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Steven Halpern on Co-Composing

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In his newsletter Steven Halpern has some great stories to share. Click to read a piece of New Age music history:

albumIt’s easy to remember the anniversary of my first day in a multi-track recording studio. It was the first weekend after New Year’s 1975. I had met David Porter, a recording engineer at a Christmas party featuring jazz legend John Handy. When he told me he was opening for business, I jumped at the opportunity to be his first client. I arrived at his home studio, set up my Fender Rhodes electric piano, and basically finished the entire album in one day!

I had two extra hours booked on Sunday, so I called up two of my friends. Without any rehearsal, Iasos set up his electric flute, and even though we had never played together, said: “Don’t even tell me what key you’re in. Let’s just go for it!”

We played two songs, and then my drummer friend, who requested he be listed as El Sito, arrived. Since we had gigged together a few times, his only other request was that he got some solo time, and that I would phase-shift his drums. (Only last year did I learn that his solo has been a big hit throughout Europe, and sampled widely, albeit without any credit to him or me) I had my trumpet, bass and guitar with me. Being in an 8-track studio was like being a kid in a candy store, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I overdubbed all the parts except the drums, and we played a medley of jazz/rock/funk and ended with a chill slow jam..

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