Studio Session Sit-In with Modern Day Greats: Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Thundercat and Ronald Bruner

I’ve been working in the music biz for while a now, and I’ve been in studio sessions before, but it’s never been anything special. Most of the time, it’s vocalists overdubbing, or a bunch of people sitting on couches listening to mixes. It’s not like I’ve ever been in a studio session when “genius” happens. I’ve never sat in a studio when a studio engineer pushes the “record” button and some music-savants just jam out their ideas playing off of each other.

Well … I guess I can cross something off of my bucket-list.

Terrace Martin had invited me to his performance at The Troubadour when he opened for Snarky Puppy. Like his gig at the Del Monte Speakeasy, he had Grammy-Award winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper join him on-stage for part of his set.

After Snarky Puppy had finished their concert, I tried looking for Terrace to congratulate him on a killer set. Since I couldn’t find him, I shot him a text to thank him for hooking me up with a free ticket to the show. As soon as I started the ignition of my car, he shot me a text back to meet up with him at the studio where he and Robert were working. It was a weekday, and I had a conference call at 10am, but I couldn’t pass this up.

I plunked the address he sent over in my GPS.  I must have rolled-through two stop signs, rushing to get to the studio. When I walked into the building, the people at the front desk asked me which session I was there for. I didn’t know, so I texted Terrace.

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Holy …. I kinda lost my breath.

I opened the door of the studio, and Terrace greets me. He tells me that I can snap some pics, but that I absolutely couldn’t shoot any video. I didn’t argue.

I scanned the room and saw Robert Glasper to my left, and Thundercat to my right. My brain started hurting just thinking about the music IQ in the room. I’ll admit … I was a little intimidated, so I relegated myself as a silent observer. I had no problem with that.

I spent the next two hours watching these gents “work” in the studio. I got to see them joke around, talk smack … oh, damn, they sure can talk some smack … and, most importantly, play. Watching Thundercat play a riff with such maddening speed and precision that he had to stop to stretch out his hands afterwards. Watching Terrace tell the studio engineer to adjust the mics on the drum kit because of how hard Ron played the drums, then to watch Ron smash the set with violent abandon. Watching both Robert and Terrace lose themselves in the music that they were playing. Oh, man. It was truly an experience that I’ll not soon forget.

When I looked at my watch it was already 2am. Lord knows I would have killed to stay in that studio until the sun came up, but damn that 10am conference call.

As I got up to leave, I addressed the group by thanking them for letting me sit in. I then decided to keep talking and mentioned that, “I wish I was a studio-rat like you guys” (you know … like a gym-rat? …. someone who can’t leave a certain place because of their dedication) … I should have kept my mouth shut.

Thundercat look up from his bass and said, “Rat? Are all musicians rats, now.” Everybody started laughing. I started blushing. Then Robert and Terrace chimed in with the same ribbing. I felt like a fool, but at the same time it also felt somewhat endearing. I sheepishly thanked them all again, and bounced.

When I got to my car, it came to me. I should have said “studio-cat”…

Terrace Martin’s “3ChordFold Pulse” [REVIEW]

terrace-martin-3chord-pulse It feels just like yesterday that Terrace Martin released his last album, the sublime “3ChordFold”. But ever the relentless, working musician, you knew that he had more up his sleeve, ready to share with the world. His latest release, “3ChordFold Pulse” is a follow up worthy of some serious attention.

Not only does he once again call upon the help of some of the highest caliber musicians around (Robert Glasper, James Fauntleroy, Thundercat, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 9th Wonder and Ethan Farmer, just to name a few), but the album is a musical offering that, at least upon my initial listen, seamlessly covers the musical spectrum.

From the jazz elements in the title track “Pulse” (ft. Preston Harris) and “Its Yours” (ft. Robert Glasper, James Fauntleroy and Thundercat), to the soulful R&B vibes in “You and Me” (ft Preston Harris), “Come and Get Me” (ft. Wyann Vaughn) and All The Things (ft. Don Dolla), to the surprising blues offering in “Lets Go Get  Stoned” (ft. Snoop Dogg and Tone Trezure) to the jazz infused hip-hop of “Poetic Justice [Live in New York] (with Kendrick Lamar) and “Never Have To Worry” [Live in New York] (with Snoop Dogg) … this album has a little bit of everything.

Perhaps my favorite track on this release is Terrace’s live rendition of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” which was recorded at the Del Monte Speakeasy, a show I was privileged to have been at, and features otherworldly performances from not only Terrace, but also Robert Glasper, Ethan Farmer, Marlon Williams and Ronald Bruner. It’s an amazing recording. I’m lucky that I’ll be able to purchase it to have in my collection for life.

Hey, Terrace? When are you dropping your albums on WAX?!?!? I NEED!

For some reason, I am unable to embed the media player into this post, so CLICK THIS LINK TO GET REDIRECTED TO THE DJBOOTH WEBSITE TO LISTEN TO THE ALBUM IN FULL.

A Year of Concerts: 2013

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Listed chronologically, the most recent show first.

