As a performer and songwriter, I live for the moments I get to see my work come to life as well as the process it took to get there. Any musician will tell you that albums are never easy to make. You will find that things don’t go as planned, and it is in those moments where true magic, creativity, and open-mindedness meld to breathe life into your studio project. I had an awesome opportunity to attend a clinic on this very subject featuring the Daryl Lowery jazz!Quartet.
This quartet—featuring Berklee faculty Mark Walker on drums, Consuelo Candelaria-Barry on piano, Keala Kaumeheiwa on bass, and Daryl Lowery on saxophone—performed some original music at Cafe 939 in preparation for an upcoming recording session slated for this month. Daryl, a Berklee ear training professor, has played with the likes of such jazz cats as Ran Blake, Boston’s funk legend Ellis Hall, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jackie Byard. How cool is it to be within feet of someone who has played with the greats and be able to ask pretty much whatever I wanted? This was a free concert, Q/A session, and a meet-and-greet rolled into one. I was in awe and knew that I couldn’t and wouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste.
I caught up with Daryl after the clinic and picked his brain about of how the band is preparing for the experience of “cutting” live. We also talked about limited rehearsal time/rehearsal strategies, and how pre-production strategies are key to putting together a killer live studio album.
Here is an edited version of the conversation.
On putting an album together
When recording an album, is there a form to putting it together? Should you have an equal mix of ballads and up-tempo songs?
I wrote so many ballads leading up to today including the one we just played. For me you can’t put a record together with five ballads so I suppose I need to make sure I mix it up.