Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012: Year in Review

Here are some of the major projects that were recorded at Avatar Studios in 2012.

Bruno Mars recorded tracks for his new album, Unorthodox Jukebox, including “Locked Out of Heaven” in Studios A and B with producer Mark Ronson and engineer Alan O’Connell assisted by Bob Mallory and Tyler Hartman.

Paul McCartney recorded the track “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (with Diana Krall on piano) as part of the compilation Holidays Rule in Studio A with producer Tommy LiPuma, engineer Al Schmitt assisted by Brian Montgomery and Tim Marchiafava. Watch video footage of the session.

Tony Bennett sang duets with Thalia and Marc Anthony in Studio C and with Juan Luis Guerra and Romeo Santos in Studio A for his latest, Viva Duets. Dae Bennett produced and engineered the sessions assisted by Aki Nishimura and Charlie Kramsky.

Dionne Warwick recorded her album Now in Studio C with producer Phil Ramone and engineer Lawrence Manchester assisted by Charlie Kramsky.

Diana Krall spent a couple of weeks tracking her new album Glad Rag Doll in Studio A with producer T Bone Burnett and engineer Michael Piersante assisted by Bob Mallory.

Placido Domingo recorded with Harry Connick, Jr. in Studio C with producer / engineer Rafa Sardina for his new album Songs. Fernando Lodeiro and Charlie Kramsky assisted on the orchestral dates.

Pat Metheny took over Studio A for four days of tracking with his full Orchestrion for his latest album Unity Band. The session was produced by Pat Metheny and Steve Rodby with engineer James Farber assisted by Bob Mallory.

Other artists who worked on their upcoming projects included Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Jane Monheit and Megan Hilty.

On December 12, a historic gathering of top artists descended on New York and performed at the 12.12.12 Sandy Relief Benefit Concert. Some of the songs from the concert were mixed in Studio G by Bob Clearmountain assisted by Bob Mallory.

Up & Coming:

The band Carney was in Studio B recording their self-produced project with engineer Chris Rondinella assisted by Bob Mallory and Tim Marchiafava.

The four-piece band The Rubens from Australia tracked in Studio A with producer David Kahne, engineer Roy Hendrickson assisted by Charlie Kramsky.

The New York City based band The NowhereNauts tracked in Studio A with producer Kevin March, producer / engineer Carl Glanville assisted by Tim Marchiafava. Watch a short clip of their session.

The Young Presidents tracked in Studio A and C with producer /engineer Rob Fraboni assisted by Bob Mallory and Tyler Hartman.

Film:

2012 was a year that saw a lot of film scores and music recorded at Avatar.

Music for a new Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis, was recorded in Studio A with producers T Bone Burnett and the Coen Brothers, engineer Jason Wormer assisted by Bob Mallory.

The film score to A Late Quartet composed by Angelo Badalamenti was recorded in Studio A. The session was produced by Angelo Badalamenti and Jim Bruening and engineered by Todd Whitelock assisted by Charlie Kramsky and Tyler Hartman. The film is directed by Yaron Zilberman and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken.

The film score to Hope Springs composed by Teddy Shapiro was recorded in Studio A. Directed by David Frankel, the film stars Meryl Streep, Steve Carell and Tommy Lee Jones. The session was produced by Teddy Shapiro and engineered by Chris Fogel assisted by Tim Marchiafava and Aki Nishimura.

Music for Rise of the Guardians, composed by Alexandre Desplat, featuring Renee Fleming was recorded in Studio C in September with producer Christina Steinberg, engineer Richard King assisted by Charlie Kramsky.

The film score to an upcoming film Mood Indigo was recorded in Studio A with director Michel Gondry, engineer Brian Montgomery assisted by Tim Marchiafava.

TV:

Avatar continued to be the place where music for NBC’s show Smash was being recorded, now in its second season, with producers Mark Shaiman and Scott Riesett. In one of the sessions for the show, Jennifer Hudson was in Studio B with producers Marc Shaiman and Harvey Mason, Jr., engineer Andrew Hey assisted by Charlie Kramsky. The most recent Smash session in Studio A was videotaped. The song “Let Me Be Your Star” from the show is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category.

Music for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire also continues to be recorded in Studio A. Guest performers included Liza Minnelli.

Jimmy Fallon and The Roots recorded Jimmy Fallon’s comedy album, Blow Your Pants Off, in Studios A and C. Produced by Fallon, the recording session was engineered by Lawrence Manchester and assisted by Charlie Kramsky. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Comedy Album category.

Broadway Cast Albums:

Broadway cast albums recorded at Avatar included Bonnie & Clyde (producer David Lai, engineer Isaiah Abolin assisted by Charlie Kramsky & Tim Marchiafava in Studio C), Once: A New Musical (producer Steven Epstein, engineer Richard King assisted by Fernando Lodeiro & Mike Bauer in Studio A), Merrily We Roll Along (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, producer Stephen Sondheim, Tommy Krasker, engineer Bart Migal assisted by Bob Mallory and Tyler Hartman in Studio A), Leap of Faith (producer Alan Menken, engineer Peter Karam assisted by Bob Mallory in Studio A) and Last Smoker in America (producer Andy Sandberg, engineer Joel Moss assisted by Tyler Hartman in Studio B).

Once: A New Musical has already won a Tony Award for Best Musical and is nominated for a Grammy in the Best Musical Theater Album category along with the Broadway cast album for Follies, which was recorded at Avatar in 2011.

Incidentally, Avatar hosted a live orchestra in Studio A that was linked via fiber to The Beacon Theater during the Tony Awards telecast.

Other Notables:

Some noteworthy projects recorded included:

Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Hezekiah Walker recorded in Studio A with a 60+ piece choir. Hezekiah Walker produced with engineer Larry Sturn assisted by Tim Marchiafava and Tyler Hartman.

Brooklyn Rider, an interesting string quartet with eclectic repertoire recorded in Studio B after Thanksgiving with producer Johnny Gandelsman, engineer Jesse Lewis assisted by Aki Nishimura.

The Jazz Flute Big Band with 16 great flute players and rhythm section recorded in Studio C with producer Tom Burns, engineer Katsu Naito assisted by Aki Nishimura. The recordings will premier at the 2013 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans in August 2013.