Monday, February 9, 2009

Preparing to Record

So at this writing, the process is already underway, because I had the idea to start this blog mid-way through the process. So the next 2 entries will be bringing you up to speed.

I moved to New York in the fall of 05’ to get my Masters Degree from NYU(which I have since completed). Now in early 09’ I have decided to record my first album. First, I decided to use friends of mine for the recording because I knew they would all be able to put more effort into rehearsing than if I spent more money getting “Big Name” musicians. I also felt I could play more difficult material, because we would have more rehearsal time, along with the simple fact that I just really love the way they play.

Here is the line-up for the CD:

Jon Crowley- trumpet, flugelhorn
John Beaty- Alto Sax
Yayoi Ikawa- Piano
Peter Schwebs- Bass
Nick Anderson- Drums

Leading up to the recording date I stopped playing sessions with friends and really shut myself off from the outside world as much as possible. I practiced 6-7 hours a day and really tried to get my endurance up before the recording. While I never was a big drinker, I stopped drinking any alcohol and would go on hour-long walks everyday to stay in shape and clear my head between practicing. Though I did spend most of my time practicing by myself, we also did several rehearsals with the group and a gig in Philadelphia before we went into the studio, so that we would be familiar with the music; having played it live.

I contacted Systems 2(a recording studio) in October and scheduled two days in January. Systems 2 is known for being one of the best studios to record jazz in NYC. It is also 10 minutes from my apartment by subway. The recording took place on the 28th and 29th of January. I hired a photographer, Monica Muller to come take pictures as we recorded. My plan was to use these pictures on a future website and possibly in the cover art design.


  1. Hi Jon, great idea to blog your movements and actions in a very personal time in the development of your playing. Since you have already recorded your material, I assume you're currently going through the post production process of mixing etc- What are your intentions after that? To land a record deal, use the record to get gigs? I only ask as these are the questions I'm currently asking myself for a personal project. I mean, who is going to listen to it, what is going to set it apart from your collegues or is it just for fun and reference as to where your playing is at now.

  2. Hi Bnatural,

    you are correct in assuming I'm going through the mixing/editing stage currently. All of your questions are things I've been asking myself this whole time. And I'm sure more than one blog entry in the future will be devoted to "I've got the recording...what now?". Briefly, there are advantages to both putting out your own record and trying to get it picked up by a label. The main advantage to getting picked up by a small label is distribution. IE getting your music in stores around the world, which can lead to exposure and more gigs. The disadvantage is you probably won't get paid much if anything for this AND you'll be splitting your profits with someone else. Going through the avenue of a label also means the record will be tied up for 6 months to a year as they figure out what to do with you and wait for albums to be printed etc. The advantage of releasing it yourself on your own label is complete control and you recieve 100% of the profits, this also means if you want to get it done now and not a year from now, you can make it happen. The obvious negative is you won't recieve as much exposure. One must also keep in mind the simple fact that today, many venues won't even consider you for a gig without a CD, press photos, clippings ETC. As you can tell, I've got a lot to say on this subject, so check back in in a few weeks and There will be a long Blog entry on the subject.