Firstly, I'd like you to have this. It's my latest album, "Acoustic".
If you like that, it is my hope that you might want to help me make another one (which you can reserve here for as little as a dollar). So…here it is :)
A brief history:
2013 has been a great year. I've been embraced by music communities around the world, from London to Uganda to Japan, some of which I've played live, and some who have only heard me on recordings. From winning the "Best Jazz Entertainer" award in the Chicago Music Awards, to being placed on the Grammy ballot for Best New Artist, to traveling around the world with some of the best musicians in the world…I can't begin to express how lucky and loved I felt.
In 2011, I released my first studio album, entitled "Acoustic". It found its way to every major jazz radio station in the US, and many overseas. Acoustic was embraced by jazz lovers, but also broke musical barriers, reaching people who don't listen to jazz. When I released "Acoustic," Robert Irving III (9-year Miles Davis music director/collaborator) said "Spero musically reveals to us pixels inside of which are masterpieces. Herein he has mastered the subtle art of complex simplicity. Again, I can't begin to imagine how he's going to surpass this release." He also says, "This may sound as if he's outdone himself, but it's my bet that he's only just begun." Well, Robert Irving III was right about at least one thing…that was just the tip of the iceberg.
With 8 selected originals and 4 arrangements of popular songs in my arsenal, I am ready to create a musical experience that you will never forget. This will be the album that defines me as an artist.
However, I know that I'm not an island. The reason I create music is because I have something I want to give to you. I want to give you an expression of my soul, my passion, and my love. That is what this record will be.
I work hard, but I know how lucky I am. I am lucky to have an environment so supportive that has allowed me to spend all my time practicing, performing, writing, and following my passion. I am lucky to have you in my life, even taking the time to read something like this, talking about what great things I plan to do and what I want to create with your help.
This album is going to be recorded at Hinge Studios in Chicago. It's one of the best in the world, and has been the musical home of people all the way from Kurt Elling to Kanye West.
I've booked out December 3rd and 5th for recording with the trio. I've schedule to overdub vocals, rhodes, moog, and organ on December 7, and mix on December 8 and 11.
The trio has been working hard on this album over the past month, and we'll give you updates as we progress towards the recording dates. These updates will come in the form of video, photos, and even some audio clips during the recording process.
I've written arrangements of the following popular songs: Blackbird (beatles) The Luckiest (ben folds) Fire and Rain (james taylor)
We're also recording my arrangement of Autumn Leaves as an instrumental. It's a pretty crazy arrangement; I'm very excited to show it to you.
Other than that, I have 8 original instrumental compositions that we're going to include on the album.
The songs have had some pretty solid feedback so far. I was at Herbie Hancock's house a few weeks ago and I had the chance to show him one of the tracks; my arrangement of Blackbird. He said it sounded great, and particular liked the flowing chord progression on the bridge, layered over a disjunct hemiola which will come as a surprise when I finally get the chance to show you the arrangement.
I'm including one original vocal song on the album. It's the first one I've ever released. And it wasn't originally meant to be a vocal song.
A couple months ago, Quincy Jones came to where I'm staying in LA. He asked to hear me play piano. I played him "Hills", from my last album (which he loved), and then played a song I called "Piece 20". I hadn't named it yet. He said he thought the piece was beautiful, but it was missing one thing; words.
I said "That's a great idea…but…I don't write words?" And then I remembered that my friend Peter Yastrow is a great lyricist, and had a lot in his soul to write about. Peter ended up composing the lyrics to the song, expounding on the emotions that he and his wife went through years ago during the heart-wrenching time when his daughter, Jody Yastrow, was dying of cancer. Jody was a beautiful gem who only had a brief 7 years in this world, but she will live on forever in the hearts of those she touched, and now in the hearts of the world through this song. The song is entitled "No Rest for the Weary".
Other stuff…like…THE GRAMMYS!
Aside from fans and friends around the waiting to hear what comes next in my musical adventures, I now have the eyes and ears of NARAS (yes it sounds like something out of Lord Of The Rings, but it's actually the association commonly known as the Grammys). They put me on the ballot for artist of the year this year, and I haven't released an album since 2011…so don't you think they'll take a listen when I put out this amazing new record of imaginative originals and creative covers, now with the addition of vocals? Yes, they will. And if I get nominated, and if you are a major backer, as described to the right, I'll take you with me.
AND IN CONCLUSION
That, my friends, is it.
THANK YOU!!!! so much for getting to know the dream that I am working to bring into a reality.
This project is based not on the whims of an investor or the ideals of a corporate label. This project is based on honesty, creativity, art, and passion. The purpose of this record is you, and the reason that this record will be possible is you. As soon as you support this kickstarter, PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU'VE DONE IT, AND SPREAD THE LINK FAR AND WIDE.
Thank you, my friends, from the bottom of my heart.
Peace, love, creativity, and passion.
Risks and challenges
Recording an album takes a lot of people doing a lot of different jobs. Right now, I have everything aligned and prepared to execute. For example, I have the following lined up:
Drummer: Makaya McCraven
Bassist: Junius Paul
Studio Engineer: Craig Bauer (btw multiple grammy-winning engineer)
Studio: Hinge Studios, Chicago (Everyone from Kurt Elling to Kanye West has recorded there…one of the best studios in the country).
Mastering engineer: Danny Leake
Recording dates: December 3 and 5
Overdub/vocals: December 7
Mixing: December 8 and 10
Everyone is committed. However, it does happen from time to time that something huge comes up for someone, and we have to adjust the schedule accordingly. Things could potentially be pushed back, but you have my solemn swear that I will get this album recorded, mixed, mastered, and released with great fanfare as soon as humanly possible. This is my life and my passion, and I'm very excited to have you as a part of it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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