March 30, 2013
On Monday, I record my first vocal session on my 5th CD. In reality, life is never a straight line between two points. It’s more like a series of noncontiguous events, which makes connecting all the dots quite a fascinating mental exercise.
And that’s where I am at this moment; attempting to connect the dots; awash in so wonderful memories that inextricably transported me to this moment of reflection.
It so because of these memories and so much more, that I record this CD with a heart overflowing with gratitude. Some 20 year ago, I left a career and risked everything to pursue a dream.
I ventured out on an unknown path with only faith in my God-given talent. A faith that was fueled and sustained by so many people who encouraged me, inspired me, who bought tickets and traveled long distances to my shows, who bought my CD’s. This CD is dedicated to you!
My dream has always been to create a body of work that will stand the test of time. My dream is that one day my work will receive its day in the sun and somehow find its place among the pantheon of great modern singers. My dream is to always sing from my heart to yours.
Put the Music First!
October 31, 2007
I was sitting at my desk sifting through my mail when I came across the latest issue of "Orange Soul Sheet". On the front page was an article about my Oct 5 show at the Sugar Bar in Manhattan describing how we sold out the club without the support of commercial radio, television, or print media.
Reading the article (paraphrased in PRESS/REVIEW) made me sit back and reflect. On Oct 5 a bus load of fans came down to the Sugar Bar in Manhattan from New Haven, CT. The bus was sold out a month before the show. When the bus sold out people drove.
Three weeks before the show, every seat in the club was sold. I learned later that we probably could have filled two buses if we hadn't already exceeded the seating capacity of the club. (I was told an estimated 30 or so people were turned away at the door.)
The real deal: you can visit every record store in New Haven and you won't find any of my CD's. I've never performed there. No radio or media coverage either. Yet the majority of the people on the bus have been fans for years and owned at least one of my CD's.
It all started when my sister-in-law, Katurah, played my first CD, "Promise", in her car back in 1999. I remember the phone call: "I got my girls in the car and they're LOVING your CD! They want a copy!" And through word of mouth, she's been selling my CD's out of her house ever since.
Katurah was selling CD's in bunches and saying, "folks in New Haven are loving your music!" I didn't realize how much they loved it until a visit three years ago. I was standing in line at the New Haven Post Office and "52nd Street" was playing on an employee's boom box. Blew my mind ...
They told us that if I got anywhere near New Haven to let them know. Manhattan was the closest I could get and, bless their hearts, they chartered a bus! I also met a fan who flew up from Florida with his father-in-law! Another drove with his wife from Pittsburg!
I remember some advice one of my music mentors, Buddy Connor, gave me early on when I was deciding whether or not to quit my day job and devote my life to music. Buddy is no longer with us but he said, "Put the music first and the music will take care of you".
So I continue on this beautiful journey falling in love one song at a time. Always putting the music and my fans first.
As I watched the folks step off the bus from my dressing room on the third floor of the Sugar Bar I felt goosebumps. I am thankful to Regina, Katurah, Veronica, my New Haven family and fans around the world who are my inspiration.
October 25, 2007
Tomorrow I'm headng home. I've been on the road since 9/25. It's been a mixture of business and pleasure; of living out of a suitcases; hotel rooms and room service; and long stretches of highway from North Carolina to New Hampshire.
But being on the road has been full of so many new and enriching experiences. I'm tired. That's a fact. But tomorrow this time I'll be home in my bed and chillaxin'.
A special thanks to all the fans in Charlotte, Roanoke, NYC and Reno for the love. I hope to see you all again soon. I want to thank all the wonderful musicians I had the opportunity to work with as well. Many blessings to you all. I'm heading home tomorrow. Until the next time ... yours smoothly.
Shrimp & Grits ....
September 9, 2007
Knowing how much I love shrimp&grits, my man Jazzyj down in Charleston, SC. surprised me with an invitation to "Jazz Brunch" today (laugh). I was down in Charleston (Low Country) earlier this year for Jazzy's first anniversay celebration. We've kept in touch since then. So, I was driving down the highway when Jazzy hit me on my cell and -BAM!- I was in the mix. Jazzyj streams live over the internet Sundays 11am-3pm EST @ magic1017.com or if you are in Charleston S.C. 101.7FM "Magic Jazz". And while you're in the "low country" make sure you experience "shrimp & grits". It's like THAT! Thanks for the love! Keep the music flowin'.
