Two days of amazing performances occurred over the last week. First Jeff Gray and Joe Jackson put down the horn parts on ALL the songs in one mammoth session. Next Marilyn came in and magically, effortlessly and beautifully laid down the lead vocal tracks for all the songs in one four hour session. It sounds impossible. Ken Schubert, our engineer, was in near-disbelief.
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Here is Charlie in the studio. Glockenspiel and accordion are surefire signifiers that we’re working on another Christmas album!
We are back at Cue Recording Studios and putting together our new Xmas CD. It will have titles like: “Who Doesn’t Like Christmas” and “A Not So Silent Night.” An incredible a capella choir, BRIDGE, is going to provide a layer of sound never before heard on a Chaise Lounge CD. Right now, we are just completing the rhythm tracks. Stay tuned.
Chaise Lounge – A Very Chaise Lounge Christmas
As with its other eight albums, the band on this 2013 Christmas album is the embodiment of playful and seductive jazz, with gorgeous vocals by Marilyn Older. Full of wit and charm, with a martini always within reach, this is the one I have played most often over the past few years. Cool, yet festive, this mix of originals and holiday faves enables you to both enjoy the season while letting your mind wander. Whether you’re trimming the tree or wrapping presents, you find yourself humming and swinging along.
In lesser hands, this would sound annoyingly cute or, worse, self-indulgently retro. Not these fine six folks, with Older effortlessly evoking the classic vocalists of the 1950s and Charlie Barnett leading another four of the most accomplished jazz musicians in the Washington, DC, area. Together, they are sublime. The highlight without a doubt is “Snow Day,” which brings back memories of all those days off from school. But this time around it’s a day for adults in love to spend a day playing outside in the snow without a care in the world. Chaise Lounge has a show, holiday-themed, I think, coming up at Washington’s Blues Alley next week. If you are anywhere near, catch them. I did a couple years back and I still tingle from that performance.
We were leaving our (sold out!) gig in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a couple of days ago and had not eaten for hours. Marilyn floated the notion of stopping for food. It was voted on, ratified, and before we went another three traffic lights, Pete spotted a White Castle. He is from Detroit. Apparently White Castle is a Midwest thing. No one else had ever had a White Castle “slider.” It is worth noting that in 2014 Time magazine voted the White Castle slider the “most influential burger of all time.”
A lot of advice has been written for touring musicians. All the advisors mention eating healthily while on the road. Great idea! We will admit that keeping your energy up is important. Spritzers instead of milkshakes. Carrots instead of french fries. But none of these articles ever seem to mention the joys of geographically specific fast food. When we’re touring, Tommy buys any locally produced spicy beef jerky product. We have all sampled the purple pickled eggs they sell in New Jersey. And we wanted to try the Midwestern meal that had Pete in a nostalgic reverie.
We bought a huge bag of sliders and another equally huge bag of French fries. (In our defense, they did not offer carrots.) We must say, they were delicious—and they gave us the strength to power on.
Playing DC’s Kennedy Center is such a thrill—as is playing with a full orchestra. This weekend, we got to do both, in the newly renovated Terrace Theater—a spectacular space with incredible sound quality. Our teammates for the sold-out show were the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, led by maestro Sergio Busjle. A little tango, a little jazz, and a whole lot of musicians’ heaven.