite Things":
Al Jarreau
& Kathleen Battle?
  
Bashiri Johnson:
That release was actually a 'live' recording we did, that Marcus Miller called me for.  It was sort of a live in-studio performance.  I remember Kathleen Battle being so beautiful, elegant and graceful. 
She and Al Jarreau complemented each other nicely, which made for a great recorded performance.  That was a wonderful 'mash-up', and maybe one of the early genre fusing firsts as well.
 
  
OL:
(2011-Roadrunner Records)
"Sunflower":
Lenny Kravitz
& Drake?
  
Bashiri Johnson:
Working with Lenny Kravitz was an interesting session.  He likes to get performances from you, then he'll use what he needs.  He's uber talented and can play most instruments himself.  Fortunately for me in this song's case, he used my Samba Whistle performance for this track.

 
  
OL:
(1995-Warner Bros. Records)
"Hourglass":
Michael Franks
?
  
Bashiri Johnson:
Michael Franks is a gentleman and a true kind soul.  I tried to bring sensitivity to his music.  I remember that record was my first time working together with
Don Alias
Don was one of my percussion heroes as well.  For that record, I was surely the young kid taking notes from the masters in the room.

OL:
(1989-Warner Bros. Records)
"Amandla":
Miles Davis
?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
"Amandla" was an amazing experience for me.  Being musically directed by
Marcus Miller
, produced by
Tommy LiPuma
and Marcus,
and performing for Miles Davis can only be described as heaven. 
Playing together in the studio were myself, Don Alias and Omar Hakim.  That was rhythmic bliss for me.  I am so very honored to be a part of that record.  laAmand means power in Zulu
Amandle Awethu
is the South African version of the rallying cry
"Power To The People."

OL:
(2003-J Records)
"The Closer I Get To You":
Luther Vandross
& Beyonce Knowles?
  
Bashiri Johnson:
I miss our beloved Luther Vandross.  I had recorded for him on many occasions and this record was very special for me.  This record was a remake of the classic original recorded by Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack
I was being mentored by Mtume when he produced this track for the duo.  I have fond memories of listening to Mtume play the song for me and asking me what I thought.  I thought then, the same I think now, it's a hit.
 I love this version produced by
Nat Adderly Jr
. very much as well. 
And I'm grateful I got to play on it.
  
OL:
(2007-Nu Afro Records)
"African Garden":
Your own Composition...
  
Bashiri Johnson:
Aahh, "African Garden..."
 This is one of my wife Monifa's favorite tracks, and mine as well.  I wrote this song while I was producing a record for African Master Kora player,
Alhaji Papa Susso
.  This song developed from a kora riff into a full song concept.  I love the lush vocals by both American singer Colleen Fisher,
and African singer, Mai Lingani
The song is about peace, love,
culture and Mother African being the universal garden for us all. 
I'm glad you chose this track.

OL:
That a wonderful origin and inspiration for such a beautiul track, Bashiri.
We look forward tomorrow in Part 4 of
this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly
Series,
where we get to shine a
one-word spotlight on Percussion Artist
Great Bashiri Johnson's One-Word
Playback, for the OL Viewers..
Bashiri, is there any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 3 of 7
segment?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Yes, I do believe that peace, love and culture is what binds us all, and make us all global citizens.

OL:
Thank you Bashiri.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!









==========================================

OL:
Welcome again, Bashiri...
In between your tour takes; this being
Part 4 of our 7 day Interview for OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
We're at the segment Interview feature,
where we introduce a 'one word'
Interview question to You, Bashiri, and if
you can you please playback just a
One-word Commentary
Note for the OL Visitors,
that would rock!
  
 
OL:
Drum?
Bashiri Johnson:
Language

OL:
Brooklyn?
Bashiri Johnson
:
Homebase

OL:
Session?
Bashiri Johnson
:
Work

OL:
Sometimes?
Bashiri Johnson
:
Always

OL:
Garden?
Bashiri Johnson:
Nirvana

OL:
Livin'?
Bashiri Johnson:
Passion

OL:
Rain Stick?
Bashiri Johnson:
Crossover

OL:
Dance?
Bashiri Johnson:
Joy

OL:
Lion?
Bashiri Johnson:
Respect

OL:
Groove?
Bashiri Johnson:
Life
 
Thank you very much Bashiri, for coming
on as our Special Guest Artist.
Is there any music commentary you'd like
to share with the viewers, in concluding
this OL Interview 4 of 7 segment?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
"The Drum Is The Language."

OL:
Bashiri, we have to say, that you're the
best!... for giving us some of your time
for our OL Viewers, while on your
world tour. It's been really a special
week, for OL on our Oceanliner Notes
Weekly Series.
Thank you.
We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of
this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly
Interview,
as The Bashman Percussionist
Great Bashiri Johnson shares with us
more one-take recording session
stories... from
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!...







==========================================

OL:
Welcome Back, Bashiri. This being Part 5
of our 7 day Interview for OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series.
On this segment...
more one-take Recording Sessions...
Okay, here we go!
  
OL:
(2004-Liberty EMI Records)
"Crazy Love":
Ray Charles
& Van Morrison 'live'?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
This record was a gift for me.  I had the bonus of this performance from The Songwriters Hall Of Fame event becoming a record. 
All thanks to the late great
Phil Ramone
.  This song was one of the songs we performed live in our set at the SHOF show.  I had no idea it would become a record. 
I am forever grateful to
Phil Ramone
, who I worked with frequently, and who I respected
and admired deeply.
  
 
OL:
(1997-Sire Records)
"Holiday":
Madonna
?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Recording on Madonna's "Holiday" was a real career boost for me.  I love this record, and it was a huge hit for Madonna.  This was one of my early session recordings, that helped me to get more recognition and notoriety as a session player.  This record came out back in the day when people would read album liner notes, and want to work with the musicians and singers who where on the hit records.  I got many session calls because I was "that guy" on percussion.
  
 
OL:
(1990-Virgin Records)
"In The Light Of Day":
Steve Winwood
?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I have so much love and respect for
Steve Winwood who is brave, fearless and a talented force of nature.  He released a record over 9 minutes long, in a day and age that railed against anything artistic and extended.  This track is an evolving musical journey, built on layer upon layer of performance emotion, all with the essence being Steve's voice and message.  Really a great track.
  
 
OL:
(2005-Hear Music Label)
"A Song For You":
Herbie Hancock
feat. Christina Aguilera?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
This record is one of my favorite tracks that I played on at my studio.  I really love this arrangement.  It was a real pleasure to offer my percussive ideas to the wonderful voice of Christina, and the incredible piano of Herbie.  This track is even on my playlist.

OL:
(2007-Latin Percussionists biz)
"Whatcha Livin For?":
Another of your Original Recordings,
Co-written with Elliott Randall,
from the DVD, "The Rhythmic
Construction of Dance, Pop, R&B and
Hip-Hop..." Tell us about this project?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
"Whatcha Livin For" is my question posed to the peoples of the world, asking what is important to them.  This track is meant to be a reminder about what it is that has meaning in our lives.  And, if we're not living for the things that have meaning, then what things are we living for ?
  
 
OL:
Bashiri, tell us about your
Recording projects for Children,
Produced on your own
LIFE IN RHYTHM MEDIA Record Label... ?
  
Bashiri Johnson:
Yes, my Record Label is called Life In Rhythm Media.  I have 3 Children's records out; Musical Multiplication, Musical Aesop, And The Musical Alphabet.  The Musical Alphabet has the new ABC Song on it, which I wrote to be a singable and danceable alternative to the traditional ABC Song we all grew up with.  Please check it out!  All these are available on iTunes, Amazon or CD Baby. I also have just co-released my first App for children called Musical ABC's, which is available in the iTunes App Store.  That project is a collaboration with my label and G-Men Productions.  All my Children's projects are more
Edu-tainment, in that I try not to speak 'down' to kids, but rather speak 'to' them.  Our children are our best hope.  So I try to offer to them the messages and lessons of peace, love and global unity through cultural appreciation.
  
 
OL:
We look forward tomorrow in Part 6 of
this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly
Series,
as we cover more of Bashiri
Johnson's spectacular credits and
performance in the Commercial, TV &
Film Media & more...
  
 
OL:
Bashiri, is there any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 5 of 7
segment?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
See you for part 6.

  
 
OL:
Thank you Bashiri.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!





==========================================

OL:
Welcome once again, Bashiri. This being
Part 6 of our 7 day Interview for OL's
Oceanliner Notes Weekly Series,

OL:
Bashiri, let's go right into your
trademarked Company
RHYTHM HEALING... and all of
its dimensions of media Production?
  
Bashiri Johnson:
Rhythm Healing is a movement I created, using Rhythm as an instrument for healing, helping, entertaining and informing.  Rhythm Healing will offer workshops, seminars, applications, art, music, books, multi-media content and information; not just to young people, but to the global community.  The Rhythm Healing product line is constantly being tweaked and developed.  Stay tuned for product launches by signing up for my Newsletter, or hitting me up on my website to join.
  
 
OL:
Bashiri, we wanted to save this segment
especially for highlighting your
wonderful percussion and original works
on your brilliantly produced,
"Art 'N Rhythm" CD,
available on iTunes...
With beautiful mystical percussion
sounds of the the Africa Motherland,
and vocal chants gracing the tracks,
throughout. We love not only the
"African Garden" track...
we also love the "Forgiveness" and
"The Drum Is A Language" tracks.
The entire CD is truly a labor of love,
music and art. When You create
percussion sounds and songs, how does
the visual aspect of your creativity play
into recording your musical works
in general?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Well, I usually see music cinematically.
 I don't just hear music, I experience it.
 I think that is why I've been able to close my eyes upon listening to a new track of music, and then know what to add to it percussively.  My career has not only been an exercise in my craft and technique, but also an exercise in spirit and emotion.  Sometimes I really don't know where a particular groove, sound or rhythm comes from, that I've created.  All I know is that they keep coming to me, and through me.  I just want to keep allowing myself to be tapped in and tuned in to the universe.  And of course, I wanna stay in rhythm.

OL:
What's your favorite track from your
"Art 'N Rhythm" CD, or are they all your
babies in their own special way?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
My favorite tracks on "Art 'N Rhythm" are "Stand Up On It" and
 "African Garden."
  
 
OL:
Tell us about the music workshops that
you're involved with from your
Production Company?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
Yes, I've always wanted to be able to share what knowledge and information I have gained over the years.  So whenever I can, I do percussion intensive workshops at my studio. I do lectures and master classes at schools, institutions and universities.  And I also do clinics and seminars.  Some of the most rewarding workshops I do are drumming classes for children, and for the blind.
  
 
OL:
You've also performed percussion
overdubs for Video games, Commercials,
and Television scores?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
That's right, I've performed on many, many commercials in the 80's & 90's.  Video games are always quite fun to be a part of.  One of my favorite games I've worked on is called 'From Dust'.  But when I worked on one of the Mario Bros games, that's when I was 'cool' to my kids. 
  
OL:
Bashiri, you've worked with so many
wonderful Artists, along the way.
Who else would You like to work with
down the road?
 

Bashiri Johnson:
I would love to work with Peter Gabriel,
Salif Keita
and Prince; they are a just few that come to mind.  However, I keep myself open to all possibilities and opportunities. I just would love to keep on playing good music.
  
 
OL:
We'd like to thank you, Bashiri.
We're having a great time with You,
this week!
We look forward tomorrow in Part 7 of
this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Weekly
Series,
as we find out about
Percussionist Producer Composer
Educator Clinician Great
Bashiri Johnson's
up & coming Production Projects...
  
 
OL:
Bashiri, is there any music commentary
you'd like to share with the OL viewers,
as we conclude this Interview 6 of 7
segment?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I just would like to again remind everyone to join my Newsletter by visiting my website, www.bashirijohnson.com
 
OL:
Thank you Bashiri.
We'll see you tomorrow!
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!





