David Manley's Notes
David Manley’s Notes On The Recording
The heart and soul of any recorded sound must surely be the acoustical properties of the room or hall itself, and the microphones being used within that acoustic. I designed the acoustics of the VITAL studio in Chino, California, for ‘purist’ recording-techniques only, with all the music played ‘live’ and captured straight onto 2 stereo tracks ....
Every single piece of equipment in the (entirely tube, entirely analogue) recording chain is of my design and is built in our factory in Chino. Somewhat unusually, this includes the microphones themselves. No equalization of any kind is employed. We fulIy updated the mechanics in the 1/2 inch 2-track Studer C37 analogue tape deck which contains only our Manley pure tube circuitry.
Todd Cochran is a born and bred San Franciscan. His parents both being serious musicians, Todd’s formative years were pointed strongly toward the classical… his early piano studies with Geraldine Linegar enriched his classical training and (in Todd’s words), “……taught me not only theory, technique and repertoire but the intimate connection of music to life and human emotions….” He has performed on stage with Dizzy Gillespie, John Handy, Roland Kirk and Peter Gabriel: his recording-studio experiences ranges from Santana through Phil Collins, Jim Capaldi, Jeff Beck, Carl Palmer, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Grover Washington Jr., Maynard Ferguson, Rod Stewart, Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Freddie Hubbard….the list goes on….. However you will listen the kind of music that Todd really enjoys making and composing. May you richly enjoy it. Brilliant Corners - is a unique Thelenious Monk composition I have always enjoyed. Monk’s music has great style and speaks of optimism and hope.
Munyungo Jackson, though having become a living legend in his own lifetime as THE master of international percussion rhythms, actually hails from Los Angeles where he was born into an intensely musical musical and theatrical family In truth, Munyungo sees himself as a “drummer” (rather than “percussionist”) because he feels called to communicate his thoughts in the drum languages of the world with a total dedication to authenticity and absolute sincerity to what he views as the lifeblood of African culture. Munyungo has made important rhythmic contributions to such stars as Sting, Kenny Loggins, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, George Duke, The Pointer Sisters and Diana Reeves.
Drums, Drums, Drums - is dedicated to the drums of the Third world Countries of Africa, North and south America and the Caribbean, written and performed by noted poet Rabia Rayford. The rhythm is a conglomeration of indigenous rhythms from the home countries of the various drums mentioned in the poetry. Later, the marimba joins in to round out the melodic structure of the piece.
The recording of this session with “The Doctor” was memorable for me in many ways. Firstly, Doc Powell was so well prepared and in command of his music that the whole album sailed through in about six hours!... Thereby leaving me with very little production work and able to concentrate on the sheer sound and the joy of his masterful talent. Secondly, it was our first session to include “JULIUS” - the pet name for our newly arrived 1930 BLUTHNER 9 foot 3 concertgrand, the rarest piece of Julius Bluthner’s Aliquot-strung genius in piano design. Rodney Franklin fell instantly in love with our Bluthner and, no doubt, Julius inspired him to tremendous heights in his performance. Impeccable indeed was Doc’s choice of the other sidemen; with Reggie Hamilton on basses and Michael Baker on drums made for a star-studded backing group... who, generously, allow Doc to shine in the forefront. Third & Lastly, I was personally honoured that Doc chose to amplify his Gibson 335 guitar through a stock VTL 80 watt amplifier. What an enjoyable session! All Right Now - I penned this composition while recovering from a bad case of food poisoning during which I really had the blues! The title “All Right Now” is self-explanatory.
David Manley - California, 1991- 1992