Portland Oregon's Lea Ball records original material inspired by the bebop era, departed artists, and local legends. Lets hear it!
My name is Lea Ball. I'm here to make an album out of my original jazz compositions, to be made available on CD and digitally in time for this year's holiday season. The CD version will include a bonus track, my arrangement of the standard Can't We Be Friends? by composer Kay Swift. Overall, I'm looking forward to putting together a top-notch album and sharing it with you!
The supporters from Kickstarter not only make this album possible but will also be hearing it before it is available to the general public.
As with my previous record, whose title track Father Time was dedicated to the great jazz bassist Leroy Vinnegar, some of the tunes slated for this recording are in tribute to artists who've left the scene. Clifford Brown, Herbie Nichols, Bill Evans, and the late vocal artist Armonica of Portland, Oregon recieve acknowledgement in my compositions here.
It goes without saying that many fine musicians leave behind a body of work, wherein only a portion was ever recorded for posterity. Many promising endeavors end rather suddenly this way, leaving too few admirers offering testimonials to the culture at large. It is with my tunes I pay due respect to those that came before, for the benefit of those that follow.
Apart from the influence of artists to whom I owe a limitless debt of gratitude, I draw inspiration from my family, the community of artists that surround me, and local color that I'm fortunate enough to enjoy where I live. Local landmarks are referenced here, from not only my current community in Portland, Oregon, but also my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.
Clearly, paying tribute is important to me and my craft. But it is not the singular aim of my music- These tunes are also about who I am, what I feel, and where my art takes me.
To make a timeless recording, some basic ingredients are essential to the effort. Among them, having the compositions in their final draft and hiring the right musicians to bring life to the music. The band recording this album includes some of the top jazz players in Pacific Northwest. Joining me again on drums is Ron Steen and I'm very excited to work with trumpeter Farnell Newton. Mark Simon will be playing piano, and Pete Petersen completes the quintet on tenor saxophone.
Requisite hours spent in rehearsals and in the studio will account for not only the best possible recordings, but also the lion's share of expenses associated with a project of this kind. Kickstarter pledges from our supporters make this stage of the album-making process happen.
Apart from a digital release of the album that will be available to Kickstarter backers prior to release anywhere else, I'll be using remaining funds to put out the album on CD for those of us that appreciate having a physical copy to listen to and share. The CD release will be made available for purchase in time for the holidays, but Kickstarter backers who've pledged $25.00 will be shipped a CD copy of the new record before it's available in stores! Backers pledging $50.00 or more will not only get the digital release but also CD copies of the new album as well as my first record, Father Time Remembered. And that's a lot of music.
Have a look to the right to see what further incentives are offered in turn for your support!
Direct your questions and comments to me through this page, and I'll be happy to talk with you about the project or just music in general!
August 4, 2011
I regularly play in various venues around Portland, Oregon. In the past year, I've appeared in jam sessions at Produce Row Cafe, Doc George's Jazz Kitchen, The Globe, Clyde's, and the late great jazz club The Hobbit. More recently I've also appeared in bands appearing at Eugenio's and Camellia Lounge.
Clifford Brown was the trumpeter who pretty well defined jazz playing on his instrument for many years, from his brief career in the early and mid Fifties, up until very recently. It can be argued that even now, he's influenced trumpeters since that time as well. His career ended prematurely in an automobile accident in June, 1956. He left behind a great roster of recordings (and more location recordings of him keep surfacing) and quite a number of challenging tunes that he wrote, including Daahoud, Joy Spring, Sandu, and Junior's Arrival. Brownie also grew up in the same town I did, Wilmington, Delaware, although in a slightly different time frame.On a visit to Wilmington recently I had the opportunity to revisit the street where Clifford Brown lived, and see the new park that was built to honor him.
While the digital release can be done inexpensively due to the low price of bandwidth in this day and age, we're recording the album the old fashioned way (where the musicians get paid!)
The biggest single component is payroll for the players, for rehearsals and for the recording sessions. Additional costs include paying the recording engineer for his space and his time (including mixdown), for mastering, and for replication. Not a good idea to skimp on any of the above!
Best: The ability to raise the most signifigant amount of the production costs for the project, while getting my family and friends involved directly! Kickstarter is a terrific website and platform for independent creative types like myself.
Worst: Having to wait for the Kickstarter pledge period to come to an end, hoping that there are enough backers for us to go ahead with the project! If you want to hear the album even a fraction of as much as I do... back this project & reap the benefits! :)
Should the Kickstarter drive be successful, recording will take place in October with mixing and mastering to immediately follow. The digital release ought to be ready by Halloween and CD release will roll out by Thanksgiving. In any case, Kickstarter backers will have their copies before commercial release which will surely make the album available for the holiday season!
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Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
SMARTY! A ten dollar pledge is not as modest as you'd think. I'd like to see a lot of these, actually, as this sends to you a digital copy of my new record before it is commercially available. Be the first kid on your block, etc...
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
SWING KID! For $25.00 American, not only will I have come $25.00 closer to my goal, you'll recieve two albums' worth of music digitally, and a hard copy on CD of my latest effort. This is a lot of music, folks!
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
DADDIO! If ya happen to have fifty bucks burning a hole in your pocket, I got something for ya: For those of you fine people contributing on this level, both albums will be yours in CD and digital format, for ease of use and enjoyment. And enjoyment is not an option.
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
HEP CAT! Not only do you get two albums' worth of fine original Jazz music, in antiquated and ultra-modern formats (CD & high bitrate mp3, respectively) you'll also become the proud owner/operator of a limited-run silkscreened project T-shirt in whatever size suits you. If this is your bag, we'll be in touch.
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (13 left of 15)
HIPSTER! You've got the music before anyone else in your neighborhood. Good lookin' out! Whats better than that, how about a limited-run, one-of-a-kind hand silkscreened hooded sweatshirt? (or, if you prefer, a T-shirt in your size has your name on it). In addition you'll be on our exclusive guest list for the album release party in Portland, Oregon. If you're not here already, we'll leave the light on for ya ;)
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
OLD BOY! Hey, big spender, you must really like good music. I mean really, really like good music. You're also shopping for the holidays, I can see- because I'm sending you two CDs, digital downloads of both albums, a special T-shirt for the discerning Jazz afficianado in your life, and a hoodie for your obdurate teenager. (or yourself, should you feel a chill.)
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
"ASSOCIATE PRODUCER": Hey, this is awfully generous of you. You could have pitched in ten bucks and I'd have been impressed, but you go and cut us *this* much slack? Darn good of you. You'll recieve all of the above, a phone call from me expressing thanks, and if you're in Oregon or Washington state I will put together a one-time-only supergroup and play a private concert for you and your friends at a venue or home of your choosing (travel and venue expenses not included. As we're a modest outfit, Oregon and Washington backers only, please. ...We'll consider New York, Berlin, and Tokyo.)
- (43 days)