Multitrack Bigband Recording part 1

One of March’s projects is to record a chart by my friend Joris Bolhaar.  As well as a keen Jazz Trombonist, his Bigband composing and arranging are seriously advanced! We decided it would be fun to multitrack one of his Charts (currently titled Shuffle in F).  So far the rhythm section parts have been put down by the guys from my Quartet, Ric Yarborough on Drums, Dave Ferris on Piano and Tom Baxter on Bass.  I’ve then recorded all 5 trumpet parts, and next week we’ll be recording the trombone and saxophone parts.

A strange irony has occured though during the recording.  This is because the chart is very much a ‘Groove Merchant’ Thad Jones/Mel Lewis vibe, and by recording it in this method, it already sounds too clean! It sounds too much like a Big Phat Band Sound, and isn’t dirty enough! The trumpet parts I’ve recorded are all too in tune with one another, and the falls fall at precisely the same time.  To keep this a multitrack project, what I may do is re-record some of the trumpet parts on another horn/mouthpiece combination, and maybe with the tuning slide in a slightly different place.  Joris says he’ll record different parts on different trombones too.

So far then so good.  Surely it’s a good sign when all the trumpets are in tune with one another? Maybe so, but in this case this recording needs some roughening up. Maybe when we publish the final version I’ll upload various stages of the recording, to show how we try to achieve a dirty live sound!! All good fun!! 🙂

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