August 5, 2007
Leaving in a couple of days for some serious downtime with the family. I haven't had a vacation in almost three years so it's time to vacate and recharge. I know I'm leaving some loose ends and unfinished bizness. Forgive me for this indiscretion. But I've reached the point of diminishing return 4 shizzle. So I'll be chillaxin and watching my ladies get brown. I'll be checking in when I can so keep the emails coming. Catch you in a couple of weeks. Yours smoothly ....
July 31, 2007
Just home from a spin through Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. I got lots of pics to post. I'm leaving for vacation next week. No guarantees I'll have them up before I leave. We'll see.... I want to send a special thanks to folks in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Huntsville, Montgomery, Columbia and Lithonia. See you in the Fall ...
LA BB KIng Club Universal
June 30, 2007
A special thanks to NBC/Universal, especially to Oliver Sims and Carla Carey, and to KLJH for a special evening. I have family and many many friends in Los Angeles so performing at the BB King Blues Club at Universal Studios was like a homecoming. I also want to thank my niece Kelley Williams and my nephew, Brandon Foster, for holding down the merchandise table and making all the "jagged edges smooth". Now you really know first hand what REALLY goes down behind the scenes --smile.
When KJLH invited me to perform as the featured artist I sent out an email announcement. The next day, Oliver called and wanted to organize a pre-concert reception welcoming me to Los Angeles. Oliver is like a brother to me. He, more than anyone else, knows what I've had to go through to get to this space. He felt it was a cause for some type of celebration. Then he intoduced Carla who was nothing short of amazing. Her professionalism and attention to every detail made her a joy to work with.
There's a saying; "there's no business like show business". Musicians bash the industry which can be downright ruthless at times. As an independent artist I'm aware that sh*t rolls downhill. Most of the time I get out of the way but in the last few days before the show I was caught off guard by some last minute "maneuverings". Technology allows me to go into the studio and create music that can compete with any record label out there. But outside of the studio the field of competition is anything but level.
The musician's world is divided into two camps. Artists signed to "major" labels or more acurately, multi-national media conglomerates. Then there are the independent artists such as myslef who make and sell their own records: David versus Goliath, the "have-it-alls" versus the "have nots". Only in this version of the story, David gets his butt kicked 99.9% of the time. But that's another topic for another blog.
Anyhow, in the days before the show I got caught up in a power thing that wasn't too cool. Thanks to my friends at NBC/Universal I didn't get the full impact of the overhand right. They did some flexin' and flossin' of their own and saved the day. Once the downbeat was rendered, yours smoothly was in control of the situation. I had a great time and made new friends and new fans. The next morning "Team Victor" met for brunch and we carved out our next move. We all agreed it was time to go back down South.
Capital Jazz Fest
June 5, 2007
A lot has happened since my last entry. I'll start with the Capital Jazz Fest. I've always gotten the greatest support from the D.C. metropolitan area, Virginia and Maryland. It all started in 1999 when WHUR-FM gave "Nature Boy" (Promise)so much love. So you can imagine how excited I was to perform at the Capital jazz Fest this year. It was a dream of mine for so long. Now the chance to do my "thang" and see so many of my fans had finally come true.
One of the cool things about the Cap Fest is meeting and networking with other musicians. The hotel was "musician central". I got to kick it for a minute with Earl Klugh in the elevator, hang with Nick Collione on the artist shuttle; meet Isaac Hayes "Hot Buttered Soul", "Take Six", Dave Koz, Najee, Tommy "D" (Davidson) and so many others. The other cool place to hang was the Artist Lounge behind the Main Stage. My family was with me which made it extra special. We all took lots of pictures which some day I'll post on the website. Promise ....
My downbeat was Sunday at 1 PM. I was stoked. Could hardly sleep the night before. That morning I opened the drapes and it was RAINING. Not drizzling. I mean a downpour. My heart sank... All these years I waited for this day and it was raining cats and dogs. I couldn't believe it.