==========================================

OL:
Bashiri,
Thanks to You, our OL Viewers
have truly been given a great online
reading tour about your illustrious Career,
and all of the classic recordings and 'live'
performances, that are surely continuing
on, for You...
We wish You endless success!
 
  
OL:
In closing, in this being Part 7 of our 7
day Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly
Series...
Bashiri... as a young kid,
we know that You were a
natural born Percussion Artist and
Musician, even before
becoming a Student and Master of your
vast Percussion skills and craft, of
which You are held at the highest
esteem, [and rightly so], amongst your
Peers and Professionals in the entire
Music Industry.
For the child that hears your beautiful
musical sounds today, whether it would
be a song that you've recorded,
or performed with all of your magical
percussion instruments...& wants to be
just like You, Bashiri; what's the special
gift of words that You'd like to share with
this child?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
I believe that children will be, what they choose to be.  Everyone has a choice in all that they do.  So my message is more for the parents, elders, teachers, and mentors of children.  I believe we should expose children to the wonders of the world: art, music, sports, literature, travel, etc., etc.  Allow young people to see, hear, feel and experience all the world has to offer.  Inform, educate, uplift and show children the values of kindness, generosity, tolerance, compassion and responsibility.  I think that when children are brought up in this type of environment, they will make proper choices that will benefit not only them, but the whole planet.  Remember, being a great musician is just something that you do.  But being a great person is something that you are.
  
 
OL:
Bashiri, what up and coming projects
are You set to work on, after your
Cirque Du Soleil Michael Jackson
The Immortal World Tour?
  
 
Bashiri Johnson:
My upcoming projects are, another App release called 'Rhythm Room',
a new Bashiri Johnson Record
of all duo performances with some of the great artists I've been blessed to work with, a new Percussion Dance Record,
a new Percussion Sample Library. 
That's some of what I'll be working on in the months to come. Stay tuned, I'll keep you posted.  Thanks again so very much for the opportunity to connect with you and everyone out there. 
"Peace & Love & The Stars Above."
  
OL:
This OL Interview is for those out there
who love music in it's most natural form.
The Drum was the first musical
instrument created. Percussion Artist
Great Bashiri Johnson
, has himself
created a world of musical masterpieces
for many in the Music Industry and
himself. Bashiri personifies the ultimate
continuing legacy,
with his many talents that are always
performed and expressed in their
truest essence and ability.
We are sure that music lovers and fans
of Percussion Artist Bashiri Johnson,
everywhere, are thankful for that!
  
 
OL:
Thank you to...
Percussionist Producer Composer
Educator Clinician Great
...Bashiri Johnson...
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


 





==========================================

Playlist samples: Percussionist Bashiri Johnson's
 Percussion tracks Performances
1. African Garden - Bashiri Johnson
 ("Art N Rhythm" CD)
 2. My Favorite Things - Al Jarreau/Kathleen Battle ("Tenderness" CD)
 3. Soul Steppin' - Will Downing - ("Soul Symphony" CD)
 4. He Lives In You - Diana Ross ("Every Day Is a New Day" CD)
 5. Hourglass - Michael Franks ("Abandoned Garden" CD)
 6. Amandla - Miles Davis ("Amandla" CD)
 7. Never Too Much - Luther Vandross ("Never Too Much" CD)
 8. Sunflower - Lenny Kravitz/Drake ("Black and White America: CD)
 9. Holiday - Madonna ("Madonna" CD)
 10. In The Light Of Day - Steve Winwood ("Refugees Of The Heart" CD)
 11. Let It Rain - Al Jarreau/Patti Austin/George Benson ("Givin' It Up" CD)
 12. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston ("Bodyguard" Soundtrack CD)
 13. Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour (sound bite promo)
 speaking Mitchell Head: Acrobatic Coach
 Producer: Jamie King

Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI
FAMED TRUMPETER TROMBONIST SINGER COMPOSER & ARRANGER
www.gabrielrosati.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 7/1/16 - 7/31/16

playlist at end

SEGMENT 1 OF 7

OL
:
Throughout this opening month of July 2016, Oceanlight Records is excited and honored in welcoming, "DEAN MARTIN" Prize winner, Jazz & Latin Trumpeter, Trombonist, Singer, Composer & Arranger...GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI!
Sit back, linger in your comfortable chairs, and enjoy the unbelievable musical journey that OL is about to take with Gabriel; traveling all around the world, on the road of his amazing career...
With such a stellar, dynamic and still expanding Discography, including his, "BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT," ""LIVE AT THE PHILHARMONIC HALL," "PACIFIC TIME," "SATIRO," & many others, Gabriel Rosati is a Musician and Performer well beyond the sound & range of what a trumpet, itself, can produce.
Simply put, he wows you with his breathtaking technique and his decisive & emotive playing style...not withstanding his beautiful music. As we listen to
Trumpeter Gabriel Rosati's Classic recordings throughout this OL Interview, we are happily reminded of how one's musical vision can transcend and affect a lifetime of music-loving souls all around the world!

OL:
A seasoned Performer, touring on stage with greats from..."Santana," to "John Lee Hooker" to Tito Puente, Jr., Gregg Allman, Billy Preston & many more...
Italian-born Musician Gabriel Rosati knows the art of open air... open to many genres of great music... encompassing Latin, Jazz, Soul, Funk & Classical; Gabriel Rosati is just that kind of Consummate Artist.
Much in demand over the years, as a California-based Musician, and heading to Vegas and all over in Europe, Central South America, Japan, & major U.S.A. Cities,
Mr. Rosati is a well traveled Performer and Orchestra Conductor. Have you ever met anyone who can pretty much do it all?
Well, add this world-class Artist to your playlist. Working with the Angel Lebròn Orquesta, Perez Prado All Star, San Francisco All Star, to his own "Gabriel Rosati Latin Big Band..."
Also, as a celebrated Author of over 16 Music Books and Instructional, all of which Distributed by major International Publishers. including his own instructional DVD + BOOKLET " THE RANDOM SYSTEM" for SATRA CO. Moscow - Russia, and an Italian BOOK "LE MUSICHE DEL MESSICO" for ORIENT EXPRESS PUBL.
Publishers, With his long regal robe of credits, somehow Gabriel makes the time to give back, through his many Music Workshops to Students on several Continents... Uruguay, Salvador de Bahia, Dublin & more
On these many graceful notes...We present to our OL Readers, worldwide...the famed Musician, Composer & Singer...GABRIEL ROSATI!
 
OL:
Welcome Gabriel, and thank you for giving us and all of the OL Site Visitors, for what will be a 7-part Interview on the Oceanliner Notes Monthly Series, for the entire month of July 2016.
How was your tour out on the West Coast in L. A. earlier this year?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
It was great, as always, not too long, but I had the chance to reconnect and perform with some long time colleagues and great friends. First of all my "brother" a kind of managercook and trainer: Mark Matthews in San Pedro.
The U.S. west coast remains my ideal homeland. 

OL:
Gabriel, You were just performing in Las Vegas, too.
What kind of music did you perform there?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
A lot of Latin-Rock, Top 40 and Soul music. I played with Jozev Castano (great guitarist-vocalist from Texas) & "the Upfront Band," we used to play together in Vegas during the early '90s.  
 
OL:
Gabriel, we would like to do some globe-trotting around the world with You this month; on the various places you've toured, and the Bands that you have performed with.
Take us back to where it all began... beautiful Modena, Italy?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yes, I was born there, but pretty soon my family headed back to central south coastal area in Italy where I grew up. Small town, but enough to motivate me and inspire my music career. At 18 years old I completed my studies at the academic conservatory and moved to Rome.
For a year I was with a military brass band, I ended up staying for 4 more years teaching at public schools and striving to play jazz, TV shows and Latin gigs. 

OL:
'Talent' in itself, is special and is given.
As a youngster, your surrounding influences must have been instrumental in helping you to realize talents and your love of music...Tell us of these wonderful people?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
I knew very few real good men! Many of the teachers and the surrounding music atmosphere didn't really excite me, this is why by the age of 22-23, I needed to get out of Italy and Europe in general!
Back then (and today isn't much different) the radio and media in general proposed just a lot of commercial Italian Pop, banal jingle music and usual stupid TV shows. 
 
OL:
Now, let's see... We have the Trumpet, the Trombone, singing and composing. What Instrument came first for you, Gabriel?

Gabriel Rosati:
My very first try was piano which didn't last long, then trumpet hit my imagination at 8 years old, and that was it. During the period of time of middle schools I also was into drums. Later on, thanks to the salsa scene, I learned the importance of singing.
 
OL:
What was the name of the first song that you sang, as a child, and how did it impact your love of singing?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
"Voçé è Linda" by Caetano Veloso.
It's kind of strange, first of all I don't consider myself a good singer,.. Just try my best… but, like many trumpeters I am crazy about that Brazilian way of male voices and the Cuban punchy vocal technique (like Helìto Reves y su Charangòn). Quite opposite, but still very much interesting to me.
 
OL:
What kind of Grade School Music Productions were conducted, and how did it help to shape your childhood dream of becoming a Professional Musician?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Fortunately in my home town of Lanciano and following Pescara, I was in contact with some international classical music courses that I followed during every summer brake; studying and performing with symphonic orchestra, chamber music and brass. Those years were fun, but at the same time made me realize classical music wasn't for me.
 
OL:
Gabriel, we can hear the influence of various genres of music in your compositions.
One of your featured tracks in this OL Interview; "Shut Up and Mambame," from your 1992 "PACIFIC TIME" Album.
It reflects well of your Smooth Jazz side. What inspired you to write this song?

Gabriel Rosati:
The early stage of my compositions reflects my younger tastes which were Chuck Mangione, Herb Alpert, Gato Barbieri and Stanley Turrentine. The inspiration for the whole cd was my bright life in the San Francisco area. I was twenty five, young, free and finally in California!
 
OL:
When you compose, what instrument do you write with?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
I hear and sing the melody harmonizing on piano. If sometime I need to build a jingle with words or screen play, I imagine it all and then get down to note everything.
 
OL:
Your Discography is so nicely diversified, from Latin Jazz, to Brazilian, Standards, Smooth Jazz, Funk and then some...
What was the type of music that spoke volumes to you most, before heading abroad?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Strangely since my childhood, thanks to my fathers collection of records and passion in classical music; I listened to a lot of Russian authors, from Korsakov to Strawinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. But also Massenet, Cesar Frànk, Debussy, Mahler, Bruckner, Aaron Copland… I loved the varieties of colors and feelings of each. 
Phase 2 was the love for black music: Earth Wind & Fire, Berry White, Cool & the Gang, The Average White Band, Chuck Berry and James Brown.
Phase 3: the JAZZ; from Armstrong to Don Cherry, from Harry James to the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The big bands: Ferguson, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, and finally the trumpeters Cat Anderson, Dizzy, Claudio Roditi, Bobby Shew and Sandoval.  
By the age of 20 I fell into the Latin American exotic world of sounds and got lost…
 
OL:
Where was your first touring stop and with what Band?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Lake Tahoe. The first real travelling band was with "Sweet Louie & The Checkmates" (I was almost the only white guy!..)
1994-1997, fun and crazy times… great experiences and great learning school for me. Those things you'll never get in any book or university of music.
 
OL:
When performing on stage and you get the immediate give and take between what works for You and the Audience; what goes through you mind when writing your next song?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Today, the composition for me is becoming something that I plan. No longer something casual, or spontaneous.
When I need a quick work ok, I get a call or an "order" for a cartoon theme, jingle or whatever I write and finish it in a couple of days, but quite often, I rather plan and work on a project.
For example, I wanted to write western film music scores for the longest time, last year finally got the opportunity  and in a few months I wrote 22 original songs and recorded already 10 of them. That was a really great satisfaction.
One main fact is that I don't write music to please the public, it has to fulfill my heart. Then of course, if people appreciate it great! But too many artists these days sing and play only covers, this should be pretty soon come to an end!
It's like soccer business.. What is the sense of having a Milan soccer team when the players are from all over  the world? It's nonsense! Today's music is a total mindless world: everybody keeps performing hits and standards 50 or more years old, labels keep releasing Beatles re-editions, jazz standards and well known melodies over and over!! I am very deluded by this.
 
