Tag Archives: smooth jazz

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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Soren Reiff closeup - copyright@Henrik Delfer

Playing with Richard Smith

A couple of weeks ago I did some clinics and concerts together with guitar ace Richard Smith. We had some great days together and I definitely hope we’ll hook up again soon to do more of what we just did. Here’s a little something about those days.

Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith - copyright@Henrik Delfer

Soren Reiff & Ricahrd Smith – copyright@Henrik Delfer

Meeting Richard Smith

I’ve never met Richard before I picked him up at the airport a few hours before our first clinic the very same day. We had been skyping briefly once the week before, but beside that we have only been in contact by the internet. Kind of interesting starting point when you are supposed to do concerts and clinics without time to rehearse together.

How did we get to connect?

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Kim S. Hansen’s keys on Let’s Play

Now it’s time for keyboards … today I’ll let you have a sneak preview of Kim S. Hansen’s keys on Let’s Play from my Gratitude album. When I started to work on this song the working title was Saturday Brunch, so don’t get confused 🙂

I introduced Kim earlier on this blog – we have know each other for more than twenty years now. But since he moved to L.A: and I didn’t, we haven’t seen each other that much. Maybe we have had a beer or barbecue when I’ve been in L.A. but that’s unfortunately not that often.  And Kim and I haven’t been playing together for ages, even thou I definitely miss that.

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Soren Reiff and Michito Sanchez hanging in L.A.

Michito Sanchez and his percussion for Let’s Play

If you have read my former posts concerning the development of my tracks, you know I’m going to write about Michito Sanchez and his percussion for Let’s Play today. If you haven’t read my former posts concerning this tune, I’ll suggest you listen to the samples I placed in those post before you continue … I think it’ll make this post much more interesting … but on the other hand … go ahead, read and listen – you can always return to the others posts later. And don’t get confused about the title – when I started the working title for the track was Saturday Brunch … sorry about that 🙂

Soren Reiff together with Michito Sanchez

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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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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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My creative process, guitars, gear, concerts and sessions

Hello and welcome to my blog – and thank you for being here!

I have been looking forward for launching this blog for quite a while, so It’s great to have you here reading. Some of the many issues that I want to share with you are my creative process, guitars, gear, concerts and sessions.

My creative process

One of my intensions with this blog to invite you into my creative process. I’ll write about the development of a track, from the moment I get the first idea for a song till I continue developing it, arrange it and finally record the song. This also means that I’ll write about the recording sessions and the amazing musicians and creative people who are involved in this, and you will get the possibility to read about some of the things that happens after the recordings, like editing, mixing, mastering and release. I sure hope that I’ll get some comments and feedback from you or other readers that’ll inspire me in this part of my work. So if you come up with some good and constructive ideas or read something you want to comment, please go right ahead whenever you feel for it.

Concerts and sessions

In addition to this, I’ll write about concerts or sessions. This could either be about how I’ll prepare the music I’m going to play, pick the right equipment or let you hear something special about the gigs or the persons involved in the shows.

My guitars and gear

I can’t hide the fact that I’m really fond of guitars and been in love with them since I was about 4 years old, so of cause I’ll also write some stuff about guitars and all the fantastic gadgets you can use together with them like amps, pedals or things for the studio.

Hope to see you here again soon

I’m really looking forward to work on this blog – I hope I can write a new post once a week and reply comments more often. I can’t promise I’ll manage that, but I’ll do my very best, but I also have to use some time on other things like playing and recording, so there is something to write about, I hope you can live with that and I certainly hope that you will visit here again soon.

Have a wonderful day

Soren

Photo credits

Photo on header by Rishi & photo on sidebar by Henrik Delfer