"There are a lot of elements adding up to why her records sound the way they do, starting with the writers and the musicians she's assembled. Lorraine has created a great team that has been fairly consistent over the years, the newest great addition being Dave Grusin on the Attachments album.
"The recording process is usually done at Entourage Studio in North Hollywood, where I have recorded probably close to fifty records over the years. I know the room well. It's a great-sounding wood room with a vintage Neve console to record through. Recording through this particular piece of analog equipment makes a big difference. Then, of course, it's a matter of putting the right microphones in the right places. Lorraine's vocals are always recorded using a beautiful, restored Neumann U67 tube microphone.
"What is interesting about the way Lorraine makes records is that she'll do two or three songs at a time, and then several months go by before the next session, while she's working on the next songs. We hardly notice that we've done a whole record, when one day, Lorraine announces that the recording is done and it's time to mix.
"The good thing about the way we mix is that we take our time, and are continuously revisiting each mix, listening on many different systems and making notes and adjustments as we go. There are four of us doing the reviewing: Eddie Arkin, Carlos, myself, and of course, Lorraine. There's a lot of attention to detail, especially making sure we hear and understand all of Lorraine's wonderful lyrics. We call this part of the process 'nit-picking,' and we have some special techniques in balancing Lorraine's vocals with the band. This multiple scrutinization adds up to a refinement that ends up with everyone happy. What's great is that Lorraine always goes the full nine yards in allowing this to happen. Mixing by committee seems to work very well.
"Also, for the last two records, the mixes have been put through a Neve summing device which puts digital mixes back through analog, giving it an even bigger, warmer sound. The final step is a good mastering with Bernie Grundman and voila, there you have it.
"One of my favorite things in life is making a Lorraine Feather record. I can't wait till we start the next one..."
Photo credits Page 1, Geoff Gillette, Lorraine Feather, Carlos Del Rosario: Eddie Arkin Page 2, Dave Grusin: Andy Ihnatko Page 3, Shelly Berg: Jim Wadsworth Productions Page 4, Eddie Arkin: Timothy Teague Page 7, Russell Ferrante: Mitch Haupers
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.