OL:
Tell us about the creation of your own "Gabriel Rosati Latin Jazz Big Band," and the Musicians on this set?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
This is a follow up of what I was saying. I got a chance to organize and coach a big band four years ago here in Italy. Good people, with talent and sincere love for music…
Most of them really talented musicians. As soon as we started up, I changed the whole repertoire, eliminating the old cheese songs and started bringing a lots of my own Latin-Brazilian arrangements.
It was like using an old Wolkswagen Beetle car body but putting a Ferrari motor underneath!!!
 
OL:
We delighted in watching the 'live' Performances on Youtube, at Auditorium Parco della Musica- in Rome, Italy...
We were enthralled by the diverse repertoire within the Latin Jazz realm, but it was icing on the cake that, after the performance, as Conductor, you introduced all of the
Musicians individually. A rare thing. Do you feel that it personalizes the overall Show performance, more for the Audience, let alone making each Musician feel and know that they play an intricate part in every set?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yes! That's another milestone of mine: musicians deserve more respect!
At least, after hours, months and years of trouble, risks and practicing, at the end of each concert should be introduced! Too many times I see egocentric "pop icons" adulating their public, thanking everybody and without even mentioning their players. And also in classical symphonies I believe that is a real discrimination: great professionals in an orchestra never get recognized, never a particular call, presentation, for years keep making the "Maestro" look good? No way!
 
OL:
The arrangements for your Latin Jazz Big Band are high energy and colorfully provocative. From :Begin the Beguine," to "Speak Low" & so on.
Gabriel, what goes into the prep for these exciting arrangement, and what moves you most when You're performing on stage when conducting your Latin Jazz Big Band?
 
OL:
Thank you very much Gabriel, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
1 of 7 segment?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yes, you really got it! High energy, provocative and sometimes mad arrangements.
I think we should remember more often we are in 2016, not 1996, not even 1966.. So, it's our responsibility to grow and play music more updated, different, new and fresh. People reacts to whatever you propose to them, it is easy to say that the public like oldies… I just finished composing and arranging 10 original tunes for Latin big band soon to be recorded. All Timba, Soca, Tango, Frevo, Reggae and Mozambique rhythms!  
As, regarding the prep and rehearsal, I really would like to have some help and collaboration, may be a producer?.. A record label… but it seems all so impossible to reach these days. I just have to do it all with my own time, energies and personnel… a real miracle every time, actually


OL:
On part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series, on July 5, 2016, where we get to highlight some of amazing Stars of the Music Business that Gabriel Oscar Rosati has worked with...& learn about the making a host of our favorites of Gabriel's own wonderful Compositions!
 
OL:
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series!
Read our next segment on Trumpeter Gabriel Rosati this coming week for the whole month of July 2016!

-----------------------------------------

SEGMENT 2 OF 7

OL
:
Welcome Back to the Multi-talented Trumpeter, Trombonist, Composer & Singer...Latin Jazz Artist & BEST JAZZ nominee at the ORANGE COUNTY, CA MUSIC AWARDS (2008)...GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI!...this being Part 2 of our 7 part Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of July 2016!
 
OL:
Welcome back Gabriel, and thanks again for coming on Oceanlight Records as our special Guest Artist this month.
We see that you have won your share of accolades and Awards, and rightfully so.What did it mean for you to win the Dean Martin Award and how did he influence you as an Artist?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Dean Martin's family was originally from Abruzzo, the same area of mine. Since a few years back there is this prize that celebrates internationally acclaimed persons, artists, actors, singers, but also business people, doctors, etc.
It was quite surprising for me. I never really won any prizes in my life, competitions or awards.. so,.. it was a start…
In regards to Dean Martin as part of the "Rat Pack," yeah, that was pretty awesome..

OL:
We here at OL, have our Dean Martin favorites, but what would be your favorite Dean Martin song to cover as an Instrumental?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Ain't That a Kick in the Head
 
OL:
You've worked alongside with some real music giants. Let's go down the line, a bit. Tell us about working with the famed Latin/Rock Group, 'Santana"?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
During the first years of 1990's while living in San Francisco I was lucky enough to collaborate with a few of the Santana entourage musicians (Jorge Santana, Oreste Vilatos, Armando Peraza and Carl Perazzo) and that allowed me to sub for a few gigs with the well known icon Carlos.
 
OL:
Not that they ever needed to, because they have their own unique sound...and without a sweat, the group 'Santana' crosses over from Latin to Rock to Pop & so on.
How important is it to You, being a part of a crossover sound, if at all?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
About cross over styles and hybrid music, I have a personal opinion: the roots and the rules of certain music styles are very important and vital to know; afterwards we should go on and research or evolve to new sounds and fusions.
Too often I hear players who are mixing up rhythms that don't really distinguish, this can be another issue about today's loss of interest in good music.
My attitude has been very respectful to performing each and every music style in the right way, when not sure or uncomfortable with a particular kind (like rap, italian pop, folk-roots, antique classical music), I just don't take the job. Nobody is perfect and we shouldn't always say yes! 
 
OL:
Okay, let's go from Latin/Rock to the Blues.
You also worked with The Legendary John Lee Hooker?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
That was in the same period of time, I was working a lot with Blues Hammond player-singer Deacon Jones, and him being John Lee Hooker's former musician allowed me to join them for several recording sessions.
I have got a lot of great lessons from soul musicians, they got the "dough"…
  
OL:
We had the honor of attending the one and only Tito Puente's 75th Birthday Concert, a while back at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York.
In your working in his son Tito Puente, Jr.'s Band, what influences do you hear, Gabriel, that would be reminiscent of his Father's legendary Latin Percussion Sound?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
He keeps the same sound and attitude on stage. Very professional players and venues. It was an honor for me to be part of that group for a few concerts in 2009.
 
OL:
Gabriel, your BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT SERIES Albums are true works of art.
Enriched with the influences of African, Brazilian, Latin Salsa, South American rhythms, it's what real music is all about.
The feeling, the culture. Share with us, the original concept of what you set out to achieve, in this material set?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Around 1997 in Las Vegas, I started feeling a little uncomfortable performing always conventional and cover music. Also I noticed that Latin bands kept doing the same repertoire, R&B, blues, shows, each on their own path repeating pretty much the same songs over and over. This gave me the hint to create something different, some kind of "Panamerican" sounds embracing the whole Latin American to the Afro Roots; so, using a kind of variety of musicians (Cuban with Brazilian, with a Chicano and for example a Caribbean) I slowly made up my own original material.
Keeping an electric-modern and somehow aggressive sound I ended up with my own original "book" of a hundred tunes in 20 years.
 
OL:
In this OL Interview, it was hard to narrow down the top tracks to feature...but no matter, there was no way we could lose. These are all masterpieces, showcasing Gabriel Rosati's multi-Latin Jazz styles at his best.
 
OL:
Gabriel, let's start with "Siento."
Brazilatafro Project, Vol. 1... Gabriel Oscar Rosati & Brazilatafro, namely titled.
This vibrant salsa track works well with a rhythmic chorus hook, for both the listening ear and awesome percussion for the dancing feet.
What does "Siento" mean to You?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yes. This is also my goal: to perform interesting music, but still appealing to the dancing crowd. 
I don't enjoy much the typical quite and passive public. This must be a kind of rejection I developed towards the European typical classical attitude.
"Siento" mean, I feel.. the music was mine and the lyrics by my Cuban godfather and guru Narciso Montero "Boniato" (a veteran singer percussionist from the Perez Prado orchestra).
 
OL:
We come to your Vocal track of "Mama Cantagallo." from your Brazilatafro Project, Vol. 2. A breezy bossa nova does it every time.
There are some really nice chord changes, here. In your writing; what comes first to You, in terms or concept, chords, melody & lyrics?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
The melody first, then the harmony and later the lyrics. Sometimes I have to modify the theme to better fit the phrasing.
Bossanova is like traditional jazz you can never go wrong doing it. (this is why I guess a lot of non-Latino players do it… eh eh eh… just being bad).
 
OL:
On Vol 3 of your Brazilatafro Project,
there's more great songs that are destined to magnify your dynamic Discography, Gabriel, for years to come.
As you know, one of our favorites is "Chuva..." but we want to save the best for last, later in this Interview.
Meanwhile, tell us about the making of "Para ei mi Maestro…"one of the tightest arrangements of the album. Your crisp trumpet performance track totally kills... crystal clear and soaring...And so does your Band's rhythm section. How about the story on this song?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
With this song and some others, I have a love and hate relation: never being able to do it right on live stage; perhaps because of the few rehearsal we always deal with? Or perhaps the song hasn't enough appeal to the musicians. I am actually very critical in general, with my own stuff especially. 
 
OL:
We have our, but What's your favorite tracks on your Brazilatafro Project, Vol.4 & 5?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
My favorite track is "Sangre!" (Vol. 4) but the most played and sold has been
"O Mundo Funk Carioca" (Vol. 5)
 
OL:
Thank you very much Gabriel, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
2 of 7 segment?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Thank you.
 
OL:
We look forward on July 10, 2016. to Part 3 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series,
learning about some of Gabriel's favorites Band Touring moments, places, people... His playing technique & so much more!
Come back, soon!
 
OL:
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Weekly!


-----------------------------------------

SEGMENT 3 OF 7

OL
:
Welcome Back to the Multi-talented Trumpeter, Trombonist, Composer & Singer...Latin Jazz Artist & BEST JAZZ nominee at the ORANGE COUNTY, CA MUSIC AWARDS (2008)...GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI!...this being Part 3 of our 7 part Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of July 2016!
 
OL:
Welcome back Gabriel, great to have You on again, on Oceanlight Records as our special Guest Artist this month.
At the top of this segment, let's highlight your acclaimed Songbook, "100 Original Tunes for All Instruments a Complete Approach to Latin Rhythms, Jazz-rock, Fusion & Smooth Jazz...
(Hal Leonard/MUSIC MINUS ONE Publishing). All originals?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Yes, I do have some more but they are the most adaptable to a regular performer, student or public.
 
OL
:
This '100' piece Songbook comes with 4 CD Performance and Accompaniment tracks... This is for all Instruments...filled with sounds of salsa, Latin & tango?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Yes, I suggest always to practice and read all kinds of notation from all instruments and not only our own. It is much more interesting and for sure develops better sight reading and a unique style.
 
OL
:
It is stated that your originals in the '100' piece Songbook, is styled after John Williams, the Brecker Brothers, Claus Ogerman and others.
Interesting; it's a wonderful close-knit world, sometimes... as we also feature fellow Trumpeter great Randy Brecker in this OL Interview Series.
And Legendary Conductors John Williams & Claus Ogerman, always take one's breath away with their lush and spell-bounding string arrangements, but we will say no more.
 
OL
:
Gabriel
, we can clearly feel the influencing connection of these great Artists in your own music.
Would that be a fair statement?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Oh, I do hope so. That would be a great compliment.
 
OL
:
And so, the same goes for the many Artists that you continue to influence. Paying it forward, so to speak.
In your free moments, who do you listen to?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
During the last ten years after being a total music cannibal: listening, studying, watching videos, practicing,  going to hundreds of concerts and researching non-stop, I did slow down. Not more so many live concerts interest me; too often the sound system isn't well done, or the great name is bringing just some young players? Or sometimes the music is kind of dated?
For sure there are some names that I always have in my car cd player: FANIA ALL STAR, CUBAN TIMBA, BANDA OLODUM, SAMBA DA RUA, RAUL DE SOUZA, ARMANDO MANZANERO, CHARANGON CUBANO, ORCHESTRAL TANGOS, MILTON NASCIMENTO, YMA SUMAC, CALYPSO MASTERS, LALO SCHIFRIN, MIKE BRECKER-CLAUS OGERMAN, DON ELLIS etc.. 
 
