Saxophonist John Doheny was born in Seattle Washington in 1953 but has spent much of his adult life in Canada, primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. After early experiences accompanying strippers in bars and cabarets he became a professional R&B sideman in the late 1970s, touring and recording with artists both prominent and obscure. In 1991 he returned to Vancouver and began a program of intense musical study, both in academe (Vancouver Community College, the University of British Columbia) and in the more informal area of performance. He asserts that "all human intercourse is either an opportunity to learn or to teach. Everything that I know about jazz performance (to the extent that I know anything at all) I owe to those players, teachers and students who have suffered to share the bandstand and the teaching studio with me." Since 2003, Mr. Doheny has been a permanent resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, but makes every effort to spend summers in Canada because "it's too damn hot down here then."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Professors of Pleasure vol. 2. Bagged and Tagged.

Actually we're not quite there yet, as I need to do some serious listening to the ruffs and then get with engineer Tim Stambaugh for mixes and fixes but, for all intents and purposes, this record's done. And, much to my surprise, I like it.

Normally at this stage of the game, I'm somewhere between the "bargaining" and "denial" stages of recording. Those of you who've made records know what I'm talking about. There's "elation" (hey! We're going to record!!!), "apprehension" (Oh my gawd. Every wrong note will be on the permanent record), "bargaining" (hey, maybe no one will notice that huge clam), and "denial" (you know, if you listen to that clambake often enough, it doesn't sound too bad. Anyway, it's too late to fix it now). But I'm listening to a rough mix in a trial sequencing order and I gotta tell ya, it's sounds pretty good.

Day two of recording started out with trumpeter Andrew "Da Phessa" Baham coming in to lay a trumpet part on the bed track for "The Tulane Fight Song' we'd recorded the previous monday. We still didn't have a chart for the damn thing but it turned out 'Drew had gone to J.F. Kennedy and played all the football games so he knew literally every school song by heart. Allen and I chimed in on soprano and tenor respectively for a 'second line' front line and banged the thing out in one take, no sweat. Then it was a fast pass on a be-bop version of "Let It Snow" that we'd agreed to record for Tulane's e-christmas card. This one took two takes, but only because they'd specified it be about two minutes long and we had to make a slight tempo adjustment to get it to fit the allotted space.

The rest of the session was spent laying down "Funky Breeze" (a Jim Markway original he'd written when working in local tenor player Brian "Breeze" Cayolle's band) a beautiful Afro-Cuban thing by Harold Battiste called "Child Playing," nicely arranged by guitarist John Dobry for alto, tenor, and guitar, another Marway composition, the quirky "Elysian Fields" (on which I discovered, to my surprise and delight, that I could actually play a borrowed soprano sax in tune), and John Dobry's Pat Metheny-esque "Cautious Optimism."

It was a lot of music for two days (if we were releasing it on vinyl, it would be a double LP) but we actually finished a couple hours early, and that included a 90 minute lunch break and stroll through scenic Algiers Point, where Word of Mouth Studios is located. Now it's on to artwork, sleeve design, pressing, and release.

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