Angela Vicente is an incredibly talented musician, fellow USC alum, and a good friend. After many years, Angela has released an album of original songs called, “Letters I Never Sent”. It is a beautiful album and I had the pleasure of co-producing it with her and playing drums on some tracks as well.
We had a great album release show at the Blue Whale in downtown LA on Jan 30th – I hope to upload some clips from that show shortly.
I’ve included a couple songs I played on below. You can purchase the album here.
Big band is one of my favorite genres to play and it’s been a pleasure to play so much good music with the Elliot Deutsch Big Band over the years.
Elliot wanted to showcase the band, so we’ve been recording these casual Wednesday evening get-togethers. Lots of great playing here, all recorded live and unedited.
Elliot’s band backed up singer Laura Dickinson for this cover of Hey Mama, by David Guetta.
A couple years ago I played drums for the score and soundtrack of “A Merry Friggin’ Christmas”, a movie starring Robin Williams and Joel McHale. There are a couple of fun tracks on it that I thought I’d share.
The first is a unique take on “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, sung by world-renowned singer and performer Rufus Wainwright. The next is an original by my good friend John Isaac Watters called “Gentle, Mary Laid Her Child”. The last is another original, “Best Time of Year”, written and sung by another good friend of mine, Alex Rhodes (now Fleeman).
For a more non-traditional turn in the christmas music genre, I thought I’d share this surf rock / film noir / psychedelic take on some christmas classics. Produced by Brad Benedict and Blue Hawaiians front-man Mark Fontana, we recorded this at Capitol Records over the summer, and I think this L.A. Times review captures the spirit pretty well…“This project from producer-arrangers Brad Benedict and Mark Fontana could be accused of horning in on Brian Setzer’s retro rockabilly swing slant on the holidays if the results weren’t so much sheer fun. Lots of twangy, reverb-drenched guitars and sly quotes of rock and pop hits enliven the instrumental re-fashioning of “Greensleeves,” Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “O Holy Night” and other holiday classics.
I’ve included a couple samples below.
Over many years I have been making music in a group headed up by Deb Vogt called Delevo & The Early Bird Circus. After many iterations, changes of personnel, recordings and re-recordings, this album has been released. Deb put A. LOT. of love and investment into this and I think it is a beautiful recording and “record” of the fight and joy in music making.
A movie was recently released entitled “Whiplash”- a grueling story of a young drummer seeking his destiny as a jazz legend and the drama that unravels under the direction of a very extreme band director. If you haven’t seen it, it’s stressfull- maybe because I’m a drummer- but it’s also a great movie with great music.
Shortly after the “Whiplash” opened, Tim Simonec, the composer for the film, organized a concert commemorating some of the big band genre’s most celebrated composers. I had the honor of playing the event with the Elliot Deutsch Big Band, and we played charts written-by AND in-the-attendance-of Pat Williams (Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble), Sammy Nestico (Count Basie), Ralph Carmichael (Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby), and Van Alexander (Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald).
To top it off, Tim Simonec had JK Simmons, the tyrannical band leader from “Whiplash”, to “conduct” the band for a couple tunes. He is not a trained musician, which was much to my relief (after seeing the movie I was pretty unexcited about being the drummer on a tune that he was conducting), but he turned out to be very pleasant and did a good job with the band. Here’s a sneaky candid by Elliot Deutsch of JK rehearsing with the band.
Here are a couple tracks- “Pure Imagination”, with an amazing piano solo by Max Haymer, and “Polkadots and Moonbeams”, featuring Ron Stout on trumpet.
Back in March of this year, I had the pleasure of playing for a live recording/filming with Australian pop artist Delta Goodrem. I was unfamiliar with her prior to filming, but turns out she has recorded one of Australia’s all-time best-selling albums, she is a judge for the television show “The Voice” in Australia, is an incredible singer, and on top of that, a very enjoyable person to work with (which is always nice).
Also in the band were Tony Bruno on guitar (he was also the musical director) and Vince Pizzinga on cello. As you’ll hear, they both treated these songs beautifully, and made the music very easy to play.
I love playing in more intimate settings, and this recording was definitely one of my 2012 highlights.
I’ve attached one of the videos below, and you can find the rest here.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to be a part of an album of original music written by members of the Pacific Crossroads Church worship team. I have been involved with PCC for 3 years now and was invited to the crew by my homie/current roommate William Gramling. Will produced this album and did an incredible job. I’ve included a couple of the tracks I played on below. The full album is available for purchase from the PCC website here. [Update: you can also purchase a digital copy from itunes here.]
My friends Nick DePinna and Hitomi Oba have graciously asked me to be a part of the small band they are using to get their first jazz opera off the ground. It is called
“Strange Fellowe”… I know so little about it, but we’ve had a couple rehearsals and I am seriously excited to see this thing come together. What I do know: 1) The music is really beautiful. 2) The first act will be showing at Fais Do-Do on October 26th and 27th. 3) More information can be found @ http://nexusmusic.wordpress.com.
We had a great cd release show at Hotel Cafe and follow up show at KCRW’s “School Night” at Bardot this week. Anna Su, Rachel Vaughan, Nate Vaughan, and Kris Karlsson are a great team and make for fun times and good music :) Check it out.