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Hi all,

Our SOTW Beginners/Intermediates thread has 'You've Changed' as current Tune Of The Month (TOTM). After recording a sax only version with backing track I thought it would be fun and a good exercise for me to try to back singer Eva Cassidy's version (one of my favourites) with my sax playing. The (IMO slightly boring!) piano solo in her clip offered some space for a short sax solo too :).

Backing a singer is not easy and I'm not very experienced in doing that. Didn't have much time to prepare (actually zero time) and also found that Eva's version was in another key then the dots I used for the sax only take. So after finding out (hopefully!) the correct key I played it all by ear, just a one take hit and record approach. I used an old (very) high baffle Ponzol 120 mouthpiece (have it since a few months), a La Voz medium reed and a Selmer SBA. Recorded with a Samson C03 USB mic linked to Audacity, slight amount of reverb added to get a better mix with the backing (still unsure if I'm too loud in the mix).

Here is my version (how PeeBee destroys one of Eva Cassidy's master works :mrgreen:):

- 'You've Changed' (Eva Cassidy meets PeeBee): http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12636271

And here is the original Eva Cassidy clip that I used as backing:
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pWmlmED6SQ

Would be nice to hear your opinion and possible recommendations related to my playing, sound and the mixing quality of the take (I of course already know most of my weak and less weak points as experienced amateur player with very limited time to practise).

So please feel free to give your comments, good or bad :).
 

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Briliant very nice. I can tell that you strugled in the Beginning when she is singing and you are playing But after that you found your way, maybe à bit more question and answer game i would like even more But the way you did it was great! I could't have done it.
 

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Very nice feel...I love her voice and you lay back just enough to make it work.....Peace
 

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Wow! Really nice - everything fits, just like you were onstage with her. The only instructive thought I had was that you didn't have to fill every mid-phrase space. A little silence in some of them would make your horn sound even better when it did come in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment guys, much appreciated :).

@donnersm - Mark, feel free to post your version in this thread if you want (let me know if you need the backing).

@35TangoTango - Agree with you on leaving more space. I listened a ton to Eva's version over the years, so I new by ear where the empty spots are, but one of the arts of backing a singer is to hold back as much as possible (not easy for a sax player I guess!).
 

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I commented in the beginners and intermediates thread, but I'll repeat here, overall I felt your playing added a quality that was different but still "right" to Eva's brilliant original.

When you first posted her rendition, I finally looked up her work, and subsequently learned that she was taken from us in 1996 to Melanoma. Made me sad and the song ever more poignant.
 

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@mrpeebee. I'll have that track now....i have got some more time and a new mpc that is waiting to go to work. :) also, domyou have an idea about what key it is in?


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@mrpeebee. I'll have that track now....i have got some more time and a new mpc that is waiting to go to work. :) also, do you have an idea about what key it is in?
Mark, if I remember well it's in D for tenor (concert C, A for alto). Not fully sure, but you will hear it yourself when trying.
 

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You still have the backing or is it the same as the video in your first post, than i will just grab that one


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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You still have the backing or is it the same as the video in your first post, than i will just grab that one.
I used the CD recording I have at home as backing, much better quality compared to the youtube compressed MP3 clip. Let me know your email (by pm) if you want a copy, I can forward it to you this evening at home.
 

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Mark, not bad for a first trial :).

Points where you could improve IMO are playing less notes per phrase and also the use of longer notes, like you did very nicely around 3:53. The new mouthpiece sounds good but gets a bit bright when pushed, so you need to control it a bit better (I recognize that from my own playing!). About the mix with the backing: in my speakers the sax had a bit too much reverb and was too loud at places. Try to get the same reverb feel in your dry sax track as in the backing and change the volume of your own sax track at parts where you feel it's too much in the foreground (I kept the volume of the backing original and only changed my own sax track volume in the mix). Listening on different speakers gives also a better indication about the final result. Also, play the mixed track very soft on your speakers, you still should be able to hear both tracks (backing and sax) in the correct mixture.
 

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Not meaning to hijack this thread but, Jeeze, it just breaks my heart to listen to this.

. . . and very nice playing.
 

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@gary why does it break your heart? Because its a nice song or because we are screwing with it? :)


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Mark, not bad for a first trial :).

Points where you could improve IMO are playing less notes per phrase and also the use of longer notes, like you did very nicely around 3:53. The new mouthpiece sounds good but gets a bit bright when pushed, so you need to control it a bit better (I recognize that from my own playing!). About the mix with the backing: in my speakers the sax had a bit too much reverb and was too loud at places. Try to get the same reverb feel in your dry sax track as in the backing and change the volume of your own sax track at parts where you feel it's too much in the foreground (I kept the volume of the backing original and only changed my own sax track volume in the mix). Listening on different speakers gives also a better indication about the final result. Also, play the mixed track very soft on your speakers, you still should be able to hear both tracks (backing and sax) in the correct mixture.
Thanks for the feedback....Going to work by train this morning, gave me a lot of time to listen to my own recording :)...the one thing I can say is that is keep repeating the save licks of notes.....so much it becomes boring.... :-( so gotta work on that as well
 

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PeeBee, great idea, and nice work. You get along really well. I'm almost tempted to give it a try. Though I've enough other things cooking I should concentrate on (working some baritone stuff with Jacques, as you might know).
Nevertheless, what would I have done differently ? After playing through the intro, I'd have left Mrs. Cassidy alone on the first A (8 bars); the second A like you did is just fine. On the bridge, I'd rather play straight fundamentals, very soft long tones, like a string section would do. The last A before your solo is just fine, as well as your transition to the solo.
More generally I'd have stayed in the lower more "fluffy" range until the solo, and only "turned on" during the solo, and while she sings with power towards the end. Your ending is just .... perfect !
 
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