I looked at the sky. It looked angry as h**ll. No chance of sunshine today for sure. I got dressed and orderd breakfast. The shuttle was leaving the hotel in a few hours. After breakfast I warmed up my voice.
As we arrived at the Festival grounds I was surprised to see so many people camped out. They came to party come rain or come shine. That really lifted my spirits. I knew that there was no room for negativity. When I saw folks with umbrellas and tents sludging through the mud and the rain I knew I had to bring my "A" game. They deserved nothing less.
On stage I looked out at all the folks sitting there getting soaked. I looked at Chris and we started the set with "Golden Lady". A warm spirit came over me. I was determined to give my best performance.
Toward the middle of the set we did "Lovely Day". I looked over the hill and I saw more people heading toward the stage. What a powerful song! We finished with "Five-Two Blues and a standing ovation.
There is no such thing as coincidence. Everything happpens for a reason. Sometimes we don't have the wisdom to figure it all out but even the worst can be the best. You know what I mean? I'm just grateful to have music back in my life and the greatest fans anyone could ask for.
Goin' Back To Cali
April 7, 2007
I'm on a layover in Dallas, TX. My connecting flight to Oakland doesn't leave for an another so I've got some time to share some thoughts and attempt to put the last 6 days in perspective.
First I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the radio stations and record stores that I visited in Charleston, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Fayetteville. I want to thank you for spinning my music and introducing me to your listening audience.
Second, I want to thank all the fans who bought my CD and whose love provided me with the inspiration to come home energized and forever grateful.
Finally, I want to thank Regina and Regina Records for the support that I needed when I needed it the most; and to Bruce Jones, for his energy, his enthusiasm, his contagious sense of humor, and his belief in this project. After 6 cities, 2 states, and 6 different hotels there wasn't much left.
But we made it.
The show in Columbia was off the chain! The audience got more than their money's worth.
The Final Leg
April 5, 2007
Arrived from Charleston, SC and just checked into my hotel in Columbia, SC the state capital. It's officially been 5 nights and 5 different hotels in two states. And one more hotel to go....
We've been on schedule the whole week. The only change was a return to Charleston from Fayetteville. "Lovely Day" is spinning on two Urban AC stations there so had to go back and spread some more love.
The station up here is 100,000 watts which is a big stick. We picked up the signal around Orangeburg and listened all the way in. They are seriously pumping up tomorrow night's show. We heard "Lovely Day" twice and "What's Going On". It's a beautiful "thang".
I've got pages of notes and lots of pictures. I'm exhausted now and need to lay down for a while. I have an interview at the radio station tomorrow (Friday) and a sound check. We also have to change hotels.
I just wanted to reach out and send some love your way too. I'll organize my notes on the flight home Saturday and you'll hear from me again early next week. Ciao for now.
PS. #32 on the R&R Urban AC Chart this week. Up from #39 last week!!!!
Going to Carolina
March 30, 2007
I hope all is well with you an yours. The last time you heard from me I was outlining my trip to the Carolinas. As of today, Friday 3/30, 98% of the itinerary is set and the other 2% we'll catch on the fly. Not bad for the music business :D
I'm feeling a bit tired this morning. Testament to the responsibility of planning and coordinating the trip -- which falls squarely on the shoulders of "moi". But most of the "t's" have been crossed and the "I's" dotted thanks to lots of help from my good friend, travel companion and radio promotions exec, Bruce Jones. But you best believe that I relish the day when I can delegate this and my other "jobs" to an able staff person(s).
Next week, I'll be promoting my new CD in 5 cities in North and South Carolina. I'll arrive in Charlotte, NC early Sunday morning and make my way south to Charleston, SC. I've got an interview with Jazzy J at WGML-FM Kiss 101.7 from 1 PM to 1:30 PM. We'll be talking about the project and giving away free CD's as we kick off the celebration of Jazzy J's first anniversary as the Sunday Brunch Host. Make sure to tune in and call in.
I'm on stage at Wingtime that evening followed by a half-hour meet and greet. So don't be late! (see CALENDAR for details). It sounds like big fun and you know I always bring my "A" game. Click or paste the following links to hear more about what is undoubtedly a "don't miss" event:
The next day, Monday, I'm having luncheon meeting in Charlotte then a dinner meeting up the road in Greensboro. On Tuesday it's lunch with some classmates who live in the area before heading south to Fayetteville.
