Self Portrait #10: Funny Valentine


Self Portrait #10: Funny Valentine

This is the 10th and final installment of the Self Portrait Series…. Thank you so much to everyone that’s been a part of it and has been tracking along with the series, it’s meant the world to me!

My Funny Valentine has been my favorite ballad since I started playing jazz. In particular, the version of Chet Baker singing it (1954) has always left a lasting impression on me. I called on another wonderfully talented and sensitive musician to be a part of this track. Sam Blakeslee is someone that I’ve had the great pleasure to work alongside of in a multitude of situations. His ability to write for big band and arrange was what made me think he would be the perfect person to overdub several tracks on top of this drums and vocal duo.

Why sing on this track? Wether my singing voice is something that deserves to be recorded or not is beside the point. It’s long been an important tool for me musically and I wanted to make sure I captured it because this project is about capturing what I feel makes me who I am musically. And my imperfect voice is definitely a part of that! The imperfections are something that we are starting to lose in todays recordings and I think that makes us sound inhuman. I don’t like covering up all of our mistakes, fixing every note… it’s not natural. Part of making this project was accepting all of the flaws.

I want to dedicate this project to my incredibly lovely wife and daughter. They are my little valentines, constant inspiration and my biggest supporters. I love you!

In this video I used Remo Drum Heads and Fortune Drums

Album Artwork by Kevin Abrams and Hannah Taddeo

Thank you to Cass Jewell and Nathaniel Morgan for their incredible work on the audio and video!

The main vocal was recorded at the same time as the drums, I later added the other harmonies and the wonderful playing of Sam Blakeslee on trombone.

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