I figured it was time to post a new blog entry since tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am thankful to have a platform to share my thoughts. A lot of great things have happened in my life since my last post, but recording my sophomore album easily tops the list. I still look back on the entire experience on a daily basis and shake my head in disbelief that it actually happened. As some of you may know, I literally spent years talking about this project with numerous people ranging from my momager to close friends to the extent where I was tired of discussing it. I just wanted it done! Therefore, you can imagine the expression on my face when I walked into the studio on the first day. To say I was a ball of emotion in anticipation of what would transpire over the next few days is an understatement.
Thankfully the recording sessions resulted in some heartfelt, honest music that matched my vision for “colors of Life” despite some time issues. Midway through the first day I looked around the studio and felt goose bumps arise on my arms from pure exhilaration of seeing world-class musicians share their talents to bring my music to life. Let me keep it real; I had extraordinary musicians who have played with the “Who’s Who” in the jazz world in addition to being successful band leaders: Onaje Allan Gumbs (piano/producer/arranger), Shan Kenner (guitar/arranger), Gregory M. Jones (bass), Vince Ector (drums), Roger Byam (soprano/tenor sax), and Gary Fritz (percussion). This fact alone had me cheesing from ear-to-ear and thanking God for His favor. Having this caliber of musicians on the recording sessions forced me, in the best way, to be on my “A” game. That is always the beauty of recording/playing with musicians on these guys’ level because one HAS to produce and will learn in the process. This has been the cornerstone of the jazz mentoring paradigm for years.
Back to the recording, as the sessions progressed I fell in love with the music over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, there were hiccups along the way, but everyone pitched in to insure the music soared. Even when I had a bad vocal take, I still pinched myself to confirm that I was in the studio singing this amazing material. It’s one thing when you write a song or pick a great tune to cover, but it’s an entirely different entity to actually record it in the studio with a full band committed to the purpose. Listening back to the rough mixes I found myself in utter bliss. I understood once again why musicians compare recording/playing their music to the birth of a child. It just leaves you filled with an overwhelming sense of joy, pride and gratitude for the gift of music.
Now I’m ready to jump into the post-production (mixing/mastering) so I can release this music to the world. I am overly excited for listeners to learn more about me through my music and hear my growth since the release of my debut album in 2007. I continue to say this album will serve as my rebirth as an artist so I hope listeners take the time to genuinely digest my music and allow it to become a part of their lives.