Monday, April 8, 2013

Gavin Hope – the Studio –‘Moon River’ and the Rest!

At one today, studio time was set to record tracks nine, ten and eleven. Gavin made it just past. I spent those early moments feeling the weight of the Steinway’s keys – finding my sweet spot. I knew I was to begin Alfie – the first verse. I wanted to play nothing but stripped down melody with a few chords’ clustered underneath then let Gavin lead. This is how we work.

I met Gavin a few months back at a fundraiser for Sing! Festival. I was asked to accompany. Gavin and I previously crossed paths at Newstalk 1010 when the Nylons paid a visit but I only recall them as a group.
Sing? Wow! We did ‘God Bless the Child,’ a song I could lose and never feel the impulse to remember. I played this night after night with Liberty Silver who tore a strip off and Molly Johnson – oh well – no Liberty and then Gavin. I had no idea talent existed like this in my neighborhood. Gavin sang the song with empathy and serious intent. The notes reverberated and danced about Lula Lounge as if choreographed by angels.

Gavin is no ordinary canary. Not one of those male singers who forgot to get the details. He’s a perfectionist with a voice christened by the best - Don Hathaway, James Ingram, Luther Vandross and Pebro Bryson. .
Not long after, I called Gavin and invited him into the studio on my dime. We cut ‘Georgia Rose’ a song all about discrimination and ‘For All We Know’, walked away and left engineer Mike Haas do his usual magic and waited for the download. What a wait! There was a vibe an uncommon vibe – a mutual chemistry rarely shared. I could feel and hear him – the soul and conscience – the artistry.

I lent Gavin my trusted copy of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans and suggested we partner – keep it simple and just flat out go for it!
I gathered the demoed tracks and sent to trusted friends and raised dollars to proceed. Here we are eleven tracks in and I’m truly energized.

‘Moon River, Tenderly, My Foolish Heart, I Love You More than You’ll Ever Know, Sunday Kind of Love, Alfie, Georgia Rose, And So it Goes, But Beautiful, When Love is Gone, ‘and soon a duet – ‘Salt’ written by Lizz Wright and sung as a duet with the extremely gifted Selena Evangeline.

It is so rare in life we cross paths with great talent then are able to fulfill dreams and expectations. A billion songs wait around for a new voice or face revisit. Most players take them for granted and see them as filler for some shit gig but in the hands of a master they awaken and respond. The notes play themselves – the harmonies ripen.

My job is to create atmosphere – bring the tone and mood early and orchestrate. I love my job – it’s the best on the planet. So to Gavin I say – your day will come - In the mean time – more to do – polish, touch ups, and artistry. That’s what we live for! Sweet, sweet music!

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