OL
:
Films, jingles, industrial backgrounds, theater and 'live' venues… are all a part of your songwriting profile, Gabriel. We here at OL, are especially interested in your involvement in Film Music. Namely, your production of original music written and orchestrated with Symphonic setting titled "Western Film Music Ltd" by Galli Records, Italia.
Also, what is your take on the importance of how film scores can affect the full landscape of a Movie?
 

Gabriel Rosati
:
Yup. This has been a very lucky experience I found these guys from Galli Records here not far from my little village and they liked the idea, the songs and helped me to produce the whole thing in their studio!
A 6 months job, very intense and positive. You can check the previews on: iTunes Preview
This is my sincere hope; to keep working more on sound screen score.
I am sure that a mediocre movie with a great music can become a hit, not sure of the other way around…
 
OL:
What would be some of your favorite Film Scores?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Cape Fear, Psycho, Jaws, Once Upon a Time in America, Batman, Hatari! The French Connection, Bullitt, The Godfather, James Bond 007 (most of them), Fellini's movies.
 
OL
:
What is the concept for your New Release in 2016; " THE RANDOM SYSTEM" (DVD Booklet), for SATRA CO.?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
This thing of "The Random System" is a crazy idea of mine. To be honest I noticed during many years of my musical career that most of the times the perfectly trained and graduates from colleges and universities don't convince me. Very often I hear a lot of technical phrasing, clean and tight playing; but still not soul!
During so many years of workshops, meeting with players all over the world, from Brazil to Japan, the States, Europe and even Africans, I can tell that 99% of them have the same troubles, problems and doubts.. Why?...
There must be something wrong with the pedagogical approach of learning a musical instrument…
So I am pretty sure that the learning process of any student is certainly suppose to go through theory, technique, scales, arpeggios, harmony, patterns and sight reading; but at a certain point(soon enough), you need to get away from this whole fixed system and just run free towards whatever you feel the need to play with the instrument, or without, sometimes just scream!.. Or play dissonances, or try wild free and awkward Melodies, just dare! Have the guts to do something really different on stage, or even recording in studio!!
Everybody is terrified of mistakes…So I put together all kinds of strange sounding intervals, patterns, irregular warm up and left handed exercises to challenge each other on a new ground; not more on the usual tonal ways.
There is a dvd along to play and interact with.
 
OL
:
In some of your Video Workshops and Master Classes on Youtube, You discuss with the Music Students; (to paraphrase), that there's a fine line between over-playing and under-playing an instrument. Interesting theory.
Can you please expand on that and how this technique can shape the overall sound of a music piece?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Of course, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker and many of the great masters knew when and what to play.. it isn't easy at all, for most of the instrumentalists; no one really tell us how to approach a melody or a solo. I try to help out as much as I can, when doing Master Class or Workshop. I am there to give 100% of what I know… Not to show off how great I am…  
 
OL
:
Gabriel
, as an Educator, we thank you. Students can learn much from a Performing Artist of your caliber.
They say that some of the best Teachers, start out as the best type of Students.
As a Teacher of Jazz, Brass techniques and Afro-Cuban-Brazilian music,
stretching from Denmark, to Las Vegas Performing Arts Center, Tokyo Yamaha Jazz School, Fullerton College, Cal State of Los Angeles and many others. Very impressive.
Gabriel
, You studied and graduated in Brass, Solfege, Harmony, Music Theory, Psychology, Pedagogy at the Pescara National Conservatory of Music (Italy)…
You also studied Arrangement, Combo and lead trumpet at the Dick Groove University of Los Angeles? How did You view the two different learning institutions in your early years of studies?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
The European approach, especially the Italian system is very updated. The North American is much more efficient and modern. No comparison. I thank God everyday I made it to the U.S.A. Staying in Europe could have been a real depressing life for me.
 
OL
:
What do You think of the young up & coming Musicians of today?

Gabriel Rosati:
I am not sure we can generalize, but they look much more relaxed and better technical players. Perhaps not much interested in progressive, atonal or the roots of Latin music. They seem a kind of standardized players.
 
OL
:
Thank you very much Gabriel, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
We look forward on July 15, 2016, to Part 4 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series; traveling all around with Trumpeter great GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI... from Miami to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Rome, Italy, Copenhagen & then some...!
Hold on to your seats, friends & come back, soon!
 
OL
:
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series
!

-----------------------------------------------

SEGMENT 4 OF 7

OL
:
Welcome Back, Gabriel, thanks so much! Our OL Readers, worldwide are certainly getting a real insight about the many color of your magical Career;
this being Part 4 of our 7 part Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of July 2016.
 
OL:
We're at the segment Interview feature, where we introduce a 'one word' Interview question to You, Gabriel, and if you can you please playback a One-word Commentary Note for the OL Visitors. Sometimes one-word can speak thousands!!
Take it away, Gabriel!
 
OL:
Sunshine?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yeah.
 
OL:
Pacific?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Los Angeles
 
OL:
Improvise?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Always.
 
OL:
Fly?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Great.
 
OL:
Audience?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Ok.
 
OL:
Orchestra?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Cool.
 
OL:
Valve?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Trombone.
 
OL:
Reach?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Whatever.
 
OL:
100?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Years old.
 
OL:
Modena?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Ok.
 
OL:
Thank you very much Gabriel, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview 4 of 7 segment?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yes.

OL:
Thank you, Gabriel. We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series,
On our next OL Segment, Trumpeter extraordinaire GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI returns and we get to
visit the making of some of his best Vocal Recordings, including the beautiful song, "Chuva," and others...
So, come back on July 20, 2016! Thank you.
 
OL:
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of July 2016!


--------------------------------------------------

SEGMENT 5 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back Gabriel!
this being Part 5 of our 7 part Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of July 2016!
 
OL:
We know of GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI, as the amazing Trumpeter, Trombonist, Composer & Arranger...but why stop there? When you've got it...you've got it.
Gabriel's talents are stellar in equal in measure & know no boundaries.
In this segment, we get to feature Gabriel Oscar Rosati, The Singer...

OL:
Welcome once again, Gabriel!
As promised, OL would like to feature your wonderful and passionate Vocals on your song, "Chuva."
First stop; Miami! Tell us Gabriel, about working as a Musician, in the bright, balmy & exciting night life of Miami?

Gabriel Rosati:
You guys are overwhelming ...
Miami was a year of transition. 2001-2002. Great place, some amazing musicians. I had the chance to perform with some players from Gloria Estefan, El Guaco and Celia Cruz bands.
It was beautiful. A lots of scary animals around but nice music everywhere.

OL:
Next stop; across the waters to the bossa and beauty of Sao Paulo, Brazil?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Yes. Sao Paulo and Brazil in general have become a yearly pit stop for me. In the past 4 years I have been back there for several months playing with some of the best musicians and bands I have ever met: Manoel Cruz Trio (fantasti bass player and band), Arlindo Jr., Sambajah (Sambista do Pagode to be checked out), Boca Nervosa, etc..
Sao Paulo is a pure samba city and love it for this.
 
OL:
We get the distinct feeling, when listening to your music, that a good part of your heart & soul lies on the shores of Brazil, the native land of the samba, Carioca & bossa nova movement & that's a good thing.
 
Gabriel Rosati:
I must admit Brazilian music has been the greatest passion of my music life. It's just something natural, I never really studied it.
 
OL:
Next stop: At least for some of us, respectively, Rome Italy is home to You.
You had to know the love and sacred importance that Rome holds in the hearts of the people of the world...The music there must be very fertile & rich in history? 

Gabriel Rosati:
mmm… I did live in Rome while I was 19 to 24 years of age, it was fantastic at first, I did grow up with a lots of live experiences and some TV.

OL:
Now, we come to Copenhagen!
What style of Jazz were you playing mostly, when living and working there?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Eh eh eh… this is crazy. I ended up in Copenhagen while working as musician on a cruise line. Very annoyed by the loungy gig on ship. I got out for two nights while docking there; met some Brazilian band playing in a club. I did play with them both nights and I just broke the contract on the ship, left them and joined the Brazilians on a 6 weeks tour all over northern Europe!
 
OL:
In Copenhagen, how do the Audiences differ from some of the other places that you've toured?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
You know, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Hungary, Romania, I have been in those places playing a lot of Latin music, despite of what is a common idea, they really appreciate it and go crazy about it quite easily!
Actually I am just leaving again for a few concerts with another great friend of mine saxophonist Lucian Nagy & his "Balkumba Tribe". Last summer we even played at the International Bucharest Jazz Festival.
 
OL:
Okay, Gabriel, we're having fun traveling with You. What has been your favorite place to tour, so far?

Gabriel Rosati:
Rio de Janeiro.
 
OL:
Gabriel, you work with so many great Musicians. What goes into organizing the various Band ensembles, especially for your 'Latin Jazz Big Band'?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
A lots of headaches, problems and magic spells… Ah ah ah… yes, I really need all the cosmic help I can...
The big band in general is always a dream group every trumpeter would like to accomplish. At this moment it's a project that goes on and off. I do hope to get more calls with it.
 
OL:
Another one of your Smooth Jazz styled tracks that we're featuring here; "Moths," from your SATIRO Album. It has a nice laid-back, mystic & foggy kind of feel to it.
Love the chord nuances. Your Trumpet phrasing on this track really locks in the groove. What's the story behind this cool tune?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
Satiro is an anagram of Rosati.. it is another side of my personality, (dark, night life freak, foggy sounds) it was a collection of all night life animals titles "The Nite Owl", "Le Chat Noir", "Le Belle di Notte,"...
This past year I finished a similar project called "Ytasor" with some more similar tunes produced with Italian long time buddy Eric Paglione PJ.
 
OL:
What is your recording process, when you're working in the Studio?
 
Gabriel Rosati:
When possible I love to go to the studio all together and record 'live', all at once. Of course being prepared in advance, I usually lay down the rhythm section with myself and later add whatever I need.

OL:
After recording, how involved are you in the mixing stages...as they say mixing is almost everything?

 Gabriel Rosati:
Mixing is very important but it's not my "forte". I don't like to be hours and hours listening and going crazy over a mix. If someone I trust can do it, I rather just take a final listening trying to be as objective as I can.

OL:
Do you like to sit on the mix for a while and then come back a listen to it again, or do you like getting the mix done and move on to the next Music Production?

Gabriel Rosati:
Absolutely, I am a kind of restless person, so I don't last long sitting at the mixing down for many hours. My mind goes quickly to the future.

OL:
We know that it's not fair to ask, but it won't hurt to try...What would be your favorite album of yours that you've released to date?

Gabriel Rosati:
Of course the last one: "BRAZILATAFRO LIVE AT THE PHILARMONIC HALL IN ARAD" (Dodici lune Rec.) a total live album we recorded in a concert with Lucian Nagy, GCseckeabor , Alex Dan Mitrofan, Csaba Pusztai and Laszlo Studnitzky. Mostly original songs and great energy!

OL:
Thanks so much Gabriel, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
On July 25, 2016. Part 6 of 7 of the Oceanliner Notes Series, will return, with Trumpeter GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI! The Singer!
Ciao, see you back, soon!

OL:
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series!


---------------------------------------

SEGMENT 6 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back Gabriel!
this being Part 6 of our 7 part Interview for
Oceanliner Notes Series at OL's
for the month of July 2016!
 
OL
:
We know of GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI, as the amazing Trumpeter, Trombonist, Composer & Arranger...but why stop there? When you've got it...you've got it. Versatility!
Gabriel's talents
, like an African diamond found, while on Safari... a talent such as this, shimmers no matter how you turn it.
In this segment, we get to feature Gabriel Oscar Rosati, The Singer...
 
