Call it fate, luck or coincidence, anyhow, I had just decided to expand my working trio into a quartet by adding trumpet player extraordinaire Dirk Beets, when Peter Bjørnild asked me to have a go at reinterpreting the Swiss Movement albums by Les McCann and Eddie Harris as a part of Sound Liaison’s "My Favorite Album" series.
Somehow those albums had not been on my radar in recent years, but upon listening, I realized, that the music was exactly what we were looking for in order to set out a new direction for my expanded trio.
Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ compositions are catchy, groovy and full of energy but they also contain an element of freedom, which makes it easy to open up and let loose.
Dirk Beets is an adventures trumpet player who loves experimenting with effects to enhance the sound of his trumpet, so casting him in the role of saxophonist Eddie Harris was a perfect match.
And for myself, taking on the challenge of interpreting Les McCann’s groovy piano for guitar was fun as well as illuminating. I have worked with bassist Dave Breidenbach and drummer Klaas van Donkersgoed for years. They are an ideal rhythm section, always dedicated to keeping the groove, yet not afraid to follow any idea that might pop up on the spur of the moment.
Recording in Studio 2 is always a joy, I tell you, that Studio is haunted in a positive way. Django Reinhardt was there, Wes Montgomery, Lester Young, just to name a few of my personal heroes, but the list goes on and on.
Engineer Frans De Rond is a magician. To have a technician of his expertise paired with a hall like studio II, is a match made in heaven.
I am very very happy with the result an am forever grateful to Sound Liaison for this wonderful opportunity."
The 8 pieces of music were performed live in the studio in front of an audience of 80 people. The musicians were placed in front of a stereo pair of microphones with additional spot microphones on each instrument.
The musicians were playing without headphones, the reason being that we believe that when we get the musicians to play together in the same room, without headphones, it creates a number of musical and technical benefits: As they are not 'separated' by the headphones, the musicians, in order to hear each other are forced to create a natural and musical balance, which is then easily captured by the main stereo pair of microphones. And the need for compression to control levels is no longer necessary.
Since everybody is in the same room, the boxed sound which is so common in many modern recordings is absent as the sound of the room helps 'glue' the sound of the recording.
- Folker Tettero, guitarist