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California King

On January 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM California Time, I recorded my last note on my 5th CD. After a few seconds of silence, I heard Chris Camozzi’s voice in my headphones, “It’s a wrap bro!”

Stepping away from the microphone, I took the phones off and draped them over the music stand. I scooped up my lyric sheets from table next to me. No need to sort them. They won’t be needed for a while.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon just south of San Francisco. I drove down for our first session on the previous Thursday. It added up to around 15 hours of singing over three days. Friday was the longest session. I sang for 7 hours that day. Then we started back the next morning, Saturday, at 11 AM and wrapped at 2PM. My voice felt great. But my lower back was tired and, more than anything, I was mentally exhausted. I had given everything I had. “It’s a wrap bro”. Music to my ears!

I rolled the windows down and cruised north on Highway 280 toward the San Mateo Bridge. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I’m in the car alone with my thoughts. What started out as a couple of flashbacks became waves of emotions: one after the next. After months and months of grinding, I was in the moment and beginning to feel overwhelmed! I wondered if there was more that I could have done. I wondered If I had given my best performances in the studio just a few hours ago.

Then I remembered something the legendary bassist, Keter Betts told me many years ago with. He said, “the musicians’ goal is to lay a nice comfortable bed for the singer”. To clarify, Keter wasn’t referring to the bed you sleep on. The bed he was referring to was a metaphor for the song, the musicianship, the arrangement, and the overall feel of the music. He was alluding to how critical this “bed” is to a singer’s performance. His work with Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington made him an authority on the subject.

On the ride home, as I thought about the entire project, I reflected on what Keter had said. Keter was reminding me that making music is a collaborative effort. It doesn’t rest upon any one shoulder. It rests on the shoulders of many. I thought about the amazing Bay Area talent that accepted our invitation and are now a part of this project. I remember hearing them play and damn near running into the booth. I couldn’t WAIT to get in the mix! If that “comfortable bed” was the standard then mine was a California King! I think Keter would agree with that! I was feeling better all of a sudden. Smiling, I exited onto the 92 East. Oakland-bound!

 

Comments Section

Enjoy your well deserved smiles in your California King! Looking forward to purchasing your new product and adding to my collection of all your CD's. Good job!
Can't wait to hear what you cooked up in the Lab.........
Well said and written Victor! Your reference to a music project in its entirety, is very well stated. I love the line, "making music is a collaborative effort, it rests on the shoulders of many."
Your absolutely right in saying that it doesn't all rest on one's shoulders. I love how you used the term California King because it has so many different meanings but you used it in the sense where it means a little bit of all of the versions it can mean. Can't wait to hear the new music
 

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