OL
:
Welcome once again, Gabriel!
As promised to our OL Readers, we would like to feature some of your wonderful Vocal Performances.
For your song, "Chuva…" the true passion in your voice makes an naturally undying statement.
The inspiration behind this track comes from where...?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
"Chuva," Means rain. It was one of the typical moments of mine back home in Italy, in my wooden home in San Vito Marina (small village on the Adriatic coast), in my studio down stair, alone, in a kind of nostalgic mood that the melody came to me. That was it, even on the recording I stick mostly to the theme. I am sure that the song makes it all; arrangements, improvisations, technology and players aren't so important. 
 
OL
:
There are some Singers who are afraid to give their full heart & soul on a track, and they can sometimes succumb to the "formula"... No such thing with you, Gabriel. There's an undeniable refreshing honesty and grit that clearly comes through in your voice, that creates the distinction, keeping it real... And so that is the overall responsibility we carry, as Musicians.
 
OL
:
The song, "Chuva," from your Gabriel Rosati & "BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT" Vol. 2, has a melancholy feel to it, and at the same time, the melodic hook in the verses are so nicely arranged; as it allows You, as a Singer Gabriel, to express yourself with ease.
We also like the raintree and build effect at the top of the tune. Can you share with our OL Readers, the translation of this song?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Yes:
"Thinking of you is sad when I am relaxing and it rains, It's always the sunset, the night, the moments of the devil, which develop the nostalgia...And I sing this song…"
 
OL
:
Thank you very much, Gabriel. Very nice!
 
OL
:
To summarize in "Chuva," you also render this time, to the Trombone instrument solo, instead of using the Trumpet.
What goes into deciding the instrumentation of your tracks in general?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Many times I have in mind the sound of the instruments while I write the music; quite often the trumpet doesn't fit. I guess it's ok this way, the result of the song has to be right not necessarily connected with me being a trumpeter. Also, trumpet can be a disturbing instrument, saxophone, voice, trombone, cello and flute can do a better job sometimes.

OL
:
Another favorite of OL's is your nice and easy vocal flow of this track, "MAMA CANTAGALLO," of your "BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT" Vol. 3. The magic of the bossa nova, itself...hypnotic, swaying & romantic. Your vocals on this one, has a lovely understated sense of control.
Who are some of the Singers from Brazil that inspired You?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Milton Nascimento
, Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso, Ivan Lins, Alcione, Sandra de Sa' and Simone.
 
OL
:
Gabriel, throughout the span of your illustrious Career, with over 19 CD's released in your name, you also released an album of "Romantic Classics," delving into the Classical world pf Composers,
from Camille Saint-Saëns to Edward Grieg & others...
How did if feel, adding a Classical album to your Discography?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
I did two classical albums, both with all unique arrangements for trumpet and piano I made up. The tunes are sincerely my favorite ones. The next one I am planning is a tribute to Scott Joplin's ragtimes; 12 of his compositions transcribed and adapted for trumpet, French horn or trombone and piano.
 
OL
:
What Artists haven't You worked with Gabriel, that You would one day like to work with?

 Gabriel Rosati:
Sadly they are mostly gone… Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Gato Barbieri and Earth Wind & Fire.
The alive ones: Claudio Roditi, Afro-Cuban All Star, Alcione and Simone
 
OL:
You were recently participating at the "International Trumpet Guild" world conference in Anaheim, showcasing your own stand of CD's, Books and Original music (Brazilatafro Music)?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Being an independent artist, I guess it was the only way, thanx to my co-producer Mr. Samvel Avetisyan, I  have been for the first time at this event. Nothing really fantastic, I was suppose to perform there with my own music and players but then, down the road of the games I got left out.
Anyhow my music cds, books and dvd sold pretty well. I got an idea of this event too. The music business is becoming a sort of pay and receive back, if you buy the space, the advertising then you get some publicity, interviews or even magazine cover…I don't think that should be the way.. but hey…

OL
:
So, you're co-producing an album with Cuban painter and singer Mike Rivero (with the "Calle 6" group)?
 Gabriel Rosati:
Yes. We started the project 4 years ago back then because of my travelling around it got delayed. Mike Rivero is a great modern painter and genuine talented "sonero", percussionist, guitarist. After few collaborations I helped him out to realize this "Calle 6" cd with some original tunes and covers from the Buena Vista Social Club wave.
 
OL
:
When will it be released?
We look forward to checking it out.
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
I guess this coming wintertime. The cool thing about it is the punchy horn lines over delicate Cuban conjunto and son montunos.
 
OL
:
Great. Keep OL posted.
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
 
OL
:
Thanks so much Gabriel, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
6 of 7 segment?
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Yes, may be, as conclusion I feel that an important part of our daily life wherever we live, whatever is our job and passion, too many times forgotten is BALANCE.
We really need to search for a good balance in our lives. Psychology and physic are supposed to be in good shape, I always send this message to students and colleagues: try to live a healthy life, no smoking, no drinking and good alimentation are the roots of a healthy life, as well as practicing sports, music and meditation.
In the long run the results are tangible. I am sure 100%.
 
OL
:
On, July 30, 2016. Part 7 of 7 Closing Segment of the Oceanliner Notes Series, will return,
with Trumpeter GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI!
Come back and join us!
 
OL
:
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series
!

---------------------------------------------

SEGMENT 7 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back, Gabriel! Its been great having You on OL, this being Part 7 of our OL Interview for the Oceanliner Notes Series. As we have reached the closing segment of this Interview feature,
 
OL
:
all of us here at OL are in such awe of your serious talents, Gabriel.
We'd like to thank You many times over, for sharing some of your truly electric & beautiful sounds, your time, heart & soul with all of our OL Viewers.
Musical accomplishments are more than next Gig. They are a way of life! A Musician's Life! GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI.

OL
:
Gabriel
, You are using your musical gifts wisely… & your shining exuberance seems to just bounce right off of You;
right into our own listening hearts & souls. A globe-trotting creative talent, you're always in flight. Aren't we lucky? Indeed, we all are!!!.
Thank You, Gabriel.
 
Gabriel Rosati
:
Thank you guys. Too good to me.
 
OL
:
Take this, if you will, please give us your closing liner notes on importance of performing 'live' show, today., and your closing music commentary quote? Thank you.

Gabriel Rosati
:
Be honest. Practice well anything you are called to do. Be humble and open to changes. And especially be coherent, don't just do gigs that pay the bills…

OL
:
Take this great advice folks, as one for the road!... And for everyday life!
Musicians, especially, though sometimes in nature, can be free spirits; but even with that said, there is s sense of discipline, focused vision, and organization required to get the musical heights, that of a well traveled and celebrated Musician Artist like the Multi-talented Trumpeter GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI!
We, here at OL look forward to hearing more music magic,  in the years to come, from Gabriel...

OL
:
Thank you, to the incredible Latin Jazz Trumpeter, Trombonist, Composer, Arranger & Singer OSCAR GABRIEL  ROSATI, and thank you All for
visiting Oceanlight Records Oceanliner Notes Series!!!

Playlist samples:
Celebrated Trumpeter
GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI

1. Shut Up and Mambame
SAN FRANCISCO SESSION CD
2. Vida Nueva
BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT VOL.3 CD
3. High Life
BRAZILATAFRO VOL. 4
- 5 CELEBRATION (DOUBLE CD)
4. Mama Cantagallo
BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT VOL.3 CD
5. Moths
SATIRO CD
6. Rise (cover)
BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT VOL.1 CD
7. GABRIEL ROSATI & LATIN BIG BAND
'live' at Auditorium Parco della Musica- Roma Sangre
8. Sangre
BRAZILATAFRO VOL. 4 - 5 CELEBRATION (DOUBLE CD)
9. The Sax Player's Shoes
PACIFIC TIME CD
10. Siento
BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT VOL.1 CD
11. CalState Workshop by Gabriel Rosati
12. Chuva
BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT VOL.3 CD
13. Song For Maura
A NEW LIFE START CD
14. Interstate 5
PACIFIC TIME CD
15. Eu e pedrinho
PACIFIC TIME CD
16. Para ei mi Maestro
BRAZILATAFRO PROJECT VOL.3 CD
17. Una Improvisacion del Cirberto
!SALSA! CD



OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

"I must admit Brazilian music has been the greatest passion of my music life. It's just something natural, I never really studied it."

Gabriel Rosati...


Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
JOHN DI MARTINO
JAZZ PIANIST COMPOSER & ARRANGER
www.johndimartino.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: 8/1/16 - 8/31/16

playlist at end

SEGMENT 1 OF 7

OL:
"Simply Elegant!" ...Right from the start!  Romantic Jazz Pianist JOHN di MARTINO, has it all! The smooth touch on the keys, the swagger of swing, and all of the colors of latin moods & rhythms. It's all there in black & white keys! ...just listen, while OL gets to Interview this magical Artist for the month of August 2016.

OL:
World renowned Jazz Pianist John di Martino, not only released a discography of his own classic recordings, including
"Birds of the Heart,"  "impromptu" CD's,
but also a major player in many headlining Artists around the world, from... Ray Barretto's "New World Spirit," to James Moody, to Billy Eckstine, Paquito D'Rivera, Houston Person, to Chico DeBarge & many others.OL was fortunate to be officially introduced to Mr. di Martino, by none other than Grammy Vocalist Mr. Freddy Cole... of the Nat "King" Cole Dynasty Family. This month, we look forward to covering many special moments of John di Martino's recording, arranging, & performance Career highlights!
's give a resounding Welcome to this very distinctive and amazing Artist... Venus Records COMPOSER, ARRANGER, PIANIST...
 JOHN dI MARTINO...!

OL:
Welcome John, it's great to have You on Oceanlight, for what will be a 7-part Interview on the Oceanliner Notes Monthly Series, August 2016. As stated by K. Leander Williams, from Time Out New York, "...one of the jazz scene's finest, a pianist who is just as comfortable with bop as he is with Afro-Cuban rhythms and salsa..."What line of thinking, or emotional reserve do you tap into John, to have your sound arrive at that comfort zone effect that you have on the listener?

John di Martino
:
I try to tune in and listen to what the universe is telling me to play, I'm always looking to open the door to the essence of the music.

OL
:
John
, we've seen you first hand, lay out the magic and moods of your piano sound, while recording in the studio, with your poetic delicate piano nuances and lush chords. Take us back to the beginning of your playing style development?

John di Martino
:
I like the poetic elements in music, understatement, I think about how minimal I can play, this help me find what is truly essential, and then many ideas organically grow form that place.

OL:
A Philadelphia Native?

John di Martino
:
Yes, I'm from Philly !

 OL:
How much did the New York City Music Scene influence You, and what was some of the stand-out Club Performance Dates that you played on, early in your Career?

John di Martino
:
I had a house band gig in Atlantic City in the mid- eighties, I made many L.A. and New York contacts there. But moving to New York brought great life realizing opportunities to me !

OL:
John
, throughout this Interview, we'd like to take our OL Readers on path to many of your Recordings, both Solo and with the other great Artists that you've worked with.But first, tell the Musicians about your studies with Lennie Tristano and Don Sebesky?

John di Martino
:
I learned a lot through study with great masters like Lennie Tristano, Don Sebesky and Jimmie Amadie.

OL:
Early in your Career, was there a preferred style of music that you listened to and was influenced by, as a Pianist?

John di Martino
:
Zappa
, and very into blues, my first experience with improvisation was playing blues, I used to listen to John Mayall , then I started to systematically check out all the great jazz artists


OL
:
Who are some of the Musicians that influenced You?

John di Martino
:
I've been very inspired by: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gil Evans, Claus Ogerman, Bill Evans, Joe Zawanul, Horace Silver, Hank Jones, Bela Bartok and Richard Strauss.

OL:
Speaking of influences, John; we loveyour very romantic arrangement of the Alec Wilder/Morty Palitz composition,' Moon and Sand' from your "Turnaround" CD. Tell us about what inspired you to go in that musical direction with this song?

John di Martino
:
I hear Moon And Sand being very ethereal.


