Tag Archives: recording drums and bass

Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip recording for the Gratitude album with Soren Reiff

Awesome drums by Gary Novak

Like I mentioned the other day – I have written about my workflow and how I arrange a song. Today, we’ll stay on the track of the real deal – recording drums. I’ll introduce you to world class drummer Gary Novak – the nicest hang with a killer pocket.

I feel extremely blessed because I’ve had the pleasure to play with some of the best drummers in the world: Steve Ferrone, Gregg Bissonette, Chad Wackerman, the late Ricky Lawson and more – yes I’m spoiled – and I’m so happy and proud to be able to add Gary Novak to that list!

Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip recording for the Gratitude album with Soren Reiff

Engineer Stig Kaufmanas, Soren Reiff, Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip in the studio

Groovy drums by Gary Novak on the Gratitude album

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Jimmy Haslip is digging deep on Gratitude

Earlier I’ve written about my workflow when developing an idea into a tune or how I work when I’m arranging a song by making demos. This is about recording bass and about the recording session with the awesome Jimmy Haslip for my Gratitude album.

I have had the pleasure to work with many outstanding bass players – Will Lee, John Peña and Mark King, all unique players. Here I’ll tell you about some of my work with Jimmy Haslip – a living legend.

Many years ago I saw Jimmy Haslip’s name for the first time on the album “Mirage a trois” by the band Yellow Jackets. Continue reading

My first “Studio Jams”

The other day I shared a link on my Facebook profile to a track I did for the american tv-show “Studio Jams”. I’ve played in two full episodes of Studio Jams. This is the story about the first international version of the show I did – recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Several years ago I was contacted by TV-producer Tom Emmi – he was planning a trip to Europe and Scandinavia. Tom had heard about me through keyboard player David Garfield, and Tom wanted to invite me to participate in the first international version of the program Studio Jams.

He described the formular. I saw some samples from earlier Studio Jams and I was totally blown away – it’s some really great shows Tom is doing. Basically it’s a documentary about how musicians work and comunicate when they meet and jam without anything planed in advance. The episodes are shot in a recording studio, so you get the original sound from the instruments thru samples from the rehearsals, but also the recorded and mixed version of the final take of the jammed tune.

Soren Reiff in Studiojams #34

Soren Reiff in Studiojams #34

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Adding real drums and bass

Today I’ll write a little about the next stage in the development of Saturday Brunch. Today you’ll hear what happened when Gary Novak and Jimmy Haslip added their golden touch to my song, by adding real drums and bass, instead of my scratch programming.

I introduced Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak earlier on this blog. If you haven’t read that post, I can easily sum it up: They are outstanding musicians who have played with almost every artist imaginable within the modern and groovy jazz world. I guess no matter what track you find them on, you won’t be disappointed with their playing.

I’ve also described my workflow around my demo’s and how I prepare my demo’s for the real sessions in an earlier post, so I won’t waste time with that here. Let’s move straight to the cut of this track.

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From idea to recorded demo

Ok, today I’m going to post the first samples from the making of my next album – samples showing how a tune develops from idea to recorded demo. After this, I’ll write more about how the demo develops and what I do before the track is ready for real musicians. This is the first post of a series about the development from the very first demo until the final song is there, and later on I’ll also write about other songs.

Saturday Brunch

The working title of this song is “Saturday Brunch”, guess why … Yes, it was on a Saturday and I had been eating brunch with my family – actually we were still eating, when one of the kids spilled milk on her clothes and the other one needed a dry diaper. My sweet wife said she would take care of it, and that I should enjoy one more cup of coffee – nice. While my wife and kids went upstairs, I sat and enjoyed the morning atmosphere. I picked up my guitar from a chair nearby and started jamming. Shortly after, I had a little groove going on. Two bluesy chords with a tail, some imaginary drums and bass, and I started humming an idea for a theme. I kind of liked this groovy little vamp, but couldn’t find my phone to record the idea like I normally do.

Normally I record my ideas for a son into my phone.
BTW: this is a sreen dump from my phone, so you’re not supposed to play anything by pressing the play button.

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My Gibson ES-346 in the studio

My studio workflow

The other day I wrote about how an idea develops into a song, and my approach to arranging the music. Today I’ll write about how I prepare a song for recording and my studio workflow around the recording sessions.

My Gibson ES-346 in the studio

My Gibson ES-346 in the studio

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Will Lee in the studio with the scores to Down at the cafe by Soren Reiff

Arranging the music

If I’ve been returning to an idea for a song and been able to see some potential, and still like the overall feel of the tune, I start to think more seriously about the arranging the music.

Arranging the music

At this point I normally have all the fundamental parts of the song; verse, bridge and chorus … So, it’s time to consider the overall flow of the track – how it builds up and develops.

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