I'll arrive at WUKS Kiss 107.7 in Fayetteville around noon for an interview with CJ Thomas that will broadcast on his Sunday show (April 8). This is may be subject to change (remember the 2% I was talking about?) and if it does check back. I'll post any changes here. If you're on my MAILING LIST you'll get a blog announcement 'cause you roll like that!
We'll visit some retailers in Fayetteville before heading back to South Carolina wrapping up my visit with a performance in Columbia, SC courtesy of WLXC-KISS 98.5 FM on Friday night, April 6. Interviews and itinerary to be determined (remember the 2% I was talking about?). It's a great lineup and should be big fun (see CALENDAR for details)
The next morning I'm on a flight out of Charlotte and back in Oakland, CA just in time for lunch at my favorite sushi house.
While I'm on the road I'll be checking emails and my website guest book and updating and blogging as often as possible. Whew! So keep in touch!
May you and yours always be blessed. Got to start packing so this is "ciao for now". Until the next time... much love!
PS "Lovely Day" was #38 on the R&R Urban AC Chart for the week-ending 3/30/07. http://www.radioandrecords.com/Formats/Charts/Uac_Chart.asp
The Motor City
February 9, 2007
My journey began with a redeye from Oakland to Detroit on Wednesday 2/8. We'll be visiting radio stations and record stores in 3 cities over the next 3 days. Who needs sleep?....
My plane arrived in Detroit Thursday around 6:30 AM. The city was coming out of a deep freeze but it was still bitter cold to this Cali boy.
A driver was there to greet me and Bruce Jones of Thunproductions and took us to our hotel.
I didn't sleep well on the plane so I was glad to hear that I had a few hours to crash before my interview at the radio station.
I turned on the radio and WGPR was bumpin. After a while a spot came on announcing that I was in town for a CD celebration party at the Woodward, a supper club in downtown Detroit. I was too excited to sleep.
Everything was first class! After the interview Carol James and Karen Addison treated us to lunch at Sweetwater (I recommend the chicken wings). Then they took us on a brief tour before dropping us back off at the hotel.
After a quick nap I was up and dressed at around 5 PM for the limousine ride to the Woodward.
The reception there was wonderful. Thank you to Carol James, Karen Addison and everyone at WGPR for making my first visit to the "Motor City" a memorable one. And thank you for introducing me and my music to your listeners. I'm looking forward to the next time!
Next stop ... Washingon DC!
January 4, 2007
2006 was a good year but I "expect" 2007 to be (borrowing from Van Morrison's "Moondance" lyric) a "fantabulous" year.
I used to make several New Years resolutions. I'd grab a handful of dreams and just chuck 'em out there. "Only the strong survive" (was that Darwin or Jerry Butler?) Once I proclaimed them, the most worthy would survive at least until March or April. If they didn't, I could always rely on my backup plan: blame & complain. Like Stevie Wonder wrote, "I'd blame it on the sun".
Just like physical seeds are planted firmly in the soil, the kind of seeds I'm describing -- the seeds of dreams -- need to be planted firmly in the very depths of our lives.
Being conscious of your dreams, working to improve every day and accepting personal responsibility is empowering on many levels.
My New Years resolution will challenge many old and deep-seated attitudes for sure. But like my grandfather used to tell me, "dead men don't have problems". So this year I planted one golden seed to appreciate everything that happens to me -- good, bad and the ugly -- as a blessing of life.
Happy New Year!
PS My "GUESTBOOK" is now open for your comments/feedback, etc.
Ruth Brown Passes at 78
November 20, 2006
Ruth Brown "the girl with a tear in her voice" died November 16, 2006 of complications following a heart attack and stroke at the age of 78.
When I met Ruth Brown a few years ago she was in her mid-70's and recovering from a stroke. But that didn't appear to diminish her spirit at all.
That evening Ms. Brown was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award in Las Vegas at the Joe Williams Scholarship Concert. I was standing stage left as she thanked an audience of fans and people who adored her.
