Sing. Play. Produce. « Session Masters (Reprise)

Source: Sing. Play. Produce. « Session Masters

Tom Glagow of Popstop mentioned Larry Carlton’s latest album effort in his great radioshow “Jazz & More”. What caught my attention was him – Tom – elaborating on the fact that not only do you get to purchase Larry Carlton’s latest – and excellent! – CD, but there’s much more to it: Sufficiently “stacked” wallet/credit card provided, you also get to acquire the entire recording session and the master files from it as a package! Yes. You saw this right: You get to purchase the master files from Larry Carlton’s recording of this CD along with single instrument tracks, a reference mix by Csaba Petocz, videos being shot from 10 different angles, sheet music hard drives to hold all this information along with required connection cables to directly hook this up to your own music recording environment and load the entire recording sessions directly into ProTools, Logic 8 or DAW of your choice (so long as it can use and process at least files recorded at a sample rate of 48k; the raw files come at 96k sample rates, some conversion may apply in certain cases).

However: Let’s put the technical aspects aside for a minute, shall we? (because they are not the most important thing IMHO as I type this up; in a nutshell: If your home recording equipment is at least half way up to speed with today’s recording gear, you will get to work with the materials provided). Everyone I mentioned this to so far, they all get caught up in the specs and technical or monetary considerations right away. But in my view, there is something else standing out – and standing out with flying colors: For the first time in music history that I’m aware of – correct me, if I’m wrong on this – you get to purchase your favorite artist’s master files, as in: M.A.S.T.E.R.S.! And – they didn’t stop there, no Sir. You also get to do with those master files whatever you please and whereever the muse – as in: your creative sources – will take you! In other words and at normal breathing ratio: Larry Carlton et al. let you purchase the master files of recorded tracks along with an unlimited license (!) as to how you’re going to use these recordings! That’s right! So long as you do something with them – add your own instrumental/vocal parts, remix, dissect, reassemble, send through your own equipment, have it come out your way and in your particular style, you – drum roll – get to publish the results under your name! (I guess the fine print will say that you are required to always mention the original writers/musicians/producer, but heck – who wouldn’t in this case?!)

What I’m getting at is this: As far as I know and in my understanding this creates an all time first situation in the music industry. A paradigm shift, if you will. Never before have I heard of a situation, where a single legal entity, a private person to be exact, got to purchase an artist’s master files and use them as a framework for their own creative endeavours. Again – if you know more, I almost beg you to prove me wrong. Until then, I will say that this foray into uncharted waters by Carlton & Co. is a bold move that does exactly what their marketing claim says: It puts you in the composer’s/producer’s seat along with the super-accomplished cats performing on the album, each of whom have the most magnificient credentials you could dream of, not to mention decades of a professional career under their belt (at least that’s true for Larry Carlton, a.k.a. “Mr. 335”).

The catch? Well… the purchasing price is somewhere in the range of a used quality brand car and beyond. On the other hand: If you actually thought about collecting the money to book these musicians/producers for your own effort, the required budget would be somewhere at five times this figure, potentially more if you factor in transportation, accommodation, rental costs for particular (vintage) gear etc. etc.

I really think Mr. Carlton’s team have opened an entirely new chapter in the music industry with this. As I hate to listen to the reverberation of my own musings, I’d really love to have your take on this from the perspective of a musician | composer | producer or knowledgable, inclined and dedicated fan/music lover/music industry professional. Paradigm shift – yes or no?

How Science Is Becoming Music | Jon Skinner | Pulse | LinkedIn

Nature has some aesthetically pleasing inherent melodies, but it likely doesn’t compose them for the same reasons as we do, and certainly not to the same extent. So intent on new musics are we that we’ll create machines and algorithms that can go further than us. Yet we are still at the early stages of artificial intelligence, while computers might still be a little way off improvising jazz to a human standard, the thought of watching a band made of both human and artificial minds improvise new music is exc

Source: How Science Is Becoming Music | Jon Skinner | Pulse | LinkedIn

Check out some of the samples linked to in the article. As of late I often find myself divided between the “early adopter” in me, who tends to fully embrace new technology as it becomes available – at least where it pertains to the realm of creativity-, and the more evolution-resistant conservative. While there are some very liberating aspects with the idea of making music on a computer – and the latter possibly soon informed by and infused with artificial intelligence, even a portion of creativity built into these algorithms -, the social aspect seems to be on the decline. And the latter seems to be correlated with the inherent value and societal significance with all things “culture” and the arts – as we can already see in today’s world, where music has been relegated to the back seat of commodity rather than a culturally or even societally relevant phenomenon. I hope, I’m wrong with this take on things….

