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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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This feels like cheating having this tune already in the can. I was working with a Latin band where I was the only non-Latinx (I'm from Wyoming). This is a song I wrote but there isn't any sax or flute on this. I'm busy playing keyboards

This was a band that sounded really good live but just couldn't seem to work well in a studio environment. After two or three failed studio attempts (expensive wasted days) I decided to record the band myself - I had to learn on the job. I used creative mic placement because we were in a practice room without any sound treatment - in fact we were near the airport and frequently had to stop and wait for a plane to land before we could record - kind of hilarious really. But it worked because the band relaxed being in their own space and not feeling the pressure of studio. I recorded the band pretty much exactly as we play live and used minimal EQ/effects etc. BTW the picture of the band is the actual room where we recorded this.

I'll have to write something Latin this month with some sax or flute but in the meantime here is this sort of Latin thing I wrote:
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Facercate
EDIT: Oh ... if the voice at the intro sounds familiar (I stole it from this track to tack on to the TOTM October) this is the track that actually started out with that voice. It's our Conga/Timbale player who loved to do Mister Haney voice from the Green Acres TV series and I thought it was hilarious to stick in front of this tune :ROFLMAO:
That was really good! Like the piano and percussion, good singer too.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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When I was working with the Latin band, I wrote this tune with lyrics. It was my first time writing a full set of lyrics (other than the lyrics I make up about my cat's stinky butt) and the lyrics were "OK" but not great. Not sure if lyrics are a part of these OOTM threads - I could share the lyrics if there is interest and maybe you guys could help me hip them up.

When I write a tune, I usually start with a bass-line that I think is catchy and then add a track with the chords and the basic melody idea. Then, in that basic and simple form, I will present it to the band and usually play along with just the drummer or bass and drums trying various feels in search of an "infectious groove". And then I would work with the singer and simplify the melody to get to the essence of it. As horn players we (or I for sure) tend to noodle a lot -- and so I try to get to the heart of the melody without a lot of flourish.

anyway .... while we were playing around with different Latin feels for the tune, someone suggested I try it as reggae. And that's how this version was born. I'm not sure if this qualifies as "write a Latin tune" but it does have congas and timbales and Latin percussion and a slowed and simplified Latin-esque piano montuno. The Latin elements are overshadowed by the Reggae I think.

Since my lyrics were amateur, I decided to mute the vocal track this morning and remove the second verse to shorten it up for now. I just recorded some tenor sax playing something similar to the vocal melody but I drastically altered the chorus melody because on Sax I could get away with it - is it too much of a departure from the verse melody?

Curious what you think. The sax lines are pretty much off the top of my head this morning and I'll probably completely re-think it after I have some lunch. Also where I cut the middle section out (right between the sax chorus and the guitar solo) I had a subtle (but driving) organ interlude before the second verse (both gone here). Perhaps I should put it back and turn the 2nd verse into a sax or flute solo? I just thought it would be boring to repeat the vocal melody a second time on sax (with vocal at least the lyric changes to tell more of the story). Comments/critique/suggestions all welcome.
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Fobsesion
Sounds really good! You play very well. Makes for a nice instrumental.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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OK ... I got up this morning and started fooling around with piano chords. I had Latin in mind but somewhere along the way the "Latin" seems to have faded out of it so I'm not entirely sure if this qualifies for this thread or not. If you have any idea what you would call this style, please tell me -- it's just what popped out when I started playing chords on the piano. I didn't put any percussion behind it and perhaps the right drum or conga groove would lead me to re-record the backing track with more of a Latin feel. Please let me know what you think and suggestions -- it's a work in progress. I'm going to post this and then go make tacos for lunch and maybe that'll give me some ideas :ROFLMAO:

Hey, that is really good! Nice playing again and I like the chord changes. You have a nice tenor sound, what is your setup?
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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Well I gave it a try singing and had a real hard time with my voice wavering all over - just really out of shape. I tried doubling two vocal takes and I'm not sure if that makes it worse or if it helps hide the flaws. I was only able to sing one verse and I'll have to rest my voice a bit - but I think if I start singing every day it might come back. 40-50 years ago I was singing 5 sets a night 6 nights a week but I haven't sung much at all in the past 30 years. It was fun to pull the flute out too.

