This song snuck up on me...
It was the first day of recording, after driving through LA traffic and puncturing a tire on the rental car trying to park directly outside the studio (I didn’t know there was a reserved spot with my name on it and everything in the United lot). It was my first time recording with a group of musicians of this calibre. There I was, shaking like a leaf, not sure what to do with the flat-tired-car that wasn’t mine that was actively running out of meter time, and feeling like a complete imposter in a room full of legendary players.
Fast forward 20 minutes... the intern at United had taken care of the car, swapping the spare on himself and relocating it to the lot, I’d been offered coffee and snacks, had listened to everyone tune up, and had the tutorial on how to adjust my headphone levels in the booth. I was breathing normally again, and feeling calmer. When we were ready to roll, I imagined we’d start with something uptempo... I don’t know why I thought this... I just figured we’d get the blood pumping and warm up with something familiar and swinging. Shelly Berg called Too Late Now. I froze. I knew I’d have to dive deep into this intimate, sentimental piece right off the bat... and it would be the first time any of the other players would hear me sing. Back to that leaf impersonation.
Long story long... this song set the tone for the session. Subtle, nuanced, tender, heartfelt by everyone. It surprised and delighted all of us. It’s also the piece that we ultimately chose for Roy Hargrove to play on... adding to the emotional intensity. I hope you enjoy it... link in bio to streaming and my website. 🦋
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