Thursday, October 1, 2009

Questions and Thank-you's

John Beaty-Alto Sax, photo by Monica Muller

Blog # 27: Questions and Thank-you's

I've had a couple people ask me this questions so I thought I'd field it on this blog.

"I was really surprised listening to your album, you didn't solo on the first track;'Connections or on the song "Right Now'"?

I actually spent a lot of time before going into the studio thinking about if I was going to solo on every track(I'm sure most people would have assumed I would, but I tend to question everything). I decided that I really wanted to make a record that showcased "The Jon Crowley Quintet", and not just "Jon Crowley". I'm really proud of this group of young New York City musicians that I've been playing with for the past few years and wanted this record to be about "us" as a whole.

The composer and conceptualizer in me wanted to give the record as much variety as possible, both in song/feels/tempos and in soloists. Each track generally has two soloists, for two reasons, firstly because I didn't want the songs to 'drag on' at all, and secondly because I wanted to feature a lot of my compositions on this record.

Putting the song 'Connections' first, a song that I do not solo on, I think sends my message that this record will be about the band and not just about me soloing, (though I do get a lot of solo space throughout the record)

"In another blog, You mentioned there is another harmony line for trombone for Decision, why isn't it on the record?"

I originally thought about having Joe Beaty play trombone on Decision. Joe is my sax player John's twin Brother. Unfortunately, Joe was having open heart surgery during the second day of the recording. (The surgery went great and Joe no longer has any heart problems). Obviously we were all concerned about Joe, but I was also worried about John and even thought about getting someone else to replace him, he assured me he'd be fine. John even played a gig out of town the night before the first day of recording and got back to New York at 5 am that morning. I was pretty worried that he wouldn't be able to play. (I even had back-up material planned in case John was too physically and emotionally out-of-it to play).

John really proved me wrong, not only did he show up and play his ass off, he was probably the most consistent guy on the session. SO, big props and thanks to John Beaty: dude is a warrior and a beast of a musician.

"What equipment are you playing on the record?"

I am playing a Bach 43 Strad. Trumpet with a Bach 5C mouthpiece and a Kanstul 1525 Flugelhorn with a Bach 5A mouthpiece. I have played this same equipment for the past 8 years, recently however I have switched to a Monette B6 mouthpiece for trumpet.

The Mic I used for the recording was previously owned by John Coltrane, given to Systems two by Ravi Coltrane.

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