Looking back at my Seattle recording experience

Friday, May 7th, 3:43 pm

Looking back at my Seattle recording experience:

I don’t even know where to begin. But I suppose I should work this chronologically. Finished my gig at The Dautaj on Saturday night. Turned out to be an okay gig. Had some appreciate listeners, and I have been asked to come back. If I can find a night other than Saturday and Thursday, I think it will be doable. We shall see. Came home and didn’t have a whole lot of time to finish packing. I did manage to get around 3 hour of sleep.

Got picked up at 4:45 am. I love getting a car to go to the airport as opposed to driving and going to long term parking. It really isn’t a whole lot more money, and, after all, now that I’m a rock star hehe. Easy trip to the airport at that time of morning. Never took Alaska airlines before and was not so sure about them. As it turned out, the plane was brand new, we actually left the gate early and took off early, and we got to Seattle 45 minutes early, which is unheard of going west. I was very happy. My good friend Joe Bongiorno picked me up at the airport and we went back to his place. Cooled out and hung out with him and Amy. I took them out for some Mexican food and we had a really nice time. Very low key. Amy is great. I really like her. I am really happy for Joe and Amy. I think they are great together.

Monday morning I met Eric at our usual Starbucks meeting place. Then we got in one car and went down to the studio. My mission was to finish all 11 piano tracks on Monday. It was a lot to ask for, but I really wanted to go for it. And here’s the most amazing news, I accomplished my mission. I got all 11 tracks completed. Masa called me an animal, or was it a monster. Can’t remember now. hehe. I must say that I’m pretty fierce when I have a mission to complete. And as it turned out, it’s a good thing that I got it all done in one day. That night, Amy and I went down to Piatti where Joe works and we had dinner. Fantastic. Had a very little bit of wine, but not enough to get in the way of my singing.

Tuesday morning, I had another mission: to complete all vocals on 11 songs. I was doing really well, and then I got hung up with a couple of tunes. Janet came in to put some organ on about 5 songs, and I took a rest. Then we went back to vocals, and I got all but two songs. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t finish, but at the same time, I was very happy with the 9 songs that I did complete. Tuesday was a very long day. Longer for Eric. Eric, by the way is amazing. That guy hung in there without really much of a break at all. And he was being the producer and really keeping on top of things. Masa too does incredible work. That guy is an engineering, recording machine. Very impressive. Very smart. Pretty tired when I got home. Voice pretty shot. I told Eric that I wasn’t worried about blowing my voice, but when I got home, I could feel the strain. And I knew that Wednesday, I would have to finish up the 2 tunes I didn’t get. Had to wait and see. Came home and heated up some really good leftovers. Joe’s always got something going on. Amy and Joe were watching a movie and so I took care of some internet biz.

Wednesday, I got up and my voice wasn’t feeling so strong. Was still feeling the strain of the day before. But I didn’t get too stressed. Figured, if worse came to worse, I would sing on Thursday instead. But, I went out to Eric’s studio and we got the tunes up, and I nailed the songs that I didn’t get. Felt great. Then we started to comp tunes to get the best performance of my vocals. It was a lot of work. Eric is amazing on Digital Performer. He’s quick an he really knows what he’s doing. He is also great to work with in terms of helping choose the best stuff. Sometimes I just can’t make a decision. Great to trust his ears. Really great working with him. Believe there is a reason why we have connected. Finished up at Eric’s and drove back to Joe’s to record some more solo piano music. I had about a three hour window. Managed to record 6 pieces and very happy with what I recorded. One piece in particular, a version of “Light Sea” came off so beautifully that I couldn’t even believe it. I did as an afterthought after Amy came home. One take. I am definitely putting it on the end of the CD. It’s an incredible take. Created about 3 tunes on the spot. Did a remake of “Sweet Sadness” and pulled off a version of “Orbits” that I think works quite well. So, I am sure that I have a CD now. No question about it. Don’t know when Eric will get to it and be able to give input, but I am hoping sooner rather than later. That guy is definitely stretched right now. Hope he can keep it all together. I have a feeling that he can. He better. hehe. I am getting vibes that this music is going to really do something amazing. For food I just grazed after my piano session.

Thursday, May 6th, my 58th birthday. Wait a minute, I’m 44, aren’t I? Hmm, can’t remember. In my mind, I’m still 17, but that’s another story for another day. Had a few errands before going to Eric’s. Went to the store for a Mother’s Day card and then got to a mailing place to make sure she got it in time. Then I picked up some food supplies at Whole Foods. Made it Eric’s by 10:30. We worked straight through for 8 hours. Work that required serious concentration. My brain was hurting by the end. We were comping vocal tracks. I know that when all is said and done, I am going to be extremely happy with my vocal tracks. I am already happy with them now. I am sure that once Masa gets through putting them through the super duper pitch corrector, Melodyne, it’s going to be absolutely amazing. So, when we finished, Eric and I went back to Joe’s for my birthday party. We were running a little late. When we got there, the table was beautifully set and Joe was still working the BBQ. We took some very cool pics together and then Yamada and Bongiorno said they had a birthday present for me and they wanted me to play hot and cold. So much fun. Didn’t have to go very far to realize that what they got was in the refrigerator. I took out a box and it was a gift box bottle of Dom Perignon 2000 with two Champagne flutes. Wow! I was talking about Dom and how much I liked it and they picked up on it. What buds. And Joe also gave me another present of these really cool CD display stands. Totally right now and perfect presents. We took a bunch of pics of me with the box and bottle and then we took a bunch of pics with the Champagne and toasting. So much fun. All the pictures of everyone, including even Eric (with the exception of one pic where he was striking a pose) were so full of smiles. Such happiness. What a great time was had by all. And then we sat down to dinner. Joe cooked up fresh Halibut, fresh wild Salmon, stuffed chicken, shrimp, and fresh sausage, all on the BBQ. Some asparagus too. And organic salad especially for me. Man, it was a feast and a half. Joe is totally the host with the most. I feel like his home is my home away from home. How cool is that? After a nice long dinner I played a few of my new cuts for Eric. It think he really appreciated my jazzy “Light Sea.” Then we called it a night. Oh yeah, one more thing, Amy put a piece of paper in the bottle of Dom. It’s like a time capsule. For the Joes and me. Don’t know if she did it for herself. In any case, she was asking about where she thought we would be at in a year. But she also said to me, and she had said it before, that she believed something amazing was going to happen to me this year. And there is something about Amy that is very deep and I didn’t take it likely. She is sensing something from me or from my music. And she was really emphatic about it. I told her, “from your mouth to God’s ears.” But it’s weird, I am feeling like something amazing is going to happen too.

Today, Friday, I slept in. Felt great. Went out for a run. Weather was beautiful for the first time. Really sunny now that I was leaving hehe. But I didn’t care. Had a great run this morning. Felt great. Came back in and got my act together packing wise. Took a shower. Then talked to a few people. Had about 10 or fifteen minutes to sit out in the sun and hang with Joe. Really nice way to leave. Then Joe drove me to the airport. Here I am at 35K feet 1/3 of the way back to New York. Sad to leave Seattle, but happy to go home. The plane is completely full, but there is no one in the middle seat in my row. I’m on the window. Means me and the guy on the aisle put our stuff in the middle and have total leg room. Ah, the luxury of it all. So far, a great flight. Thinking we might be over the Rockies right now.

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