Déjà Vu is a look back at some styles that I was interested in during the early parts of my career. In some ways it’s similar to my previous album “Dukey Treats” but it is a different look back. For one thing I chose to do a lot more synthesizer playing on this album using vintage analog synths along with current technology digital synths. Second, this album ventures into some other musical areas that weren’t covered in “Treats”. A blow by blow is covered below.:
1. A Melody: this tune allows me to visit the “Brazilian Love Affair” vibe in a slightly different way. I had the opportunity to play an extended Voyager (mini moog) solo which I haven’t done in along time. I love this vibe and the vocals are definitely A Melody.
2. You Touch My Brain: actually written for the “Dukey Treats” album but never recorded. This is a real loose “Sly” kind of funk groove that I love so much. It gave me a chance to sing a simple song and though most fans are not used to hearing Ron Bruner Jr. play this way, he puts that simple spice on the drum track allowing the music to flow naturally – after all, Fonk is or is not! And Jef Lee on this track – oh my God!
3. What Goes Around Comes Around: originally written by Everette and myself for the latest Everette Harp album that I produced. With an over abundance of songs it was never recorded for his album. Now, I always liked the tune so I decided to alter it a bit and include it in my package. The melody is played by Everette on soprano sax and me on Voyager, a real nice blending of timbres. This tune may remind some of a funky type of Weather Report vibe. Michael Manson plays great bass on this track along with some tasty guitar work from Ray Fuller. I played synth bass along with computer drums, the latter being programmed to sound like a real drummer. It’s quite tasty if I say so myself!
4. Bring Me Joy: will remind some of a Stevie Wonder song. Again I played lead Voyager. I sing some easy vocals but overall allow the synths to dominate the feeling. Most of the synths are Arp Oddesey and Mini Moog – all played one note at a time to achieve a chord. The vibe solo is a played via Giga Studio, Cool Vibe patch.
5. Ripple In Time: a tribute to Miles Davis from his funky free “Tutu” period. This tune allowed me to create what has been called tone poems using various synths to create the environment. It features Oscar Brashear’s interpretation of Miles, and he did a great job. Ron Bruner is solid throughout as is Jeff Lee on guitar. I played the Marcus Miller sounding bass on this one.
6. Oh Really?: Kinda funky in an off beat way. Ron lays the beat back and we all ride the wave. Once again Jeff Lee is amazing! Larry Kimpel laid the law down on this one as well. My old Wurlitzer 140B sounds like it’s stuffed with socks – and that Castlebar Clavinet – oh boi!!! I can’t neglect that organ – whew, kinda fonky but plenty jazzy at the same time.
7. 6 O’Clock Revisited: exactly what it says. Originally recorded on my Warner Brothers album “Snapshot”. This time I wrote lyrics and changed up the groove. It’s mostly an all synth track except for Ray Fuller on guitar and me on piano.
8. Come To Me Now: a song I wrote some years ago and never recorded. I think it has a great melody and allows me the chance to play some sensitive lead piano – you know, like I like to do...
9. Stupid Is As Stupid Does: a track in the typical jazz tradition of solos by all (except the bass). I used to record these type tracks almost on an everyday basis back in the day – this is truly a Déjà Vu moment. Bob Sheppard, Nicholas Payton and Hubert Laws throw down along with a blazing Nord Lead 3 solo by me followed by a crazy Ron Bruner solo.
10. Déjà Vu: a track where the melody begins very simply and grows and grows. The tune allows me to stretch on a Motif ES8 synth guitar patch and gives Bruner a chance to shine especially at the end of the tune. Mention must also be given to Sarah Thornblade who has quickly become one of my favorite violinists. This tune will remind some of the Mahavishnu Orchestra experience and that is appropriate. A nice piece of writing I might add.
All in all a nice collection of material that I hope you grow as fond of as I am.