Nature has some aesthetically pleasing inherent melodies, but it likely doesn’t compose them for the same reasons as we do, and certainly not to the same extent. So intent on new musics are we that we’ll create machines and algorithms that can go further than us. Yet we are still at the early stages of artificial intelligence, while computers might still be a little way off improvising jazz to a human standard, the thought of watching a band made of both human and artificial minds improvise new music is exc

Source: How Science Is Becoming Music | Jon Skinner | Pulse | LinkedIn

Check out some of the samples linked to in the article. As of late I often find myself divided between the “early adopter” in me, who tends to fully embrace new technology as it becomes available – at least where it pertains to the realm of creativity-, and the more evolution-resistant conservative. While there are some very liberating aspects with the idea of making music on a computer – and the latter possibly soon informed by and infused with artificial intelligence, even a portion of creativity built into these algorithms -, the social aspect seems to be on the decline. And the latter seems to be correlated with the inherent value and societal significance with all things “culture” and the arts – as we can already see in today’s world, where music has been relegated to the back seat of commodity rather than a culturally or even societally relevant phenomenon. I hope, I’m wrong with this take on things….

Reverbnation Chart Ranking

… as of February 3rd 2017.

I haven’t exactly figured out how Reverbnation’s metrics work, but… all I know is this must be my all time highest ranking on their platform since I signed on a few years back.(their artist base volume is 3.8 mio. +. My ranking across all genres is said to be at 21,010)

Everything is Terrific: The Bandcamp 2016 Year in Review « Bandcamp Daily

And now some genuinely great news in an otherwise unremarkable week.

Source: Everything is Terrific: The Bandcamp 2016 Year in Review « Bandcamp Daily

Per above article The Bandcamp 2016 Year in Review I feel reaffirmed in my decision to have pulled my music from iTunes, Amazon and the likes, where service and commission fees would leave next to nothing for me with an already meager number of overall downloads (Smooth Jazzers don’t seem to appreciate downloading music all that much, but seem to prefer meeting the artists in person at concerts, Jazz festvials and music cruises, shake hands, take the selfie, purchase a CD and have it signed by the artist while enjoying the company of other SJ fans along with a weekend trip or a small vacation. I think I have learned that). While the rest of the industry seems to push for subscription services and get everyone lured into that business model, I think I concur with Bandcamp’s analysis as to what it will do to the music business in general and the artist in particular on a longterm basis. And although I’d still consider myself a person, who embraces technology to the point of being an “early adopter” in certain regards, I think that at least music lovers from my generation still prefer holding a physical item in their hands, be it a Vinyl or CD or some other media that they feed into a playback device of some sort (with the upper end of that spectrum being audiophiles, of course, who spend some thousands of dollars on high-end HiFi-equipment.)

I have a feeling that 2017 will be interesting with regard to music lovers’ listening modalities. And I’m looking forward to whatever Bandcamp have lined up for us, of course 🙂

Love for Life | Katharina Heinrich | Music What Else

katharina heinrich, love for life

“Love For Life”, recorded in 2002 at Bonafide Studios London and 11 A Studios Gloucester. Produced by Jeff Spencer. For more liner notes please scroll down

Says the BBC about “Love For Life“:

Listening to Katharina, it is easy to imagine yourself being whisked off to some trendy basement jazz club. Katharina sings softly through the smoke to an appreciative audience, while the musicians strum, pluck and tap their instruments with a smiling nod and occasional “yeah”.

Source: Love for Life | Katharina Heinrich | Music What Else

Do you remember the days when you snuck off to the den, “armed” with a pitcher of ice cold lemonade in one hand, a snack in the other and your cassette player tucked under your arm and when equipped in this way you’d spent an entire blissful afternoon daydreaming yourself away to the realms that your favorite music icons wrote and sang about? When the world would seem to stand still for a precious few hours and noone and nothing could get you distracted from this secluded island of peaceful happiness? I certainly do as clear as daylight and the closest I got to moments of this caliber unmatched for years of “grownup” existence that leave barely any “breather” of space between chores and responsibilities of one or the other kind was when closely listening to Katharina Heinrich’s Love For Life album today. It is an effort that teems with passion, dedication, precision execution of the artistic vision albeit birthed during one of the darkest trials anyone can go through: The loss of a loved one. Or maybe it is exactly because of this personal tragedy that the results are hauntingly awe-inspiring, while I’m intentionally avoiding the term perfect at any cost…. because nothing is more boring than complete perfection. And yet – you almost can’t call this major piece of music anything else but perfect.

