Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Tonight I'm playing with Carolyn Malachi in Annandale, VA. I'm looking forward to it. For those of you who may not live in DC, I've been playing guitar with Carolyn since about February of 2010 - well over a year now! Playing with her accounted for most of my performing last fall. She's doing big things (including a 2011 Grammy Nomination, for her song "Orion") and sounding great, and its been a pleasure to be involved.

Carolyn Malachi - Voice
Gary Prince - Guitar
Tarus Mateen - Bass
Jabari Exum - Djembe
Produced by James McKinney
Music by Regan Carver

This track is from her summer 2010 release "Lions Fires & Squares". I'm playing my Ibanez. This solo was about half composed, half pieced together in the studio - I planned what I would play for the first 8 bars of my solo, then did several takes playing that and improvising the rest, sometimes repeating similar things, sometimes not. Then, James and I listened back and picked out what we thought were the best moments from each take, which he later strung together into a complete unit.

Some years ago I probably would have felt a moral opposition to constructing a solo in this way. I used to believe quite strongly that everything possible should be played live in the studio, by the full band playing together, in one take. I still hold that, for some types of music, a live take is preferable, because there is so much more potential for energy and spontaneity. But I recognize now this it isn't a realistic way to get a good recording, and have come to accept as well that mining a set of improvisations for their best moments and putting them together isn't cheating. Why would it be? There is no cheating in music as long as it ultimately sounds good. And to get it sounding good, you do whatever necessary.

I've mellowed, and I'm very happy with how this turned out. James made that guitar sound great and really realized what I was after. Carolyn made a music video for this song as well, which you can view here. I used to dream of being in a music video when I was younger, I didn't make it in front of the camera this time, but I'm getting closer!

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