I came into this recording with a list of tunes and ideas for arrangements. From there, I brought in Bud Spangler, known to the world as a kick ass jazz producer but better known to me as my kick ass drummer and dear friend. Bud and I went to work refining my list of songs, talking through arrangements, and thinking about the right collaborators to join us. In the end, I asked Steve Homan and Scott Collard to work with us. Those working sessions, steeped in a little red wine and a lot of mutual affection and respect, were deeply satisfying (not to mention a blast).
Some of the tracks you’ll hear, like All Blues and Bye Bye Blackbird, were so simply arranged that we just talked them through in the studio and then stretched out for some fun while recording. Others were a little trickier and took some time to find our way into. Ooh Child, arguably the most oddball tune on the recording, was actually first on my list to record, but I knew we’d need to find the right approach. Steve put together a beautiful and delicate arrangement; I’ll never forget Steve, Tom and I working on this the night before recording, still trying to get it right. In the end, I think we found our way into the song– this may be my very favorite track on the record.
Having not recorded in some time, I was a little surprised by the wizardry now available to polish and spit-shine things to a high sheen. I was intrigued, to be sure, but in the end we resisted the temptation to get things “perfect” or otherwise change things we did not get exactly right during our live recoding, knowing that in the process we would also sacrifice the magic that the band and I, along with Bud, had all felt in those two days together in the studio. Bud calls this an “honest” record. That it is.
Thank you, first and foremost, to Bud Spangler, (Budalicious), my cherished friend and extraordinary collaborator. What a joy and privilege it’s been to work with you on this! No singer could ask for a more thoughtful or sensitive guide. Your gifted ears, generous spirit and relentless intelligence helped bring this home, I love you like no other.
To my musical family: First and foremost to Bootza Necak- thank you, my beloved partner, for everything. Tom, you are my musical brother – thank you for sharing your monster talent and heart with me for so many years. Steve, thank you for the gorgeous arrangements and the incredibly soulful playing. Scotty, thank you for the stunning musicality, pitch-perfect insights and just-in-time weather reports. Joe, your brilliance just continues to dazzle – and to think our first gig together was in high school! Rick, your playing was beautiful and intelligent as ever. Darius, you were swinging and sensitive and soulful. John, thank you for joining this adventure – you just knocked me out (and your solo on “Ooh Child” still slays me). Thank you all so much for being part of this, I love you guys.
To the rest of my family: Thank you to Karin for the constant inspiration and light; to Bob and Dan for the well-timed reminder; to Mom and Dad for the indefatigable love and support; to Steve for Vegas, basketball hoops and martinis; and to Amy, Regina, Julie, Kimmie and Rachel for a lifetime of laughs and sisterhood.
My deepest gratitude goes to my wonderful husband Ben for his unwavering love and support, and to my sweet “bonus boy” William – thank you both for coming into our lives, for loving us and for allowing us to love you. You have brought such unexpected joy.
And finally, to my beloved son Sam – thank you, most of all, for giving me something to really sing about. This is for you.
Producer, Bud Spangler and Kristen Miranda