GREATER NYC AREA: Summer sessions were all over the map this year. Now – just a week into September – we take a look back at some of the later-summer recordings happening around town…
Just last week at East Side Sound in the Lower East Side, Irish rock band Preacher’s Son were in recording and mixing with engineer/producer Marc Urselli. The Preacher’s Son sessions at East Side Sound featured Dubliner Brian Hogan (from the band Kila) on bass, guitar and vocals, and NY-based session drummer and percussionist Kenny Wollesen (Tom Waits, Bill Frisell).
In East Williamsburg at Vacation Island Recording, Matt Boynton has been producing and engineering the new Black Dice record. Boynton’s also been recording with Zachary Cale, and working with Free Blood on their next album. He also tracked and mixed two songs for Tearist, and worked on an upcoming release with Golden Animals.
Recording engineer and drummer Christina Files was at Vacation Island tracking a new record for Talk Normal with Rob Laakso assisting. Laakso has also been plugging away with the studio’s new mastering facilities.
Says Hard…“It’s an old-timey country album and Jonathon had other mixers try it and did not feel they captured the authenticity he was looking for. I called in a friend who has a “portable” record lathe and bounced the individual tracks to vinyl and back into Pro Tools. Worked like a charm.”
Meanwhile in Midtown, Manhattan Transfer was recording vocals at Skyline Studios, with Janis Siegel producing and Rick Perez engineering… Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez and Italuba were in recording percussion, horns, piano and vocals for an upcoming release, and Billy Paul and Chimene Badi recorded a vocal duet, produced by Yves El-Baze, and engineered by Rick Perez and Lionel Elmaleh. Perez also engineered sessions with Wayne Krantz (guitar), John Pattitucci (bass) and Charlie Drayton (drums) recording as a trio. And recently re-formed rock band Fuel is recording new material at Skyline, with engineer Argel Anaya.
Skyline has also hosted a few film sessions, including Janeane Garofalo recording voiceovers for the film Mojobuddy, Al Pacino (as Phil Spector) filming scenes for the HBO Phil Spector biopic, directed by David Mamet, and engineered by Jonathan Mover, and Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard filming scenes for the film ‘What Maisie Knew’ – directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel.
Across the river at Rough Magic in Greenpoint, tracks were being laid down on Jean Grae’s “Cookies or Comas Mixtape” – hosted by DJ Drama – featuring production by Royce da 5′ 9″, Pharaoh Monch, DJ Drama, Styles P and Boogie Blind. Alby Cohen engineered. And Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet produced a remix for Malian desert-guitar band Tinariwen’s latest album featuring TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone. Listen to the track at Pitchfork.
Additionally at Rough Magic, Talib Kweli has been working on his upcoming solo record for Blacksmith / EMI with Alby Cohen engineering. The Brooklyn native rapper has been utilizing many of Rough Magic’s string and horn players for his sessions.
Back over in Midtown at Sear Sound, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski – co-hosts of Morning Joe on MSNBC – recorded tracks for the 9/11 tribute in N.Y. Mika produced, Joe, sang and Sear Sound’s Chris Allen was the engineer. They also began work on Joe Scarborough’s own new album.
In other Sear sessions, producer Brian Deck and engineer Tom Schick worked on tracks for Iron & Wine, with arranger Rob Berger, Universal / Paris artist Laika recorded with Jay Newland engineering and co-producing with Gil Goldstein, Jac Holzman produced tracks for an upcoming Bob Dylan tribute, recording the group Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Stewart Lerman returned for ongoing music recording for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
Downtown, Germano Studios has been typically pop-star-studded, with Lady Gaga recording her next single – which she’s co-producing with Mutt Lange – in Studio 1 with Dave Russell engineering, singer/rapper K’naan writing and recording in both Studios 1 and 2 with Steve Jordan and Chuck Harmony producing, Dave O’Donnell, Ben Chang, Ryan West and Yohei Goto engineering, and Alicia Keys writing and recording with Ryan Leslie producing and Ann Mincieli engineering.
Steve Jordan was also in recording with his band The Verbs, with O’Donnell engineering.
Germano also hosted dobro master and singer/songwriter Jerry Douglas recording with Russ Titleman producing, rock singer Zander Bleck recording vocals with Mutt Lange producing, and Conor Maynard writing and recording with producer/songwriter Sandy Vee. Kevin Porter engineered all three sessions. Michael Buble also recently recorded a duet with Thalia at Germano, with Humberto Gatica producing/engineering.
And singer/songwriter Javier Colon (winner of NBC’s The Voice) was at Germano writing and recording with Chuck Harmony and Claude Kelly producing for an upcoming Universal Republic release.
Gaga was also recording up at Avatar Studios – in a duet with Tony Bennett for his upcoming Duets II album. The session was produced in Avatar’s Studio A by Phil Ramone, engineered by Dae Bennett, and assisted by Fernando Lodeiro and Tim Marchiafava. Tony Bennett also sang and recorded a duet with Intergalactic Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin in Studio C for the same project.
Also in Avatar Studio A, Jean Morrison recorded for her upcoming album with help from Nile Rodgers and Vernon Reid. Diego Paul produced the session and Hillary Johnson engineered, assisted by Charlie Kramsky.
And Detroit-borne jazz great Kenny Garrett recorded some transcendent new songs (SonicScoop received a special preview – story to come) in Studio C with producer Donald Brown and engineer Todd Whitelock.
The Gaddabouts returned to Avatar to record with producers Steve Gadd and Edie Brickell, engineered by Andy Smith. And Studios A and G were rocking with the bluesy jams of The Zak Smith Band, recorded by producer Zak Smith, engineer Milan Sudzuk assisted by Aki Nishimura.
Evanescence also recorded at Avatar recently, with Nick Raskulinecz producing, and Scarlett Johansson recorded vocals for a Dean Martin project, with producer/engineer Eric Rosse.
Over at The Spot Mastering in Brooklyn Heights, Greg Vaughn has recently mastered Princess Superstar’s new album, The New Evolution, and Kiko Navarro “A Long Hot Summer” for King Street Sounds. Vaughn also just cut the vinyl masters for an album he mastered in February for Brooklyn-based psych-rock outfit, Artanker Convoy.
And we know there’s so much more going on out there! If you’d like to be featured in “Session Buzz,” please submit your studio news to firstname.lastname@example.org.