Earlier that evening, I sang a couple of songs with a spectacular big band conducted by Johnny Pate. After the event, I was standing outside of the theater talking with some friends when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. There stood Ruth Brown with this warm smile on her face. She was having the time of her life that night.
She gave me a nice hug. "It's so good to hear somebody who can sing in tune". That's what she said to me. We talked for a few minutes but I'll always remember that sentence.
It was incredibly encouraging and uplifting.
Ruth Brown is a legendary talent on stage and in the theater. Yet that evening she she took the time to seek me out and say those kind words.
Ruth Brown was Atlantic Records. Her hits became templates for what became Rock & Roll. She was a strong woman and a pioneer in the dog-eat-dog world of entertainment. And she was a beautiful human being.
I hope you'll take the time to learn more about Ruth Brown and her music.
Tonight I send a special prayer to Ruth Brown and to her family.
May she rest in peace.
Smooth Jazz TV Interview
September 21, 2006
The interview at Smooth Jazz TV was a slam dunk. I have to give much thanks to Cameron Smith. The man exudes tremendous amounts of enthusiasm and passion for Smooth Jazz. I came to Dallas to introduce my new CD and to introduce myself to the Smooth Jazz family. There was no better place to start than with Cameron Smith and Smooth Jazz TV. That set the table for the rest of my stay.
I dropped my bags in the lobby and followed Cameron back to his office. He began to lay all these superlatives on "Thinking of You". What he said made me confident that this new CD had some legs and the potential to go somewhere. The new single, "Lovely Day" he said was "money". I liked that --smile.
The entire interview lasted less than 30 minutes. It wasn't the customary question and answer interview. It was more free flowing. Cameron would throw out an open-ended question and allow me to elaborate. My mind was tired. I was fighting fatigue and wearing the same cothes since 4:30 AM. But Cameron was facing me with this huge, dynamic, engaging smile that was saying, "Everything is smooth. You're here and you're doing great!"
At the conclusion of the interview, we walked out together. He gave me his business card and directions to the party at his house later that night. A big hug at the door and he was off to the Convention at the Anatole Hilton. Emanual and I went off in search of a Hertz rental office. Mission accomplished!
Dallas - Part Three
September 20, 2006
I got out of the cab and walked slowly to the door so I could read the rest of the note. "Victor call Cameron ...." The door was locked so my first assumption was that they waited as long as they possible could and had to move on. I pulled out my cell and punched in the digits. On the other end I hear that familiar raspy voice of Cameron Smith, "Hey Victor, where are you?" "I'm down stairs", is my answer. "I'll be right down to let you in!"
YEAH BABY! I can't describe the emotions that were running through me at that moment. I'd traveled all day and gone through so much bull*** to get here. Now none of that mattered. It was time to pull the emotion in and get focused on the task at hand: the TV interview.
Emanual, the cabbie, was so excited that you would have thought it was HIS interview. He was grabbing my bags out of the trunk and talking to Cameron and me with a gigantic smile on his face. We made it!
Emanual's reaction reminded me of something that Harry Belafonte once told me. A few years ago, I was invited to perform at his Urban Peace Awards in Los Angeles along with Patty Austin and James Ingram. "Celebrity is a responsibility. It has to be used to create something of value in the world we live in."
I don't consider myself a celebrity. But I aspire to do what I do at the highest level. I've been blessed with the gift of voice and it's my responsibility to nurture it and to SHARE it. My voice and my artistry? I don't own it. It doesn't belong to me. It's a gift from the Creator. And It gives me such inner joy when others, vicariously or otherwise, share my victories and my experiences with me. That was Emanual. He FELT how important my interview was. He was feeling like it was HIS interview. That's what my fans, my friends, and my family feel. My fight is their fight. Shoulder to shoulder. Ours is the fight of the underdog trying to break through. Trying to win against what appear to be insurmountable odds.
I've got a long day ahead of me. My clothes are lost but I'm here and Cameron Smith is at the door with a huge Texas smile on his face. Emanual still has my back and vows to wait for me. "I'll turn the meter off", he adds. Cameron and I head upstairs to the studio.