Stevie Wonder | Songs In The Key Of Life | Nokia Theatre L.A. Live | 12/21/13

Shy Girls | The Spare Room and Bootleg Bar | 12/12/13 and 12/13/13

Snoopzilla and Dam Funk “7 Days Of Funk” Record Release Party | Los Angeles Exchange | 12/10/13

Thundercat | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Moses Sumney | The Echoplex | 12/05/13

Pearl Jam | Los Angeles Sports Arena | Nov. 23-24, 2013

Ben Harper | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 11/18/13

The Record Company | The Satellite | 11/15/13

The Janks | The Satellite | 11/15/13

Nine Inch Nails | Staples Center | 11/08/13

Iron & Wine | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Laura Mvula | The Orpheum Theatre | 10/31/13

Hiatus Kaiyote | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Moses Sumney | Skirball Cultural Center | 10/30/13

Hanni El Khatib| El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

Bass Drum of Death | El Rey Theatre | 10/25/13

Tijuana Panthers | El Rey Theatre| 10/25/13

The Secret State | Loaded Hollywood | 10/13/13

Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide 2013 | Echo Park | 11/10/13 – 11/11/13  (Wooster, Tiny Ruins, Maya Vik, Iza, Medicine, Jacco Gardner, Gemini Club and Great White Buffalo)

Fiona Apple and Blake Mills | Walt Disney Concert Hall | 10/7/13

Depeche Mode | Staples Center | 9/29/13

M83, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Phantogram | Hollywood Bowl | 9/22/13

The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue | Santa Monica Pier | September 21, 2013 (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Maceo Parker, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc)

Laura Mvula | El Rey Theatre | 9/17/13

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Lobster Festival | Port of Los Angeles | September 14, 2013 (The Section Quartet, Nightmare & The Cat, Deap Vally, Dead Sara)

Girl in a Coma | The Echoplex | September 12, 2013

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

The Dustbowl Revival | Twilight Concert Series | August 29, 2013

FYF FEST | L.A. State Historic Park | August 24 and 25, 2013 (Mikal Cronin, Charles Bradley, The Breeders, Devendra Banhart, The Locust, Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Orwells, Pional, How To Dress Well, No Age, !!! (ChkChkChk), Shlohmo, MGMT, Solange, and Holy Ghost!)

Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band |Burton W. Chace Park | August 17, 2013

The National | Jimmy Kimmel Live | August 12, 2013

Hanni El Khatib | Twilight Concert Series | August 8, 2013

Hiatus Kaiyote | The Bootleg Theater | July 31, 2013

Geographer | Getty Center | July 27, 2013

Tijuana Tears | The Virgil | July 24, 2013

Savages | El Rey Theatre | July 23, 2013

Alabama Shakes | Hollywood Palladium | July 17th, 2013

Rodrigo y Gabriela | Hollywood Bowl | July 14, 2013

Young, Gifted & Nina: A Tribute to Nina Simone | California Plaza | July 5, 2013

BET Experience | R. Kelly, New Edition & The Jacksons | Staples Center | 6/30/13

BET Experience | Snoop, Kendrick Lamar & J.Cole | Staples Center | 6/29/13

BET Experience | Beyonce | Staples Center | 6/28/13

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters | Shrine Auditorium | June 26th, 2013

Nina Diaz | Hotel Café | June 9th, 2013

Ink-N-Iron Festival | Queen Mary | June 8, 2013 (Girl in a Coma, Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, Kaleigh Baker, The Fleshtones, Dead Kennedys and Iggy and the Stooges)

Illumination Road | The Roxy | June 4, 2013

Make Music Pasadena 2013 | June 1, 2013 (The Record Company, The Peach Kings, YACHT, Robert DeLong, Youngblood Hawke, Haunted Summer and The Likes of Us)

A Night For Jolie; A Night To Remember | Henson Recording Studios | May 31, 2013

Hanni El Khatib and The Black Angels | Mayan Theater | 5/21/13

What Made Milwaukee Famous | Central SAPC | 5/19/13

Dead Sara | El Rey Theater | May 9, 2013

New Build and No Ceremony/// | First Unitarian Church | April 27, 2013

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Friday (Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Palma Violets, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, Stone Roses and How To Destroy Angels)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Saturday (Ben Howard, Pucifer, Violent Femmes, Grizzly Bear, Postal Service, Franz Ferdinand and Phoenix)

Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Sunday (Alex Clare, Rodriguez, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave, Wu-Tang Clan and Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Toddchella | Part I | Tijuana Tears

Toddchella | Part II | The Record Company

Toddchella | Part III | We Were Indians

The Weeks | Three Clubs | 3/29/13

Nik Kai | 12 Year Old Guitar Prodigy | The Future of Shredding

The Night Hiatus Kaiyote Blew My Mind At The Del Monte Speakeasy 3/23/13

Jose James | The Del Monte Speakeasy | 3/13/13

Morrissey | Staples Center | 3/1/13

Orange Tulip Conspiracy |El Cid | 2/22/13

Soundgarden | The Wiltern | 2/16/13

The Robert Glasper Experiment | The Roxy | 2/8/13

Social Distortion | The House of Blues (Sunset) | 01/26/13

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