OL
:
When you take the listener in with this 'Moon and Sand' track, lost in a trance, what would be the new track or musical path that you would take to gently get them out of it, to open their eyes and ears... or would you prefer to leave them in a trance?

John di Martino
:
I have played a lot of Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and funk, I like to apply different grooves to a melody, if it feels like a good fit!

OL
:
We can hear the latin styled arrangement on Your CD "The Beatles In Jazz," from the 'John di Martino Romantic Jazz Trio'. In particular 'The Fool On the Hill'...Tell us John, your take on the influence of Pop/Rock music and how it can work well, in the realm of Jazz Artists?

John di Martino
:
I have done many concept cd's for Venus Records, It has been fun and challenging.

OL
:
What's your favorite Beatles tune, and would you ever want to do more covers in the Pop/Rock genre? If so, what tune might be next?

John di Martino
:
I love the tune: "In My Life," I would like to do a Stevie Wonder and a Rolling Stones Project!

OL:
In general, John, what goes into choosing the right key before recording a track, and are there certain keys that work best, depending on the genre or range?

John di Martino
:
 I often change keys to create a tonal variety .

OL
:
In your world tours, what staple tunes do you like to play on your set?

John di Martino
:
My default tune is Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays"!

OL
:
Thank you very much John, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview1 of 7 segment?

John di Martino
:
I do yoga and I like swimming and long walks.

OL:
On part 2 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series, on August 5, 2016, we'll take a closed look at Jazz Pianist John di Martino's glowing original Compositions & more! Meanwhile enjoy listening to some of his beautiful and introspective recordings, right here on OL!

OL
:
Thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Series! Read our next segment on Jazz Pianist John di Martino this coming week for the whole month of August 2016!

-----------------------------

SEGMENT 2 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back to the incomparable Jazz Pianist, Composer & Arranger...JOHN DI MARTINIO!...& to all of our OL Readers, this being Part 2 of our 7 part Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of August 2016!

OL
:
Welcome back John, and thanks again for coming on Oceanlight Records as our special Guest Artist this month.What is your Piano of choice and why?

John di Martino
:
 I love Steinway. It has so much variation in touch. The Steinway can sound like: Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Hank Jones, McCoy Tyner, Kieth Jarrett, Kenny Barron & George Shearing. The "sound of the hand" comes through.

OL
:
Your outstanding arrangements for all of the many other Artist Productions that you have been a part of; are most legendary.On this segment, tell us about some of your own original compositions?

John di Martino
:
I made on cd of all my own music: "Birds Of The Heart," I want to focus on composing more, but I am very busy arranging, for example: I am now writing orchestral arrangements for a concert with Freddy Cole at the Detroit Jazz Fest

OL
:
When you write music, is it coming from a harmonic structure, or does it shape itself around the melodic structure first?

John di Martino
:
I prefer to start with a melodic idea, but the reverse often happen as well!

OL
:
When writing, are you thinking instrumental pieces, and/or do you write with lyrics in mind, also?

John di Martino
:
I try to be "lyrical", but I have not focused on writing lyrics yet.

OL
:
At the end of the day, the sun goes down, and rises at dawn. Which do you feel is your best time to have solitude to write your music, or are you somewhere in between?

John di Martino
:
I think morning is best for creativity.

OL:
What Artist would you like to work with, that you haven't already?

John di Martino
:
Many: Vinnie Colaiuta, Wayne Shorter, Andy Bey, Jack DeJohnette and Kurt Elling.

OL:
John
, you've worked quite a bit with Grammy Jazz Vocalist Freddy Cole, and for many, happily so... creating some beautiful sounds. We especially love the arrangement of 'This Love Of Mine', featured on the OL Freddy Cole Interview on this site... And on this very OL Interview with you, we feature your recording cover with Freddy, of famous Isley Bros. classic, 'For The Love Of You'. Tell us about that recording session with the great Freddy Cole?

John di Martino
:
I enjoy recording with Freddy, we met in Atlantic City many years ago, Billy Eckstine and Bobby Tucker introduced us!

OL:
As we listen, don't have to ask Freddy why he loves working with you. John, not only are you a great Jazz Pianist and Arranger, but also you are a Singer's dream; giving them the beauty of space to do just that... to dream with their voice. And all the while in between, you create your magic on the keys.This is itself, is a special gift that you have. What, so far, has been your favorite song when working with Freddy?

John di Martino
:
I really like the version of "This Love Of Mine" we recorded with David Fathead Newman. I am enlarging the arrangement for orchestra now!

OL
:
That's wonderful John, we look forward to this new recording arrangement, can't wait! Now let's go to another great Jazz Vocalist that you've worked with...Diane Schuur?

John di Martino
:
I had the pleasure to work with her in Philly; she is a truly great singer!

OL:
On a show night with Lady Schuur, what's some of the repertoire on her set? We understand that she includes a good amount of pop songs, with the jazz standards?

John di Martino
:
I adapt to whoever I'm playing with, I know that my approach changes somewhat for each individual.

OL:
John
, in working with your share of celebrated Singers, do you find the need to adjust your playing style, depending upon who the Singer is; or with most gigs, one is called sometimes exactly because of a certain style and don't want you to change it?

John di Martino
:
That's a hard question; I'm still mastering the art of the set list!
I want to study Monty Alexander more. He really is a master of lining up a show!

OL:
On your own Club Dates, with the 'John di Martino Romantic Jazz Trio', what song do you open your shows with, and what song do you enjoy closing with?

John di Martino
:
We should all try to tune into our unique voice. We all have one, just like every finger print and face is unique and beautiful!

OL:
Thanks a million John, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.

OL
:
We look forward on September 10, 2016 to Part 3 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series, Up next, JAZZ PIANIST Pianist JOHN DI MARTINO will take us through his recordings with the late Ray Barretto's "New World Spirit", as a long time member, featured pianist and arranger on several recordings including the Grammy nominated CD "Contact."... & even John working with R&B's Chico DeBarge...so come back soon!

OL
:
And thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series
!

---------------------------------------

SEGMENT 3 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back to the Romantic Jazz Pianist, Composer & Arranger...JOHN DI MARTINO!...this being Part 3 of our 7 part Interview for OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of September 2016!

  OL:
Good to see you back John, we enjoy having you on Oceanlight Records, again, as our special Guest Artist this month.Your tenure working with the world renowned Latin Jazz Percussionist, the late Ray Barretto, must have been magical?

  John di Martino:
- I learned so much playing and recording with Ray Barretto

 OL:
As a member of Ray Barretto's 'New World Spirit', we get to feature a couple of our favorite tracks that you recorded with Ray's group. "Lamento Borincano," and "Like Sonny," both tracks from his "PORTRAITS IN JAZZ and CLAVE" CD.Tell us about the recording sessions for this album, also featuring Guest Musicians, Kenny Burrell, Steve Turre, & Joe Lovano, among others?

  John di Martino:
- I really enjoyed writing the feature for Eddie Gomez:
"Lament Borincano", it also features Kenny Burrel


 OL:
What is your fondest memory of working as a member of Ray Barretto's 'New World Spirit' Group?

 John di Martino:
- I remember the first night I played with Ray Barretto:
I was subbing on a 2 week your of Europe for his
current pianist at that time who had a problem getting his visa,
so I was hired at the last minute, with no rehearsal, I was playing with Ray for the first time at the New Morning Club in Paris! I remember him looking at me not knowing what to expect, but at the end of the night he said to me: "you brought a new dimension to the music, for that I thank you". We became instant friends and a year later, when the chair opened up, I joined the band !


  OL:
Let's go around the R&B bend, for a moment.Chico DeBarge of the famed DeBarge Musical Dynasty Family, has is own unique sound, just like his brother the great El DeBarge. How did you come to collaborate with Chico and on what tune?

  John di Martino:
- I work for producer, Joshua Paul Thompson, with Josh I have played and arranged for cd's with Joe Thomas ( "JOE" ) & Chico De Barge, Chico has a very unique conceptual approach to his music.
 

OL:
Some Jazz Musicians like to venture out into other genres. Then, there are the Jazz Purists.We can appreciate both sides. John, where are you with this, from a performing standpoint?

  John di Martino:
- I love all music, in the words of Arthur Rubinstein:
"there is no bad music, only bad specimens"
OL:
As for inspiration, who are some of your favorite Pianists?
 
John di Martino:
- my favorite pianists:
Herbie Hancock,
Bill Evans,
Hank Jones and many more !

  OL:
Destination: Touring.John you've toured all over the world.Share with us some of your favorite spots?
 
John di Martino:
I love touring in Japan !
 
OL:
For Clubs that you've played in Japan, what kinds of sets do you find that really wows the crowd over there? 

John di Martino:
-
Japanese audiences are very responsive, jazz represent a kind of cultural freedom for them, it's a spiritual release that they need and enjoy !

  OL:
We understand that fellow Pianists, like Keith Jarrett, don't like to play electric.When performing John, on your own gigs, do you sometimes alternate to playing on the electric keyboards, or only a grand piano will do its thing for you?

  John di Martino:
- I play keyboards as well, but my main instrument is the piano !

  OL:
In your heart of hearts, what the best part about being, and living the life of a Musician?

John di Martino:
 As a musician you can tune into the spirit realm and enter peoples hearts directly !

  OL:
Thank you very much John, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.We look forward on September15, 2016, to Part 4 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series; having 'one-word answers' fun with Jazz Pianist JOHN DI MARTINO... join us again, soon!

  OL:
Thank you all for visitingOL's Oceanliner Notes Series!


------------------------------------------------

SEGMENT 4 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back, John! This being Part 4 of our 7 part Interview for  OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of September 2016.
 
OL:
As promised, we're we're going to feature our customary 'one word' Interview question to You, John, and if you can you please playback a One-word Commentary Note for the OL Visitors.
Sometimes less is more, as they say!!
Ok, here we go, John!
 
OL:
Moon?
 
John di Martino:
 - jewel
 
OL:
Eyes Closed?
 
John di Martino:
- sound
 
OL:
Movie?
 
John di Martino:
- image
 
OL:
Trio?
 
John di Martino:
- conversation
 
OL:
Distance?
 
John di Martino:
- relative
 
OL:
Sustain?
 
John di Martino:
- colors
 
OL:
Golden?
 
John di Martino:
- sun
 
OL:
Play?
 
John di Martino:
- live
 
OL:
Stage?
 
John di Martino:
- magic
 
OL:
Philadelphia?
 
John di Martino:
- history
 
Thank you, John. We look forward tomorrow in Part 5 of this 7 part Oceanliner Notes Series,
On our next OL Segment, Celebrated Jazz Pianist JOHN DI MARTINO returns and we get to
find out about John's Arranging technique and some stories about working with more greats, including
Singer Legend Billy Eckstine, & also John's recording, "Love," for (Sony Masterworks) with Cuban singer,  Isaac Delgado... You won't want to mis this...  so, come back on September 20, 2016! Thank you.
-------------------------------

SEGMENT 5 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back to our OL Readers!... This being Part 5 of our 7 part Interview for
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series for the month of September 2016!
 

OL:
In this life, an Artist can have that one great song or musical moment; but
it's true strength is realized in the arrangement.
In this segment, Romantic Jazz Pianist, Composer & Arranger great. JOHN DI MARTINO
will share with OL, his phenomenal arranging technique on some of his
finest recordings...
 

OL:
Let us here at OL first say John, that your performance and great arrangement of the classic
"Emily" is truly a masterpiece personified. Simply gorgeous!
We couldn't help but feature this as the first track on the OL Playlist Interview set.
What went into your arranging this recording and what elements did draw on to achieve this beautiful effect?
 

John di Martino:
That recording was an improvised first take,
I am always thinking like an arranger with an overview of the "arc" of the music, by that I mean taking the tune on a journey

 
OL:
The unique & graceful overtones at the end of the Emily" track,
are many a splendored thing to listen to and enjoy. How does 'sponteneity' itself, fit into your arranging song?

