Rebecca Martin: Here, the Same, But Different
RM: I'm real comfortable making this music.
AAJ: What about Thoroughfare ? Did you release that yourself?
RM: I did.
AAJ: How was that for you?
RM: That was the last project that I made that went without a hitch. It just magically came together. It was recorded in a day, as was Middlehope. Just more simple, and fresh out of the demise of "Once Blue." I worked with Joe Ferla as an engineer and co-producer. Larry, Kenny Wolleson and Steve were the musicians I was current with then. A lot of the songs on that record were intended for the second "Once Blue" release. They never got the chance to be recorded, and I was happy to do a different version of them on Thoroughfare. I had just picked up the guitar in a serious way, and wrote a few songs that were included. The historical aspect of making records, to look back and see where you were then and how it helped to define you is a great process. Very journal like. It was Larry and my first project together. We had our little 1974 Beetle that we'd drive out to the recording studio. Exit 13 off the Palisades Parkway (laughs). A magical, magical time in my life. Larry used an electric bass for Thoroughfare which is really unusual for him. When we were rehearsing the songs at Kenny's, Larry didn't bring his bass because Kenny had always had one there. When we arrived, we learned that the person who it belonged to took it back, so Larry picked up Kenny's old Danelectro that was in pretty poor shape. It's pickup was held together by a matchbook! We all loved it's sound and decided to use it on the record.
AAJ: Yeah, he doesn't play that axe much.
RM: He doesn't, though he does have a few electrics at home.
AAJ: Middlehope is a real personal take on the standards. Personally, I think that after this new record , Fresh Sounds will have to do a special pressing for your Middlehope record the way they did with the first Bad Plus record.
RM: I would never have made Middlehope without my Fresh Sound experience. Being who they are ultimately encouraged me to make a record of standards. I wanted to keep my band recording and together while I continued to write, so decided to move forward with it. It was a wonderful experience working with Jordi. He gets excited about the music though doesn't interfere with the Artist's vision. Working with MAXJAZZ is very much the same. Richard and Clayton were there for the recording, and it was really comforting for me to have them there. They brought the loveliest wine along with their musical spirits...
AAJ: That's what I want to be when I grow up.
AAJ: One of those guys who gets to bring wine to your recording date and hang out.
RM: If you don't know already Phil, you're in the fold and have an open invitation to the next one. I'm not kidding.
AAJ: I'm going to hold you to that- in print! So, you implied earlier that this new one was a tougher record to make. Can you expand on that?
RM: We had some major problems with the end result of this record and I had to have it remixed.
AAJ: Did you make them remix it or someone else?
RM: I made the decision. I could not pass the original mixes on to MAXJAZZ.
AAJ: Wild-ass guess. Was the first mix a huge Rebecca and an eensy teensy rest of the band?
RM: That is logical, but the problems with the sound were much more complicated then that. It was all wrong without going into detail. Steve Addabbo helped me coordinate another overdub and mixing session. James Farber saved the day once again. He did the same on Middlehope. Without his wonderful work, his openness to any situation, his patience, long hours and good humor - both of these records would not be what they are.
AAJ: Well, it sounds like you have a confluence of things that have come together for you here.
RM: Absolutely. I'm working with some of the best musicians and engineers a person could ever hope for. I've been able to work in the most wonderful studios on the East Coast. I've had many people over the years work very hard to help me realize my goal and navigate my career in this nutty business, and I've now found a wonderful, sophisticated label who supports me now in what I do.
AAJ: Anything you want to leave us with?
RM: I'm just really happy to be where I am right now, and am looking forward to many more recordings. I try not to look too far ahead, but I have to admit, the future of our music does excite me.
Visit Rebecca Martin on the web at www.rebeccamartin.com .