[Dixielandjazz] LIVE and STUDIO RECORDINGS

Tom Wood zenith at ans.com.au
Fri Mar 21 14:16:34 PST 2003

Hi Listmates, 
Comments for Steve Barbone

I am glad to see your first CD is out with a second on the way - the coffers will most likely, fill rapidly.
It has been our experience that some fans are purists who want/need a perfect recording of studio quality whilst other accept our "warts and all", "Zenith in the Raw" live recordings as being more exciting.  One German agent who was critical of the live recording quality (a typical tectonic type wanting electronic perfection without any high register distortion) went around telling everyone "this band must be seen to be heard" and it sounds as if your group also gives a high energy production.  It swings and it is fun.

So your comments about "squeaks and clams" are noted.  When we were in the studio recording, each with his own cubicle and headset (unable to see each other) we could not get the same feel without our very active live audience to spur us on to greater heights.  So we prefer live recordings at the expense of some quality.  For those who want the band in their lounge room beside them using hoofers and tweeters (Sp?) quality seems to override a band that swings.  We tried again spending 12 hours one Sunday with some 14 track sound genius and got zilch from it except a huge bill for trying to adjust levels of some instruments.

Your first CD by coincidence, has four numbers earmarked for our 10th CD this year.  You will find that after over 100 recorded tracks on 9 CDs you have to start being selective and avoid repeating numbers again.  

Also try to keep your numbers down to an average 5 minutes giving 14 tracks per CD (as most radio people will tell you - they wont play anything that runs longer).  Some fans are funny and try to get value for money (so they say) by selecting the CD with the most tracks on it.  We have a Zenith 2000 chord book to call upon with most numbers anyone usually asks for.  It is considered bad taste to ask the audience for requests on international jazz festival platforms but we often ignore this as our music is not normally charted or rehearsed and is true spontaneous jazz.  I hope that last comment does not cause to much trouble.

Tom (live recordings) Wood



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