Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sound Check

I counted off "Relaxin' at Camarillo" at a medium tempo for the studio sound check with Elvin. We were set up in a big semicircle in the big barn at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA. Elvin was at one end of the arc and I was at the other, with my back to the control room. Phil was next to Elvin, then Milo, then Jay, then me. In front of me was a RCA ribbon microphone as big as my head. The sunlight was streaming in through the skylights.

After my solo, I put my horn down and headed into the control room. "Are we ready," I asked Joe Hadlock, the engineer. 


Meanwhile, the band was trading choruses. But the slow tempo made it difficult for the band to follow the form during Elvin's solo. The song broke down.

I went back into the studio and the band was talking. "The trades are too long," Elvin said.

"No problem," I said. "We're ready to record."

I called "Reunion Dues," a waltz that I had written years before under the spell of Elvin and Coltrane.

I heard later that Keiko had been standing in the control room during the soundcheck. Joe and Gregg Keplinger had been listening to each of the close microphones on Elvin. "That does not sound right," Keiko said. Joe turned up the two microphones that were about eight feet in front of Elvin's kit. "Ah!" Keiko said, and left the room.

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