Chris Ziemba

Pianist, Composer, Educator

Manhattan Lullaby is on its way!!!

It's been a while since my last update, and many things have happened! I launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the necessary funds for my album, and, with the generous support of about 125 backers, I was successful! The album was recorded in late August at Trading 8s Studio in Paramus, NJ. This was a beautiful new space with a beautiful rebuilt 1954 Steinway B, recommended to me by my bassist, Hans Glawischnig--he has worked with some heavies and this spot was previously recommended to him. We recorded a total of 10 tunes, over a period of six hours and 25 takes. I was joined in the studio by Jimmy Macbride on drums and Michael Thomas on alto saxophone and bass clarinet. I was also thrilled to have long-time friend (we go back to high school!) and musical colleague Nick Finzer, lending his ears and expertise as producer. I can't recommend the studio or its engineer, Chris Sulit, highly enough to anyone who is looking to record a small jazz project (the space can comfortably fit up to a sextet).

I took a necessary few days off immediately following the recording, to give my ears time to reset and get ready to review the takes as objectively as possible. This I did throughout the month of September, and with the help of a few solicited opinions, I was able to figure out a game plan for the mixing and mastering sessions. The first of these sessions took place in early October. Nick and I went to Bass Hit Recording in midtown Manhattan to work with a legend in his own time, Dave Darlington. Dave has mixed and mastered for some of the most iconic voices in this generation (and from past generations, too!), including a few of my musical role models, so I am thrilled to have him lending his magical touch to mine. We spent a day polishing up the takes that I had selected. This was a new process for me, so again I was happy to have the assistance of Nick, who has been through the whole process with his own music several times already. I've since been listening to these takes in their almost-final form, and I have to say that it sounds even better than I originally hoped.

I'm taking everything back to Dave in about a week for the final touches, and then the musical side of it will be done! There are a bunch of steps that still have to be taken in order to get the album out into the world, most notably figuring out the artwork and CD duplication. I am aiming to have it released in February or March. This will be firmed up soon, as I work with Nick and a publicity expert to come up with a game plan. I will be back more frequently with updates on this, so keep checking in!