How so? Well, for one there is Katharina’s knack for writing songs that marry musicianship to the accessibility of a catchy melody or writing “timeless classics” as her collaborators and recruited musicians coined it. There is her sensual voice that navigates the musical equivalent of deepest despair with the same command and ease as the more lighthearted tracks – or so they come across. A vocal maturity that is rare and a humility towards her gift that should be wrapped and sold in family sized packages in the days of talent casting spectacles and whatnot. As if that wasn’t enough, she displays impressive piano chops throughout the record only to be “relieved” from her post for the piano solo in “Motherless Child” and “Christine” that Andy Nowak contributed as an icing on an already lavish cake of music. Have we mentioned “multi instrumentalist” yet? No? Well, she is, as she plays classical guitar on the record as well.

Next, Kat’s lyrics. It rarely ever gets more profound than this and not only in light of the backdrop of personal tragedy. You might as well divorce the lyrics from the personal experience that spawned them and can’t help but find yourself going “Yeah, been there, done that”, nonetheless, if you’re a sufficiently sentient, sensitive being, that is.

And then – the abundance of musical talent and sensitivity from her collaborators, who brought their incredible skills to the project in ways any songwriter can only dream of. Every single lick, every single line and musical statement finds its way into the songs in such an organic way that borders on telepathy. And that is the exact magic that outstanding pieces of music are made of: A mutual understanding, a being on the same page with everything that turns a song into a gem. And no less is what we hear on the album: Magic!

I haven’t listened to music like this in a long time. Scrap that: I haven’t experienced music like this in quite some time. But when you come across substance, there are no filters, there is no defense. It’s like falling in love: It happens and the forces of the universe align and inadvertently draw you into the experience.

Too big a mouthful? Find out for yourself. (URLs lands on Kat’s online store, this link lands you on the artist’s website)


Katharina Heinrich: All songwriting/composing except: “Sometimes/Motherless child” (Gospel/Spiritual), vocals, backing vocals, piano, classical guitar, piano, rhodes, editing, E-piano solo on “Faoleon”

Jeff Spencer: Electric Bass, producer, editing, mixing, mastering, steel string guitar in “All I need”, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, bass solo on “I Know” and “Relate”

Matthew Jones: Drums, percussion

Steve Browning: Jazz guitar, classical guitar, solo on “Love for Life”, “Roundabout”, “I know”, “Olena”, “Swimming”, “Trying”, guitar solo at the end of “Relate”

Andrew McKenzie: Electric guitar on “Together”

Luke Hanrey: Drums on “Together”

Aristazabai Hawkes: Double Bass on “Together”

Pete Rosser: Accordion solo on “Launderettes and Stories”

Christopher Arthur: Spoken lyrics on “Together”

Andy Nowak: Rhodes

‘To Age Is a Sin’: In Blunt Speech, Madonna Confronts Bias in Various Forms

While accepting Billboard’s Woman of the Year award, the 58-year-old star said that all was not well and fair for female entertainers, or for women in general.

Source: ‘To Age Is a Sin’: In Blunt Speech, Madonna Confronts Bias in Various Forms

Mad respect for Madonna! At the time she put herself on the map with “Material Girl” I hadn’t grown to the level of understanding and awareness just yet that the song’s lyrics might be a sarcastic statement and criticism as to the status quo in the music industry in particular and society in general. Looking at her career spanning three decades and having remained on the billboards and touring for all these years and still doing it while not compromising her stance is an almost intimidating reference to willpower, stamina and character. Mad respect!

Friday essay: the loss of music

Whenever you listen to a streamed song, like it but don’t buy it, and instead stream it again – especially on YouTube – you are casting a vote for the future nonexistence of professional musicians.

Source: Friday essay: the loss of music

Found this in my Facebook stream today. I think this article is spot on in regards to the future of music that’s created at a professional level.

NumberOneMusic – aaaand… another social media platform for independent artists to promote themselves :)

So, here’s yet another social media (music related) hangout I just registered on: Source: wesbound – NumberOneMusic 

(don’t think, I was able to keep track… Facebook, Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Orfium, Bandcamp, my own homepage/blog, G+… and now NumberOneMusic… 😉 Oh, I forgot iLike, Last.FM, Myspace – not active on these – and … see… I forget…)