Kandace is a force of nature…virtuoso pianist, soulful vocalist and an unaffected presence that commands every stage she steps out on. Plus, she’s hilarious and knows more about cars than Marisa Tomei’s character in “My Cousin Vinny”.
Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be a part of this fantastic project, a documentary about Kandace and her latest collection “The Women Who Raised Me” on Blue Note Records. Part of the documentary was slated to be a “live in the studio” recording with her band, drummer and bg. vocalist Ms.Taylor Moore and bassist and bg. vocalist Aneesa Strings.
Her SRP producers Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers as well as the Film Production company agreed on Riverworks Recording for the tracking. It has a huge tracking room and a grand piano and I know the room inside out.
We set up three monitor mixes that each musician could control and an individual floor monitor for each. Micing was minimal…two for the piano, a mic and DI for the bass, one bass drum and 2 overheads for the drums and vocal mics for all. After a bit of trial and error, we settled on the Sennheiser MD421 for Kandace’s vocals. I’ve recorded her on everything from a Shure Beta 58 to a high end Neumann TLM 170 and she always sounds great so I wasn’t too worried.
It was a grueling 2 day shoot on one of the coldest days this winter. They wound up shooting about 5-6 takes of each song and I made rough mixes for Carl and Evan to review.
A few weeks later, we convened at their production area at The Loft in Bronxville to mix the songs. One other additional session for small tweaks and we were done. The record came out and debuted at #1 Jazz on iTunes and Billboard all over the world.