I Remember Clifford

January 22, 2012 9:44 PM

Why is that so many of the people that mean the most to me died before I was even born?

This is a cover of Benny Golson's elegy for Clifford Brown, whose tragic death at the age of 25 robbed jazz of what might have been our greatest trumpeter.

I've been brooding over it for months while I've been 'woodshedding,' working on learning ragtime and trying to build my technical skills to a point where they're at least serviceable. I think I'm getting to a level of proficiency that I'm happier with, so I'll probably be recording more again soon. Hopefully I can incorporate my abilities in a way I haven't been able to before.

Anyway, Clifford Brown is such an incredible influence on me, and the man means so very much. This is for him, and for those who have given this fantastic world of music to me. They really never die; they live forever. It's our job to make sure that happens.

My apologies if you have to turn this up; one thing I've realized is that I have very little patience for production of my own stuff. Maybe someday I'll have the good fortune to be able to pay somebody else to do that; or maybe I'll manage to force myself get better at it.

posted by koeselitz (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I should also apologize for my frequent off-key moments in this, but I can honestly say I'm pretty happy with this vocal. This was my second take; and I'm still struggling a lot with how to even do takes. For a long time I'd get really nervous and then end up doing two dozen takes in a row, none of which was any good, which led to a general recording block. I've been trying something new, of which this was the product: I just kick off the recording and let it run, playing naturally a few different things and just feeling the music for a while. This was minutes 23-29 of a 35-minute session. Not sure how other people do this; I'm still trying to figure out what works.
posted by koeselitz at 10:03 PM on January 22, 2012

This is a really nice song. The vocals are kind of hard to hear, you might want to turn them up in the mix. I like your voice.

As far as takes go, especially vocal takes: for me it's like 2% technique and 98% psychology. In other words, I usually already know exactly what and how to sing the piece, but the trick is not psyching myself out while the recording is running. Sometimes it just takes multiple takes to get there. I also sometimes do the "let it run" thing, which helps me forget that I'm recording and then sometimes I really do get some good stuff.

Keep it up, this is good stuff!
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:45 AM on January 23, 2012

I think you should be happy with the vox, in my opinion this has a great feel and atmosphere.

it's okay to stray from perfection in songs. hard quantizing or autotune have their uses, but they're also stylistic choices rather than the mark of quality.
posted by dubold at 12:41 PM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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