Here's a sampler taste of the tune. Or is that wrong of me to show the work in progress -- should I wait until I have it finished? I'm hoping by showing the work in progress I might get some suggestions about where to go with it. The expected form is the 2nd verse will come right where this little sample fades out and then a short solo (probably Tenor Sax?) and chorus out.

Note: Você é Gata --- someone was telling me that this is Portuguese for "You're a Cat" but that it's used in Brazil to mean "You're so Sexy". I don't know for sure if that's true and I'm certain I'm not pronouncing it right.

https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Fvoce-gata-first-verse-with-flute
Very cool, you have a good voice. Nice flute playing.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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This breaks my own rule a little! .This is my arrangement (vs. an original) of “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Crofts. I made it awhile back during record-breaking cold just after a blizzard in Maine (it was therapeutic!) and attached a pic of a summer day playing a gig in Castine,Maine on my website.I play saxophone, flute and synths I used the Partido Alto groove for the verses. The partido alto groove was very difficult to play my melody with for some reason and I'm not entirely happy with it because it seems kind of choppy or something, but no matter how I tried to do it differently it just didn't seem to improve it, but it does contrast with the other section that used a more traditional dry swing drum loop.

I'm working on an original Rumba though so stay tuned!

Summer Breeze

View attachment 139533


Sounds: The verse uses Partido Alto loops/samples from Celso Alberti, fretless bass, jazz guitar and Rhodes. In the second verse I use a new device called Humana in the DAW I use (Reason) which has great samples of the human voice. The last verses are solos- first tenor, then synth (Rhodes put through a polyphonic arpeggiator), and finally flute for the outro. The chorus has a more traditional dry swing drum loop, a “low simple sub” bass, a guitar sound called “Vollenweiderustica” and a synth called “Shoals”. The contrasting, more tranquil sounds in the bridge are synths called “Ambient Bamboo” and “Cinematic Justice”. The Rhodes accompanies, and there is an Udu sample.
Love Seals and Crofts! Man it's kind of jolting when you're used to the song, especially the chorus. You have some crazy time changes in there. Great sounding flute and sax. Cool how you make it your own.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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Just curious on your horn, mouthpiece and reeds.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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In case there is interest in me posting the progress on this tune as I build it up - I re-sang the vocals this morning and added the second verse. I'm still out of shape but if feels like it'll come back if I practice a little every day for a few months/years :ROFLMAO:

I've got the bridge chord progression and then vamp out on the chorus (tomorrow when my voice has recovered enough to sing the outro).

I've got lots of questions about how to build this tune if you guys feel like weighing in:
I'm thinking Tenor Sax for the solo?
I added some echo to the flute - too much?
When I sing the outro (just chorus repeating over and over) should I overlay flute or sax with the vocals? And how polite do I need to be? Seems like I can intrude over the vocals a bit more with a horn or flute since it's just repeating the same lyrics over and over - thoughts on that?
Occasionally I drop into an Arabic tonality on a flute fills - is that off putting, out of character too much or does it work?
https://soundcloud.com/user-460666353%2Fvoce-e-gata-take-two-second-verse-and-bridge-chords-added
I would try the sax and the flute for a solo and you will know witch one works after a few bars I'll bet. The flute is such a part of the song that it seems like the logical choice but who knows till you try. Nice song.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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OK, time to throw in another track. This one is also a combo type mixing Tango and Flamenco...I called it Flamingo (close enough). This is a collaboration with a long time associate from Malaga Spain who plays bass and rhythm on this. Only the first half has tenor sax. The second half was supposed to be filled out by someone else, but showcases my friend Mario's fine playing.
Very nice playing!
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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That's some great stuff, you're a heck of a piano man, high energy sax too. You guys really nail that style of music.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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Thanks Roundmidnite and whamtoncourt. Whamtoncourt are you talking about the strings or the piano. I do think the piano sounds a little stiff, maybe needs a little tweak. The strings I wasn't trying to be super on the beat.
 

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Antigua Powerbell tenor-Otto Link NY ,Vito Alto -Gigliotti Spectrum, Antigua sop- Morgan 4
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Smoothed out the piano part so it should be better, thanks whamptoncourt. Soundcloud won't let me post it right now though...
 
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