September 20, 2006
After I filled out the lost baggaged claim form, I grabbed my other bag and my porfolio and raced outside to negotiate a taxi cab. I gave the cabbie the studio address. He looked back and asked ME if I knew where it was. I just sat back and took a deep breath. "I was running uphill in molasses", as my grandfather used to say. It was like someone had just knocked all the wind out of me.
So I sat back in the seat, took a deep breath, and started chanting quietly. I had to take it another level. I had to change the rhythm or something was gonna snap. The cabbie's name was Emanual. Emanual. He took a good look at me through his rear view mirror and, with his African-accent, said assuringly, "Don't worry, brother, I'll get you there. We'll find it." He whipped out his city map and laid it accross his lap. He's reading that map and making time on Highway 114 heading for downtown Dallas. It seemed like forever! I just kept chanting. We passed Texas Stadium along the way. Home of my fav team, the Dallas Cowboys. I could feel Troy, Emmitt and Michael -- the troika -- and I remembered the gloroius 90's and the fun I had trash talking with all my Raider and 49er fans back in the Bay Area. I hope they're back on top soon... the Cowboys that is.
When the interview request came last week, I knew there was short window for Cameron and I to get together. The Smooth Jazz Conference was in his hometown. He was involved in the event and was also hosting a party at his home that evening. Although he was apprised of my situaution. I was just hoping ... praying that with everything he had on his table that he would wait for me. The interview was scheduled for 2PM. It was getting late.
When the cab pulled up in front of the studio, I looked at my watch. It was 2:30 PM. I jumped out the cab and saw a sheet of white paper taped to the front door.
"Victor, call Cameron ...."
I could feel the sun slowly sinking in the West. Like in those old Texas cowboy movies .... TO BE CONTINUED
Dallas - Part One
September 20, 2006
My flight arrived in Dallas today at 12:05 PM. I was cramped up in a small plane for close to a 3 1/2 hours. But accentuating the positive, it was a smooth flight and beautiful weather all the way. Today I have a 2PM interview with Cameron Smith and Smooth Jazz TV. The show airs weekly on BETJ and features the stars of Smooth Jazz. So I was more than honored by Cameron's invitation. No doubt.
NO WAY!!! YES WAY !!! The airline lost my garment bag and all my clothes. Let me say it again. The airline lost my garment bag and all my clothes. I couldn't believe it either.
"Ah! Ah! But not so fast Mr. Fields". Your bag isn't lost they told me. It got held up in by airport security and is still in San Francisco. "It's coming on the next flight that arrives at 1:21 PM. You're bag will arrive on Carousel #30 right there in front of you." Thank you. I called my publicist who then called Cameron. I'm out of here as soon as my garment bag with my clothes arrives. And I waited. And I waited. And there I stood until every last passenger and piece of luggage was gone from Carousel #30. I filled out the rquisite lost baggage claim form and I looked at my watch. It was 1:41 PM.
I'm gonna be late. real late ..... TO BE CONTINUED
September 19, 2006
It's 'round midnight. I'm finally checked into my room. I had rehearsal in San Francisco tonight. I'm dead tired and I have a 4:30 AM wake up call. My flight to Dallas TX leaves at 6:25 AM so I'm shooting for the 5 AM hotel shuttle to the airport.
I drove in to the City last night with Jim Molina. Chris and the band had been rehearsing for almost an hour by the time we got there. Everybody was looking good and sounding fantastic. Chris Camozzi/Music Director; Marquinho Brasil/percussion; Cedricke Dennis/guitar; Jaimee Brewer/bass; Joel Smith/drums; Mike Blankenship/keys; Vince Lars/saxes; and vocalists Sandi Griffith and Laura Ahlstrand.
I didn't sing hard at rehearsal tonight. My throat felt a little scratchy plus I'm still a little tired from the trip back East. So Ciao fir now. Goodnight....
Thinking of You
August 9, 2006
The name of the new CD is "Thinking of You". It took a while for me to pull the trigger. But it works. It's the title of the monster R&B/Smooth jazz ballad penned by Jeff Lorber, Chelsea Nichole Maull, & Michael Fields (no relation). It also represents my mindset when I decided to make this CD. I was thinking of you ... all my fans, friends and family. My Five-Two crew.
