“Keep Them Close” – The Studio Sessions

Like the self titled inaugural Kalabash CD, we opted to to record the base tracks for the songs on “Keep Them Close” with the whole sextet live on the studio floor. We spent just two recording days in the A-Room at Phase One Studios in Toronto, laying down the 10 songs on the new CD. Day One in 12 hours we laid down 8 songs! Day Two we started late and only did 3 songs in about 6 hours. We did record 11 songs, but Don Grolnick’s “Nothing Personal” never made it to the master. Long story, it was our only “one take” song, but we wanted to extend the treatment a bit on Day Two with some bata drums etc. on the intro. With the late start on the second day, we ran out of time and never did a second “take”. We made the artistic decision to revisit it on the next CD. We know he’s looking down on us, but “Nothing Personal” Don! We may put it up on YouTube eventually, stay tuned.

Most of the songs were done in 3 or 4 takes, with only one or two running to 5 takes. The rest of the time in the studio was spent with editing, “light” over dubs, mainly percussion, and then mixing. Listening to the CD one would think that we did a lot of multi tracking, but in fact we did not. This is particularly true of the keyboard tracks. As you will see in the photos of the keyboard setup, Michael Shand used just the studio’s beautiful Yamaha Acoustic Grand, and his Korg SV-1, played simultaneously and very much in the moment, as he switched voices on the synth. He easily gets the MVP trophy on the sessions! I don’t think he even re-did any of his solos on the entire CD!

Hope you find as much pleasure listening to “Keep Them Close”, as we did laying down the tracks!
(Photos: Joan Pierre)