September 23, 2017

Christmas in July, TV in August

I spent most of July mixing a Christmas big band album with Roy Nicolosi and MIke Treni. I'm really excited about the way this one turned out. I even got to play a little guitar on it.

In August, I jumped back into TV land and worked on a reboot of the kids' show Wonderama, the very funny President Show and a promising pilot called the Angie Project.

Additionally in August, I started doing editing for commercials/promos for the new Temptations musical, Ain't Too Proud. It's hard to label listening to the hits of the Temptations as work, but I managed.

In September, I started working on Page Six TV, a witty take on a gossip show with hosts John Fugelsang, Carlos Greer, Elizabeth Wagmeister and Bevy Smith. It's a really great cast, crew and staff working the show. You could call this a dream job.

On a Personal Note

What has really occupied me this summer was the arrival on August 16 of Wescott Anthony Smith, the first child for Erica and me, and my youngest piano student.

Entry data: 5:36 p.m. Winthrop Hospital, Mineola, N.Y. at 8 pounds, 13 ounces, 20.5 inches

Stay tuned for Wescott projects.

Chris Nicolosi covers "Vanishing," recorded live in Williamsburg studio

On January 5, Chris Nicolosi recorded this performance of Mariah Carey's "Vanishing" in my studio in Williamsburg. "Vanishing" is one of eleven cuts on Chris' CD Down with Flippy Floppies, which I recently co-produced with Roy Nicolosi and Chris.

Fall 2016:

Autumn leaves me no free time

I started off the fall putting the finishing touches on two of Graham Norwood's three upcoming EPs. Click on for all updates on the release of these fine showcases of a one of a kind performer.

After that, I recorded an album for North New Jersey luminary, Bob Ferrel. Roy Nicolosi produced the album and it was a true pleasure with which to be involved.

Then, I recorded another round of Italian songs with Larry Genco. Brad Ross produced and Ned Ginsburg did the arrangements. I'm only 12.5% Italian, but I love these tunes 100%.

Finally, I worked on a new set of Match Game episodes, with host, Alec Baldwin. This is, in my humble opinion, some hilarious TV.

How I spent my summer

5/31 to 6/12 - Just about every moment of this time frame was dedicated to making the 2016 Tony Awards the best it could be, from a musical standpoint. And a musical standpoint is a big part of the show. Working on this show since 2005, I can say this was by far the most challenging year I've worked. Last minute edits hours before national broadcast, a highly complicated opening number, involving multiple studios in the preproduction, broadcasting a band from Rachel Ray's kitchen.... You name it, it was thrown at us. And I can honestly say the hard work and stress made it all the more rewarding to watch.

6/13 to 6/30 - From award show to game show, I took my act to ABC TV 24 to do audio production for season 1 of "Match Game," with host Alec Baldwin. Many of you have seen it by now, so you know how crazy it is. It's twice as crazy on the set. Six celebrities + Alec Baldwin hilarity + a gigantic audience = TV mayhem. I enjoyed every minute of it and hope to enjoy every minute I work on season 2, filming in early November.

7/1 to 7/6 - R and R. 

7/7 to 8/5 - Moving forward with the TV work, I worked on a summer run of the new Page Six TV. I'm not really the intended demographic for this show, but I truly enjoyed working on it and, actually, watching it. Both host John Fugelsang and panelist Mario Cantone are right up my alley comedically and philosophically. I'm crossing my fingers for a second season.

8/8 to 8/11 - Got back in to the recording studio groove with Larry Genco, recording traditional Italian songs with Brad Ross producing and Ned Ginsburg arranging/orchestrating. Coincidentally, I've been binge-watching the Sopranos, so I've been taking my work home with me. Great project! 

8/6 to 10/1- Chipping away at three EPs for Graham Norwood.  I was lucky enough to work on this, but additionally lucky to get to play bass on one and guitar/piano on another. Graham's Facebook Page will give you information on how to obtain these truly epic recordings.

8/23 - Recorded the great Peter Yarrow and his new song, "Lift Us Up," part of Operation Respect. Peter is a great guy and has amazing ears. What a joy to work with.

9/13 to 9/15- "Live from Everywhere" was a direct to Facebook pilot I worked on for Jimmy Fallon writer Arthur Meyer. This show is basically Arthur skyping with multiple corespondents and asking them to do ridiculous things. I'm really not doing it any justice by trying to describe it. I hope it gets picked up and I hope you can watch and enjoy it.

Performances for the fall

♦  Friday, November 18th: Chris Nicolosi's album release party at 54 Below, 254 W54th Street, New York, NY. Chris and I worked our asses off on his soon to be released album, "Down with the Flippy Floppies," and we hope you'll come join us in the celebration of it's release with our 12 piece band. It's gonna be pretty epic, I must say. 9 p.m. show.


Third studio's the charm

There's a rule in the New York economy: Real estate values trump recording businesses. Such was the case six years ago when Clinton Recording Studios closed giving way to a condo project on Tenth Avenue and then in 2015 when another condo development moved down Walton Street in Brooklyn eliminating the studio I was using. But now I have a new "home," renting space at Good Child Studios in Williamsburg.

The control room is filled with my favorite gear, fun guitar pedals and a wall (near right) that acts as acoustic treatment and a reminder of the way we all used to record and listen to music. I think we may even have cassettes.