Sitting on an airplane on the way to Toronto to produce a brand new Metalwood recording. It’s going to be funny walking into The Rex tonight and seeing those four guys on stage again. The last time that happened was at The Cellar around 12 years ago when they played one night at the club with guests Mino Cinelu and DJ Logic just before recording The Recline. I’m really excited as hearing them play is going to bring back a ton of memories. All good!
As I sit on the plane, I’m randomly going through the Cellar Live catalogue and listening to the music that we’ve managed to document over 17 years. We’re launching a brand new website. For the better part of 7 years or so we have had a US company deal with our fulfillment. With the decline of the CAD dollar and the rise in shipping cost I thought it was time for a change. It looks much better to that a CAD label is operating every facet of its operation in Canada. So very soon, the website will be live, and you’ll be able to order CDs in CAD dollars and have them shipped from Canada which will be much cheaper. We will also have our full catalogue available in Hi-Resolution (AIFF files) that you can download directly from our site.
It’s been a long arduous process of ripping all the CDs again, uploading etc. but the upside is that I have got to listen to some amazing music and it’s reminded me the crazy things that I did, and continue to do around Cellar Live. It also reminds me of the great community of people apart from the musicians that contributed and continue to contribute to these records. Graphic Designers: Nicole Banda, Christina Peressini, Max Franosch and Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Julie Queneville and Erin (last name escapes me) Engineers: Dave Sikula, Ian Hendrickson-Smith, Chris Gestrin, Miles Hill, Brad Turner, Sheldon Zharko, Shawn Pierce, Andre Carraesquero, Steve Bellamy and likely more that I’m forgetting!
And then there is the music…..so many great memories of nights at the club and days in the studio. Today finds me in a bit of a melancholy mood so listening to those types of tunes…
Falling In Love and Shorter Days from Ross Taggart’s – Thankfully brings back a flood of memories.
In My Life from Bruno Hubert Trio – Live @ The Cellar. Bruno’s trio was so fun to record and I’m happy that we have not one but two documentations of this idiosyncratic and enigmatic personality and musician.
So many great tunes from Jodi Proznick Quartet – Foundations but the two that stick out are the beautiful arrangements of Tilden Webb’s on Joni Mitchell’s Help Me and Peter Gabriel’s Washing Of The Water.
Joel Haynes Trio plus Seamus Blake is an amazing record and features a gorgeous ballad by Jodi Proznick called L’Espace and another cool arrangement by Tilden Webb on an unlikely tune for rearrangement, Oasis’ Champagane Supernova! Without the brilliant work of engineer Steve Bellamy this record would’ve been lost due to my inexperience as an engineer! Phew!
Beatriz from Steve Kaldestad – New York Afternoon is a duo with pianist Renee Rosnes and is one of my favorite tracks in our entire catalogue. Speaking of Kaldestad, Straight Up is an amazing album and wow, what a back story. I wish I could tell you about it but I can’t. Just listen to the record! It’s phenomenal from start to finish. One of the greasiest rhythm sections of all time!
Another all time favorite on the label in terms of tracks is Quincy Davis’ Anthem For Piece recorded on James Danderfer – Run With It
I never really intended my musical input on the label be what it is. It just kinda happened. With This Happy Madness being at #1 for 3 weeks on the Jazz Week charts, it night be surprising that I don’t pick that as my favorite record. I’m proud of all of my releases. They’re all special to me for one reason or the other. Having said that when you can tour a band BEFORE a recording as I did with my quintet with Steve Davis, the results can’t help but be good. In January 2013 we did something insane like 27 gigs in 29 days and we ended up at Smoke Jazz Club in New York with one night and one night only to get a record. I think this is my best effort on record without question and the band is really cooking to!
So much great music and I’ve only cited 8 records here of over 110 that we have released! It’s been a trip down memory lane that I have enjoyed so much and I’m looking forward to the many many more recordings that we’ll be releasing over the next year. In case you’ve read this far and are curious about what’s upcoming, here is what you can expect from the label in the next little while:
Organik Vibe Trio featuring Joel Frahm – Things We Did Last Summer
Antonio Ciacca Quintet – TBA
Cory Weeds Quintet featuring David Hazeltine – TBA
Emmett Cohen Trio featuring Jimmy Cobb – TBA
Cory Weeds & The Jeff Hamilton Trio