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It is with the assistance and support of many people that Short Life, Small Planet has been born. It was a pandemic birth...our first studio session was scheduled for March 15, 2020...RIP...So my thanks are fervent and extensive.
Firstly, my wife Anne has been my spirit partner in this project. She is wise beyond my
years and upbeat in attitude, a life-saver for me, who tends to the morose. Whenever I
became defeated by the distance or the difficulty, she would quietly remind me of the
music. Wouldn’t it be nice for lots of people to hear these songs?
My musical partner in all of this, Wade Tonken, deserves kudos for patience, valor under pressure, and unflagging creative desire to make the songs better. Whenever there was something to be done, Wade would step in. It’s largely due to his energy and work that this album exists and I will be forever in his debt. In the process of working on the songs, I discovered his singular musical ear, his excellent guitar playing and his eye for design and presentation.
A big thanks to the wonderful women who sang on this record—they make me sound so much better than I am! But, more importantly, LaJuan Carter, Audrey Martells, and Layonne Holmes exhibited the rare ability to pull the best out of the vocal arrangements while modeling the joy of singing together. They really lifted my spirits and I will remember our sessions as a time of inspiration and professionalism.
Thanks to my rhythm section brothers Keir Ellison, and Phil Johnson zooming in from
Orlando for all the support. Lord knows, we overcame some challenging communication problems and they lifted me up whenever my spirits flagged. I love the funk but the willingness to work a song until it felt just right...it was truly a gift!
Thanks to the horn section, Erick Storckman, Cliff Lyons and Vinnie Cutro—who really
had to roll with the punches of a slowly developing set of charts. Never give a song writer too much time to mess with the parts! He’ll drive you crazy! So thanks, for putting up with the changes and for the wonderful horn energy—it’s a joyful noise for sure!
All my love to drummers, Josh Greenzeig and Sjoerd van Bommel, who came in to
groove on several songs where we struggled with the feel. They put it right!
Thanks to Johnny Montagnese and Carriage House Studios in Stamford, CT and Ryan Ordway at The Studio in Portland, ME.
As to my family, former students, colleagues, and friends who contributed to the project —THANKS! I hope you enjoy the results of your support.
Finally, to a few brave souls who I could always count on to offer unvarnished opinions about the music; Kevin Norwood, Peter Linacre, Mike Mancini, Andy van Dette. Always grateful for feedback!
Special thanks to Jacob Collier who at the height of my isolation during the pandemic
took the time to listen to an early version of Rocks from an unknown writer and give it a favorable review. An unusual act of kindness!
In memoriam of my sister, Carole Anne Taylor. Always in my corner...”somewhere in the blue.”
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