 
John di Martino:
As a jazz musician we strive to open ourselves up to our inner voice and be "authentic" to what that voice is saying in the moment, we try not to judge it, as Lenny Tristano told me:
"don't try to make it happen, let it happen!"

 
OL:
What type of pieces are your working on at current?
 

John di Martino:
I just finished a writing a program of orchestral arrangements for Freddy Cole, we performed them at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Sept 4.
I am performing many all Strayhorn programs featuring Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet, in arranging the Staryhorn the challenge is to tastefully find ways to adapt some of the many ballads to more up tempos and subtle grooves. I am currently working on a project with a singer from Iran creating arrangements of Persian Folk Songs, I am re-imagining them with Latin and R & B grooves, though the project has an exotic new age feeling!

 
OL:
When working with Singers, do you like to arrange as you rehearse,
or do you concentrate, away from the spotlight? 
 

John di Martino:
I respond in a different way to every singer I work with,
so when I rehearse with them I get many ideas based on there unique concept, I feel it is the goal of the arranger to help bring out the unique identity of each individual artist.

 
OL:
As for great Singers, there's no one on the planet quite like the
smooth baritone Jazz Legend Mr. Billy Eckstine!
John, please do us the honor of telling our OL Readers on how you came
to work with the "Jelly, Jelly" man?
 

John di Martino:
Mr. 'B' and his pianist Bobby Tucker we're very kind to me,
both mentors. I did some gigs with them playing orchestral parts on synth. Bobby Tucker introduced me to the great song that Billy Strayhorn composed for Lena Horne: " A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing"

 
OL:
Now John, you're a New York/New Jersey based Musician.
Tell us about some of your favorite Club Venues that you've played in with your Trio and other
Artists?
 

John di Martino:
I love playing at Jazz At The Kitano, Gino Morati curates the jazz series and he has a great Steinway that he takes excellent care of, he has a piano technician form Hungary: Arpad Maklary who is a really great!
I also love playing at Mezzrow another great Steinway!


OL:
Do you like switching up the repertoire at
Night Clubs, depending upon the mood of the audience?

 
John di Martino:
Yes, I am always changing repertoire.


OL:
On the standard classic "L-O-V-E" recording that you did with
Grammy Cuban Singer Isaac Delgado, for Sony Masterworks, serves up a nice light salsa
arrangement, which really shows your love of latin jazz in your playing.
 Did you grow up listening any salsa music?
 

John di Martino:
I fell in love with Afro-Cuban music when I was in high school, I started to play in my first salsa band in Philly when I was 15 years old, so Latin music is a big part of my formative years, I reconnected with the Latin scene many years later in New York, I played at the Rainbow Room when I moved to New York in 1988, I was in a band lead by  the great flute player from Panama: Mauricio Smith, bassist Victor Venegas ( form the original Mongo Santa Maria group ) and the great Cuban percussionist : Virgilio Martii. Some years later I began to play and record with: Bobby Sanabria, Carlos Patato Valdez, Ray Barretto, Juan Pablo Torres etc...
As for the project with Issac Del Gado:
The producers: ( film maker ) Fernando Trueba & Nat Chediak called me because they knew my work with Ray Barretto and with Freddy Cole as this was a latin tribute to Nat King Cole!
 

OL:
Your hometown Philadelphia is rich in history & music.
There must have been no shortage of inspiration all around.
 Tell us about where music all began for you?
 

John di Martino:
In Philly I had a chance to explore every kind of music:
Classical, Jazz, Gospel, R & B, Disco ( in the 70's ),
I studied drums for a short time at 7 years old, I piked up music again at 12 studying the violin, at that time I got really into playing blues on the violin and harmonica,
I was very inspired by English Blues Artist: John Mayall. This was my introduction to improvisation!
My older brother James was always playing theatre music and classical music at home, I still have a strong emotional reaction when I hear West Side Story !
He turned me on to Frank Zappa, and this some how lead me to my interest in Jazz, I wanted to go "beyond" just playing the blues and understand more complex harmony.
I always gravitated to the piano, but I didn't commit to it until i was 15 years old, I began to play with a wedding band studying with a famous with Philly legend: Jimmie Amadie.
 

OL:
Was the piano your first instrument growing up?
 

John di Martino:
My mother ( Chickie Di Martino ) is an amateur singer and avid Jazz fan, we would spend time going through fake books and she would point out to me so many great tunes, so I had a big repertoire very early on, and a lot of experience as an accompanist!

 
OL:
Thanks once again John, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist.
On Septermber 25, 2016. Part 6 of 7 of the Oceanliner Notes Series,
gets know what's upcoming on Jazz Pianist Composer & Arranger JOHN DI MARTINO'S
musical plate... including his favorite Philly cheese steak!
See you all soon!
 

OL:
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series!

-----------------------------------------------

SEGMENT 6 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back John!
this being Part 6 of our 7 part Interview for
Oceanliner Notes Series at OL's for the month of August 2016!
Welcome back to our Special Guest Artist Jazz Pianist JOHN DI MARTINO!
 
OL:
oK John, first things first.
Your favorite Philly cheese steak Place, from your
hometown of Philadelphia?
 
John di Martino:
- It's always been a toss up between : "Pat's" & "Gino's",
 
OL:
New York City is great for eating out, but we will yield
only to a good Philly cheese steak!

John di Martino:
I favored "Pat's" with lots of hot peppers. It was a popular "after gig snack". When Bill Clinton was campaigning for president in South Philadelphia, he held a Pat's Steak in one hand and a Gino's Steak in the other hand and said he still could not decide!
 
OL:
New York City however, has produced some of the best music
in the world.... And John, you're no exception; having worked with
the Legendary Sax Players, Paquito D'Rivera and Houston Person, respectively.K

John di Martino:
- I have learned a lot of tunes and the verses with Houston, He is a real "tune smith" ! We met recording together with Freddy Cole.
 
OL:
Hey John... nice feature of you on Soulful Tenor Sax Legend Houston Person's Sondheim Medley
'Small World/Anyone Can Whistle' recording from his "SO NICE" CD. This free-flowing duo version breezes
with breadth and depth, into these Broadway classics.
What has been the best part about working with Houston Person?
 
John di Martino:
I have made many cd's with Houston, all we're recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's Studio in Englewood, NJ.
 
OL:
Cuba's and NYC based... the one & only
Paquito D'Rivera was once a Guest on OL's
WVOX Radio Show. What an honor once again, to
highlight another great Artist that you've worked with
 ,John. What recordings and/or performances did you work with
M. D'Rivera on?
 
John di Martino:
- I have been performing an all Billy Strayhorn Program with Paquito D'Rivera. In this program he plays only clarinet.

We have plans to record this repertoire. Paquito is a virtuoso clarinet player ! We met many years ago recording with Bobby Sanabria on the cd: "NYC ACHE", later we played a concert at the Jazz A Marciac Festival in France with Ray Barretto. There is a film of this concert with interviews.
 
OL:
We love Mr. D'Rivera orchestral use
of strings, in many of his recordings.
And in your own recording, 'Valse Triste';
 the string player weaves in and out nicely between
your wonderfully intricate chords.
Tell us about this session?
 
John di Martino:
- Valse Triste is from my cd of all original music: "Bird's Of The Heart". It is my my most personal work yet. I plan to write more again in the future. There is another piece for violin and piano on this cd: "Reflections In A Japanese Bath", you can find a beautiful image montage video on You Tube, made by Sarah James.

OL:
Some Musicians feel that they have to practice
24-7 to get to the next level. However Jazz Trumpeter Legend,
Miles Davis, once Interviewed on TV that he only like to touch his
Trumpet just to know that its there. John, what would be the best
practicing regimen that world best  for you as an Artist?
 
John di Martino:
- I don't practice on days that I will perform or record. I want to meet the instrument fresh, and save all my musical creative energy for the main event. I have some maintenance practice
regimens: I play a ballad in all keys changing the style in each key, I play a be-bop line in all keys in using various kinds of "touch" at the piano, I have an exercise for the week fingers, and a left hand chord exercise, and I practice some sight reading.
 
OL:
Another area of the world that you've toured would be
Republic of China.
Where would you like to tour, where you haven't toured before?
 
John di Martino:
- There are some places I would really like to see that I have not yet had the chance to tour:
Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia,
and some more….

OL:
Ok John, what's upcoming music projects will you be working on?
 
John di Martino:
-I will be performing a tribute to Billy Strayhorn with Paquito D'Rivera at Night Town in Cleveland on Oct 13.
I will be at the Jazz Standard with Houston Person:
Nov 10 through 13.
 
OL:
In summary for this segment, we would like to thank you once again, John,
for the wonderful work that You and Freddy Cole did on OL's
'Timeless Dance', the feature track song on Screen Media Films
"WEDDING BROS.", Nice Work! Thank you.
 
OL:
Thanks so much John, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview
6 of 7 segment?
On, August 30, 2016. Part 7 of 7 Closing Segment of the Oceanliner Notes Series, will return,
with Jazz Pianist Composer & Arranger JOHN DI MARTINO!
Giving us his closing commentary on what it means to be
a Musician always evolving... Come back in a few days, OL Readers!
 
OL:
Thank you all for visiting
OL's Oceanliner Notes Series!
-------------------------------------

SEGMENT 7 OF 7

OL:
Welcome Back, John! having You on OL, this being Part 7 of our OL Interview for the Oceanliner Notes Series,
has been super!!
And now, we've come to the closing segment of this Interview OL feature,
 
OL:
John, OL is all the more abundant in knowledge, with your fantastic sounds and Career highlights featured.
You're always welcome here at Oceanlight Records.
In keeping with your track 'Birds Of the heart'...
your Piano Artistry it truly the 'keys to many hears..;
Keep playing JOHN DI MARTINO! Okay John, if you will, please give us your closing liner notes on importance of performing 'live' show, today.,
and your closing music commentary quote? Thank you.

John di Martino:
I think it's important to seek to develop your own unique voice.
We all have a unique voice as we all have a unique face and finger print! This is the natural beauty of life! Although It is true that we learn thorough imitation, I see many young players today stuck in the phase of imitation, and there is a large arena of the music business that encourages this situation. Young artists are discouraged to create original music. No matter how well you imitate, your out put will never match the energy and the life of the original !

John di Martino:
I want to thank OL for giving me the opportunity to do this interview!

Playlist Samples:
Romantic
Jazz Pianist
Composer & Arranger
JOHN DI MARTINO

1. Moment to Moment
2. Emily
3. I Can't Help It
4. All The Way
   (vocalist Janis Siegel, pianist John di Martino, bassist Leo Traversa)
5. Magical Mystery For Monk and Murakami
6. Lamento Borincano
7. Moon and Sand
8. Voce e Eu
   (Featuring: (vocalist Janis Siegel, pianist John di Martino, bassist Leo Traversa, trumpeter Jeff Stockham,
    and percussionist/vocalist Nanny Assis)
9. Birds Of The Heart
10. East Of the Sun 'Live'
11. For The Love Of You
   (w/ Freddy Cole)
12. Penny Lane
13. La Comparsa
14. The Sun Died
15. A ra
    (Featuring: vocalist Janis Siegel, pianist John di Martino, bassist Leo Traversa)
16. Valse Triste
17. So In Love
18. L-O-V-E

(w/ Isaac Delgado)
19. Reflections In A Japanese Bath
    John di Martino (Composer/Piano)
    (Featuring: GEMMA on violin)
20. It's Alright With Me
21. Small World / Anyone Can Whistle Medley

    (w/ Houston Person)
22. The Fool On The Hill
23. A Time For Love
from"IMPROMPTU" CD
    John di Martino, Piano
    Warren Vache, Cornet

OL Quote Pick of the
Guest Artist's Interview!

"I don't practice on days that I will perform or record. I want to meet the instrument fresh, and save all my musical creative energy for the main event."
...John di Martino




OL Quote Pick of the Guest Artist's Interview!

