I loved this live-in-the-studio session. I loved the people that were involved. I loved what we set out to do and I love what we accomplished, and even loved the hurdles along the way (of which there many).
What we do, is what I live for. I’ve always loved performing live, but there is something equally special about being intimate with bunch of musicians (and engineers and filmmakers and friends) in a room, just focusing and getting a song as glorious as we can make it. In this case, it was three songs. And this email is about another one of the three; “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder.
Playing a Stevie Wonder song, to me, is like acting Shakespeare. It’s already a great work, with the best text possible (include melody, and arrangement, in this case), the best players have already played it, and all you can hope to do is to do it justice yourself; and to…not spoil it for anyone. It’s all there for you, you just have to play the story the way the writer wrote it and let the structure lead you where it wants you to go. Beyond that, you just hope you and your company are good enough artists to humbly, but passionately rise to the occasion when the piece demands it of you.
Sure, like a good Shakespeare production, we wanted to interpret it and make it our own, while making absolutely sure to stay true to the original story. This is what makes an audience smile. And even if it’s a “live-in-the-studio” video, we aim to make the audience happy, whenever and however you end up viewing it.
For this task, we certainly had an amazing cast of musicians. (The dynamic Vanessa Cruz on drums (heroically suffering through a bad case of food poisoning and boyfriend related blues throughout the session), Kevin Harris on bass, Dan Yeager on trumpet, Sergio Bustamante on alto sax (and solo), Rachel on the tenor sax, the astounding Clifford “Moonie” Pusey on guitar, and one very smitten coyote. In addition, we had an amazing staff of supportive personnel, (thank you Ruthie Conde!).
To film our little show, we had, in Atom Fellows, the most adaptive and creative guerilla director/cameraman/editor we could possibly have asked for. All the brother knew was that he was getting in a van with Coyote Love and making a video in a black box with any available lighting….um…HOORAY! Atom hated the look of the HD cams and lenses that we had available for this song. And opted to roll on the floor with his plate-sized smartphone instead. Do we love Atom? Face licks and tail wags!!!
Time was flying by and we were far from home, so we had a few takes with each track, and then we moved on to the next song before we blew our chops, and our schedule (which, truthfully, we blew to hell anyway). So while I’d love to have had just one more crack at it that day, what you see here is a very realistic portrayal of the Coyote Love experience. And it makes me smile.
Hope you dig it…..