FULL CIRCLE: Terri and I self-produced my debut jazz compact disc release back in 1999, just three years after concluding our active duty career with military bands. I had a very fine jazz quartet that was made up of fellow military jazz artists/alumni that had been together for a while by then.
Although jazz performance opportunities were not regular in that part of Missouri, we played often enough to develop a core as a group. This was during the same period of our owning and operating a retail music store, my teaching the jazz program at the university in Rolla, and my concurrently maintaining a private lessons studio of about 46 students each week. Terri was still teaching elementary school full-time too. Our children were students and living at home during most of this period as well.
It was crazy busy for all of us as individuals and as a family. And, I was resigned to living the rest of my life in the otherwise tranquil Ozark country, operating the music store in town, and teaching music.
So, the idea of recording a CD with my jazz group was primarily to document some of my original music and to document the association with this great group of military performing artists while we were all still together in the same location. Simple, right?
Nothing is ever simple.
We ended up closing our music store and moving back home to my native Kansas City metropolitan area. We started a new stage as people and a new life direction – literally. It continues to be real cool …
TOTO TOO: Living in Kansas City has allowed me to realistically and seriously engage a career as a professional jazz artist, composer, and private music education professional outside of the active military service bands system. My original goal in joining the military band program back in 1974 was to earn G.I. Bill education benefits through active duty service.
Well, I really enjoyed being a musician in the military, so I stayed in for an entire career. The original career goal that motivated me over those two decades+ years of service, was to keep practicing and studying, then engage a professional jazz career after my time with the military bands.
The retail music store business diversion while living in the Ozarks seemed to have precluded those original plans. But, as it turns out, here I am back home working in the jazz industry based out of Kansas City for the past dozen years.
It is almost funny how things work out the way it seems they are supposed to.
TIME FLIES: Indeed it does “seem to fly by”. And objectively speaking, this is actually a really fine debut recording by the group I originally called 4-Jazz. We went into what was once an old RCA radio studio (now the KTTK radio station studio in Lebanon, Missouri) and recorded the music directly as we played. Max Rhodes was the engineer. No overdubs. No re-doing of solos or parts. Just playing the tunes. It came out very refreshing in the original mix. However, I was never happy with the mastering job done by Harry Brookes at Oasis CD because it changed the sound of the music entirely to the point of distortion in my opinion. Uneducated then, I now think it was simply the primitive generic plug-ins he used, or rather misused.
First lesson I learned as a record producer and recording artist was: don’t ever settle.
RELOADED: I have not recorded a new quartet CD since 1999. Over the subsequent period, I have been rebuilding my life in many inherent ways, learning lots about the ever-changing new recording business industry and looking forward to the new recording sessions that are coming up this year.
As I prepare to resume my own recording artist activities, the last bit of unresolved matters from my start include remastering the debut CD, “Time Flies”. I have spoken with Don Miller, who owns Airborne Audio Productions. Don has maintained the original ADAT (yes, ADAT) masters of the music on “Time Flies”. He has agreed to re-mix and master the entire project.
So, stay tuned for the “REMASTERED LIMITED EDITION” release of the music on “Time Flies” on the Artists Recording Collective label. The original edition will remain in digital distribution and available at all of the major retailers for download as well.
Progression. Resolution. Balance.
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