We're moving ahead and still on schedule for a September 26 release. Ken Lee did a fantastic mastering job as always. The CD sounds clean and cocoa crispy. I've played it on everything imaginable: iPod, boom box, car stereo. And it still sounds great! Wait til you get it home and hear on your system.
Make sure you go to PRESS/REVIEWS and read the new press release.
In September the band and I will be traveling to Dallas for a 2 hour showcase called Club R&R at the Radio and Records Convention. We'll put on a great show and hopefully, we'll encourage more than a few smooth jazz radio programmers to give us some love.
Sleeves are rolled up and we're working hard. It's like the Jamaican skit on "In Living Color". We've all got 8 jobs - smile. So I've got to get back to work, mon. But I'll be back as soon as I get a break! In the meantime hit the GUESTBOOK and holla at your boy...
July 14, 2006
Time flies when you're having fun! I'm in Sausalito, CA mixing CD#4 at the
Record Plant. This is my first and long overdue "smooth" jazz recording with special guests Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, Chris Camozzi and Richard Elliott.
Courtesy of the Record Plant, I recorded my vocals on a U47 mic ($13,000). Absolutely a once in a lifetime treat. You can hear all the detail and overtones.
How can I describe the record? If you liked "Promise" you'll definitely feel this new joint. Like my engineer, Michael Rodriguez (Boz Scaggs, Bonnie Rait, Dionne Warrick) said: "this ain't no smooth jazz, This is dope jazz!" It's smooth jazz and R&B. A blend of "new" and "old" school. uptempofunkalicious.
The planned release is late August or early September. I'll keep you
Well, downbeat at the studio is high noon so my time is limited. Just wanted to give you the 411. Also, check out my website over the next few days.
I'll be uploading some of the images from the studio.
July 12, 2006
My first full day in the office. Got my executive hat on returning emails and phone calls. I've got the greatest fans in the world. They know that I'm competing against all odds and they constantly encourage me to keep fighting. I've got lots of pics fro the studio that I need to post. Unfortunately my computer is not cooperating this morning. Must be time for a coffee break...
Mixed Mixed Baby!
July 10, 2006
finished mixing the CD last night. It's HOT. I'm spending today answering emails and returning calls. What an experience recording at the world famous Record Plant. A once-in-a-lifetime experience!
New CD Underway
May 17, 2006
Got an email from Chris last night. He was out on the road with Michael Bolton and got home just in time for Mother's Day. Despite his crazy schedule he was able to demo four songs for me to listen to. He'll Fed Ex them today before he takes off for Canada. I should recieve tomorrow. We're both pumped up for this CD. He wrote: "Can't wait to hear YOUR voice on these songs".
This is our third consecutive CD together. What's unique is that Chris is also my Music Director. I think he knows my voice better than anyone else and we really have a great relationship in and out of the studio. Some of you "jazzheads" already know that Chris Camozzi is a fantastic guitarist as well and had a #1 smooth jazz hit as a recording artist. And that's our goal this time out the box: #1 baby.
But his best instruments are his ears. The songs he's sending me I really wasn't feeling at the listening session a few weeks ago. To me it's not just about recording a song. I've got to feel that I can bring something fresh and distinctive. But at the same time I've learned to keep an open mind. "Walk On By" and "And I Love Her" on my second CD, 52nd Street, are perfect examples. I wasn't feeling either track until after I heard the demos. I can't wait... I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve....
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A Special Mother's Day
May 13, 2006
I want to wish all moms a very special day full of love and appreciation.
Talk about a "special Mother's Day", last summer super mom Phyllis Sneed asked us to pray for her daughter-in-law, Tiffany Sneed, stationed in Iraq. Shortly after that I had an interview with Armed Forces radio. At that the end of the interview I sent a message to Tiffany and all our servicemen and women. And I prayed.
Strong prayers are always answered and yesterday Tiffany arrived home safely and is reunited with her husband Ed and their children. What a blessing for the Sneed family!
So this morning I want to send a special prayer to all the moms (and grandmoms) and to their children serving our country. We are indebted to you for what you and your family have endured in the service of this great nation.
I pray that your story has a happy ending too.
And to Tiffany ... Welcome home and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to mom and grandmom !!!!