Tommy's drum-chill factor

Last night at Cue Recording, Tommy Barrick, Pete Ostle, and I put down the rhythm tracks for two more Chaise Lounge songs.

One is an instrumental currently called “Celestial Navigation.” Seeing as that title got catcalls from engineer Ken Schubert, I seriously doubt the name is going to stick, but the piece is a keeper. This is an original—one of our patented vocalese songs where Marilyn sings in unison with trombone. It has something Pat Metheny-like about it (not that ANYONE would mistake my guitar playing for his!).

The other track we put down is an an instrumental arrangement of “Old Man River.” It is a drum feature. The tempo/click we recorded at was mm 152—that is, 152 beats per minute.  But the entire chart is written to be played with a double-time swing feel. So it’s sort of like the wind-chill factor today: it’s 20 degrees out but *feels* like 8. The click track we used was 152 but felt like 304, which is pretty much as fast as I can possibly play. This speed is especially incongruous because “Old Man River” is traditionally played as a ballad. In the top left corner of the chart where it should give some indication of the tempo, e.g., “Largo,” we scribbled “Tempo de Tear-Ass.” Tommy killed it. He took a 32-bar solo in the middle of the song that is just beautiful. It is melodic, funny, interesting; all the things you might think a drum solo could not be. That ’60s Gretsch kit of his got a workout last night!