You don't hear much tenor guitar in jazz anymore (remember Eddie Condon & Tiny Grimes?). Help us finish our CD of swing classics!
Us and Why We Need Your Help
Tenor Madness is a swing trio. A very lovely person has agreed to loan us some of the initial funds we need to record our CD of quirky swing classics (tentatively titled "Do Something!"). We will need to re-pay them, and we also need funds for the mixing, graphics, licensing and manufacturing. KIckstarter suggested we aim low, so we've asked here for $2000 though in fact our costs will be higher. So if we go over, rest assured the funds are needed and will be used to produce a first-rate package! Your contribution will help make the project possible, and will help give the world a jazz CD featuring the tenor guitar. Kinda nifty. We have self-produced three award-winning CDs that people seem to like; please check out the "Kudos" page of our website. Much of our repertoire fits into our "Music is Funny" philosophy. Witty lyrics, rhythmic shenanigans. All in very good taste, mind you. This would be a good place to mention that the picture above was taken by Syracuse photographer John Dowling. Thanks John! That's our request in a nutshell. If you like details, keep reading.
The Tenor Guitar
So what on earth is a tenor guitar? You can get the whole low-down at an excellent site called http://www.tenorguitar.com/. Suffice it here to say that it's a 4-string guitar that can be tuned in various ways, usually in 5ths. But for the jazz voicings we use, the DGBE tuning works best. When you're playing with a bass player, tenor guitar is great because it stays out of the sonic range of the bass; it also has a slightly brighter timbre than a standard 6-string guitar. Because you're only playing 4 notes at a time, learning chords can be kind of infuriating, since one chord shape can be called by several different names depending on what note the bass is playing. We think there's something very fitting about playing the music we play on vintage instruments from the same era. Cool.
Subcat Studios has just moved into Syracuse from Skaneateles, NY and their facility is stunning and first-rate. Ron Keck, the owner, has done wonderful live recordings for us in the past (see our YouTube Channel called folkswaggoner; the videos that include Stefan Vasnier on piano were recorded by Ron). We almost released these recordings on a CD, but realized that many music outlets will not use live cuts. So instead we considered that concert an excellent rehearsal for a studio session.
Several cuts from our previous CDs have been featured for a long time on the Singers and Standards channel on cable TV, and we have similar aspirations for at least a few of the cuts on this new venture.
The First Session
When we learned that pianist Stefan Vasnier was going to be in Syracuse in mid-July, we jumped on the chance to record these fun songs with him. Accomplished jazz musicians are famous for being able to play something they've never seen before, and play it well. So in a way it's not surprising that, in a concert he played with us last year, Stefan did such a great job with these tunes he had never seen before, after only one evening of rehearsal. But his performances were so much more than technically wonderful; he entered completely into the spirit of these witty and fun songs.
So that's our first session, July 19: Phil, Hanna and Stefan. About 5 songs, including "Show Your Linen Miss Richardson"--how could we resist that one??; "Talk to Me Baby"; "The Very Thought of You"; the fairly obscure but fun "What Have You Got That Gets Me" and the wonderfully suggestive yet innocent "Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid." Phil on upright bass, Hanna on tenor guitar and vocals, and Stefan on piano.
The Second Session
Our second session, later this summer, will feature the original Tenor Madness configuration: two tenor guitars, upright bass, and vocals. For this session, we'll be including Jared Mulcahy on upright bass, and Phil will take up the second tenor guitar. Jared first came into the picture as one of Phil's bass students. That's Jared in the middle of our profile picture. Wonderful player, and a treat to play with. So far, we're planning to record the probable title cut "Do Something"; "Romance Without Finance is a Nuisance" (written by tenor guitarist Tiny Grimes, with whom Phil played bass in the 1970s and 80s); "Foolin' Myself"; and "The Lady's in Love With You" (a song from our "Great Songs From Lousy Movies" series).
Making a CD only starts with the recording sessions. Then we'll need some mixing time in the studio, and we need to hire someone to do the graphic design of the project. Licensing of the songs is expensive, but the right way to play. Finally, we need someone to manufacture 1000 copies of the whole package. That's our project, and we would welcome your help! Thanks for reading this far.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $2,000 goal
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Jun 25, 2011 - Jul 25, 2011 (30 days)
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Thanks for your help!
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Thank you! Get a free download of any song from the finished CD.
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Thank you! Free signed CD once it's done.
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Thank you! 2 free signed CDs
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Thank you! 3 free signed CDs plus a DVD of a live Tenor Madness Concert. Public thanks in our printed liner notes. If you're near Syracuse, I'll bake you a dozen delicious gluten-free banana nut muffins!
Pledge $250 or more
Thank you! 5 free signed CDs, the concert DVD, plus a free homemade instructional video for tenor guitar (DGBE tuning) of any tune in our repertoire. Public thanks in our printed liner notes. The muffins, if you're in the area.
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Thank you! A free house concert at a mutually agreed upon date & location. Within driving distance of Syracuse, NY or further if you cover transportation and accommodations; plus the instructional video, the DVD, and 10 free CDs. Public thanks in our printed liner notes. The muffins.
Pledge $1,500 or more
1 backer All gone!
Thank you! Executive producer credit in our liner notes, a free house concert within driving distance of Syracuse, NY or further if you cover transportation and accommodations; the instructional video, the DVD and 20 copies of the CD. And of course, the muffins! Heck, we'll give you a delicious home cooked dinner in our house!