On the title track "Unspoken"...

"I hope people enjoy the song as I put every ounce of my heart and soul into it.
"

Chuck Loeb


Special Guest Artist Online Interview Feature...
CHUCK LOEB
GRAMMY NOMINATED SMOOTH JAZZ GUITARIST COMPOSER AND PRODUCER
www.chuckloeb.com
Original  OL Records Artist Interview: December 2016

playlist at end

HAPPY HOLIDAYS OL INTERVIEW!


OL
:
"UNSPOKEN" ...The Grammy Nominated 2016 New CD Release of SMOOTH JAZZ GUITARIST GREAT ... CHUCK LOEB is here to hang out with OL, as the November 2016 Guest Artist on the Oceanliner Notes OL Series! With all due respect, there is nothing 'Unspoken' about the legacy of this Artist's incredible recording Career...Composer, Arranger & Performer...Guitarist Impressario; Chuck Loeb has done it all! All of the OL Readers, worldwide, will get to hear 'The Music Inside' of one of Smooth Jazz's most celebrated and revered Musicians. Beyond the scope of Chuck Loeb's amazing Solo Career, he has collaborated with some of best in the Music Industry... From the great Stan Getz, to Michael Brecker, Hubert Laws, Brian Culbertson & the list goes on.

OL
:
Guitarist Chuck Loeb...A member of the Grammy Nominated Smooth Jazz Band, FOURPLAY... with the Legendary (Bob James - keyboards, Nathan East - Bass Guitar & Harvey Mason - Drums); mixing it up nicely, in Smooth Jazz, R&B, AC & Pop formats. With a treasured Discography of Smooth Jazz Classics, including their CD Release, "Silver..." This is just another dynamic dimension of our featured Guest Artist Chuck Loeb, celebrating his phenomenal Music Career. As we will be traveling through Chuck Loeb's vast Discography, including his artistic & commercially top-selling CD's... from "The Moon, the Stars and the Setting Sun", to "Listen", "In A Heartbeat", "Presence", "Bridges", just to highlight, some of his shining recordings, with over 20 CD's to his credit.

OL
:
Chuck Loeb
, a 2015 Grammy Nominee for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for "Jazz Funk Soul"...also featuring Jeff Lorber and Everette Harp, for the Shanachie Records. has been quite a busy Guy, to say the least. This month, OL also looks forward to covering Mr. Loeb's TV and Music Jingles credits. So, let's get started!

OL
:
Welcome Chuck, it's great to have You on Oceanlight, for what will be a Holiday Speical Interview on the Oceanliner Notes Monthly Series, December 2016. How's it going?

Chuck Loeb
:
Well, its been an interesting time for me. I have had some health issues lately, and have had to cancel a few shows as a result of a hospital stay..., but I am feeling a lot better now, and am anxious to get back in the swing of things.In fact I just got back from some gigs with Jazz Funk Soul and we had a great time.

OL
:
Chuck,
we're so happy to hear that you're on the  healing path; truely music to our ears... We wish You and your Family a warm Holiday Season and on your resuming touring! As we also feature some of your tracks samples then & now... One of our favorite tracks: the title track "Unspoken." The sound of this track is the epitome of a what a smooth groove should be. Where did the dream and direction for this title track come from?

Chuck Loeb
:
I am so glad you brought up this track. It is a very important one to me (I guess that's obvious by being the title track...) it is inspired by two of my very favorite songs, by two of my favorite musical groups: Earth Wind & Fire's "After The Love Is Gone" and Pat Metheney Group's "Something To Remind You". In fact I sent the song to Pat and got a very nice response from him. But it is also a song that happened very spontaneously - it just sort of came to me as I was practicing the guitar and sort of 'wrote itself'. Then I have the great fortune of having the great Brian Culbertson and my dear friend Nathan East on the track as well as the first time I used another guitarist to play rhythm on one of my songs -- the incredible Michael Thompson, one of the most in demand studio musicians ever. A cool side note is that both Michael and I studied with Pat up in Boston back in the '70's.... I hope people enjoy the song as I put every ounce of my heart and soul into it.

OL
:
Putting your heart and soul into "Unspoken" is indeed an understatement, Chuck. We here at OL, really love it! And your mentioned of these great Artists, including the legendary  Earth, Wind & Fire, of which we have a tribute this month to the great Marice White, speaks for itself. As we will be highlighting your extraordinary catalog of your recordings throughout your Career, Chuck. You are well established and celebrated as one of the top Smooth Jazz Artists in the Music Business. How important is it to You to incorporate other genres of music into your repertoire, which You do so well?

Chuck Loeb
:
That is very important to me. I consider being eclectic in my influences an important part of who I am as a musician; growing up on Rock, Folk Blues and R&B and then immersing myself in Jazz... Brazilian and classical and Latin music too.... that is what makes our genre so cool.

OL
:
Chuck
, You pretty much have an All-Star Cast on this "Unspoken" CD... From a multitude of famed Musician Friends... Nathan East, to Will Lee, Brian Culbertson, Everette Harp, Jeff Lorber, Eric Marienthal, Andy Snitzer, Till Brönner, Mitchel Forman, Michael Thompson, Ron 'Buttercup' Jenkins, Tom Kennedy, Pat Bianchi, Brian Dunne, Gary Novak, Joel Rosenblatt, David Mann, Mike Davis, Tony Kadleck, mixed by Phil Magnotti. And yes, your very Multi-talented Family... Carmen Cuesta, Lizzy Cuesta & Christina Loeb. What was is like to work with all of these wonderful Guest Artists?

Chuck Loeb
:
I can sum it up in two words: the best. Also it is amazing that I can count on this extraordinary group of talents as some of my best friends too. I am truly blessed.

OL
:
Yes Chuck, making music together withgreat Musicians and Friends like these, is always 'the best'."Cotton Club", an upbeat and cool swing track, is your first single out on your :Unspoken" CD. We love it! It must have been hard to pick the first track, given each track on this CD has special moments and a signature magic to it. Congratulations... how does it feel, now climbing the Top 10 Billboard Smooth Jazz Charts?

Chuck Loeb
:
I never get tired of that!!! Being among the other great artists on that chart....on that song I was inspired by Weather Report on that song and hopefully grabbed a tiny bit of their magic.

OL
:
Of course, Oceanlight is always into the Latin styled music. Your "Si Se Puede" is performed with an relax mid-tempo flow and feel... & a nice hook. How important is having a hook in a song, when it comes to your own recordings?

Chuck Loeb
:
In the studio, Nathan East and I joke around saying "Don't be a shnook, get to the hook!"Hahahahahahaha. It is quite important to me.

OL
:
Who were some of your musical influences, growing up?

Chuck Loeb
:
The Beatles
, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, all the Motown groups, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis.... it's really too long a list....

OL
:
You started playing professionally as early as the 70's?

Chuck Loeb
:
indeed. I stared out when I was 13 and I'm still gigging!

OL
:
Chuck
, in your early years, you've studied with Guitarist Pro's; Dennis Sandole, and Jim Hall. What was the one thing that you took away from each of these Legendary Artists?

Chuck Loeb
:
Dennis
gave me the idea of knowing the guitar backwards and forwards, Jim showed me the importance of economy of notes and making them count.

OL
:
Another one of your new tracks, "Way Up High," is a masterful collaboration with you Wife, Carmen Questa. A really suave bossa nova- styled vocal track, sung with her comfort zone style and played with your smooth guitar riffs... Tell us about this collaboration?

Chuck Loeb
:
It's the most natural thing in the world to collaborate with the love of my life, and my best friend. She brings out the best in me. The song was written by our daughter Lizzy and I think it's a gem.

OL
:
No doubt, we love this gem, too. What a talented Family you have. All the best. As a New York Native, from Nyack, you got to work with a lot of great Musicians in the Big Apple Music Scene... namely, American Jazz Saxophonist Legend Stan Getz's Band. What was it like, working with this great Music Icon, and what was your favorite song set to perform with him?

Chuck Loeb
:
I loved playing Lushlife by Billy Strayhorn with Stan. He played almost every night and it never sounded less than totally inspired, ever. I learned an immense amount in those years with Stan.

OL
:
What was the first Night Club in NYC that you played in?

Chuck Loeb
:
Oh geez.... can't really remember that....

OL
:
Okay, fair enough. Where was your first International tour and with what Group of Musicians?

Chuck Loeb
:
1976 with Gloria Gaynor right out of college....

OL
:
Chuck
, as a member of the Shanachie (Bass & Mandolin) Label Group, 'Jazz Funk Soul' Trio, with Music's best, (Jeff Lorber - keyboards, Everette Harp - Saxophone), and Nominees for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album "More Serious Business," Danny Weiss (Executive Producer)... you've attended the Grammy's recently. How did it feel to be on the Nominee ballot, and have the light or recognition shine on your Group, & on the famous red carpet, for this great CD?

Chuck Loeb
:
I went with my daughter Christina and had the time of our lives. So much fun. But next time I want to win one!

OL
:
For sure we're pulling for a 'win one' on your "unspoken" CD!! What's your favorite track on this nominated "More Serious Business" 2015 CD?

Chuck Loeb
:
I like "Serious Business"

OL
:
Thank you very much Chuck, for coming on as our Special Guest Artist. Is there any music commentary you'd like to share with the viewers, in concluding this OL Interview Holiday special interview?

Chuck Loeb
:
it's my pleasure! Thank you!

OL
:
Many thanks to Smooth Jazz Guitarist CHUCK LOEB... for sharing with the OL Readers a Holiday moment and giving OL some of his best Career highlights, and on his latest  "UNSPOKEN." Grammy Nominated CD; make sure that you put this on your Christmas and New Year list! Come back right here on OL for next month's Guest Artist in the coming 2017 New Year!

OL
:
Thank you all for visiting OL's Oceanliner Notes Seriesfor this Holiday Season. Happy New Year 2017!

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Playlist samples:
Celebrated Smooth Jazz Guitarist
CHUCK LOEB

"UNSPOKEN" CD HIGHLIGHTS
1. Unspoken
Si Se Puede
Cotton Club
Way Up High

More Classic Hits...
2, The Music Inside
3. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
4. Geraldine
5. In A Heartbeat
6. Blue Kiss
7. Llevame
8. Serious Business
9. Lucky Southern
10. Mr. Martino (Live At Java Jazz Festival 2009)


The Chick Corea Sessions
Suzanne Somers TV Show with Guest Patti Austin feat. Glenn Zottola on Trumpet
A JAZZ LIFE Glenn Zottola's Story CD
 FRANKIE VALLI & CHARLES CALELLO
CALELLO & STREISAND
SINATRA/CALELLO
Charlie with Sandy Linzer
Charles Calello & Engelbert Humperdinck
John di Martino
Charles Calello
Gabriel Oscar Rosati
Gabriel Oscar Rosati
Bashiri Johnson
John di Martino
Glenn Zottola
Bashiri Johnson
Brent Fischer
Charles Calello
Glenn Zottola
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Chuck Loeb
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OCEANLINERNOTES  GUEST ARTISTS' INTERVIEW ARCHIVES
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OCEANLINER NOTES ARTIST INTERVIEWS
Online Interview  Segments...
You are reading the Artists' own direct thoughts & travels about their illustrious Careers. We hope that our OL  Readers can enjoy and treasure their words of life and music,  just as we do here at OL...

OL Oceanliner Notes
Guest Artists' Interview Archives

AZIZA
TINKER BARFIELD
RANDY BRECKER
OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES
CHARLES CALELLO
FREDDY COLE
KENNY COLMAN
JOHN DI MARTINO
THE EBONY HILLBILLIES
BRENT FISCHER
DR. CLARE FISCHER
BASHIRI JOHNSON
JANN KLOSE
CHUCK LOEB
JON MICHAELS
CHIELI MINUCCI
PHIL PERRY
GABRIEL OSCAR ROSATI
GLENN ZOTTOLA



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