My "Sunburst" Production Story

In making my CD, “Sunburst,“ I wanted to play solo, as I often do in my home and in club or concert venues. In this day and age of multitracking, ‘punching-in‘, overdubbing, etc., I wanted to simply play and document my personal arrangements of some favorite songs. To accomplish this, I asked some special people if they could work with me. The first was Bob Bain, a longtime giant in our industry, having been ‘first call’ guitarist for such luminaries as Henry Mancini, Nelson Riddle, Billy May, and so many others. Most of us saw Bob with The Tonight Show Orchestra for some twenty-three years. He was a staff arranger at Capitol Records, as well. Putting this all together along with our close friendship made his participation most rewarding. The second was recording/producing legend, Al Schmitt. I have done a number of sessions over the years with Al, and he was most generous in agreeing to help out. Al’s knowledge is without limit, and he got a wonderful sound on the guitars. For the three songs I played on the Greg Brandt classical guitar, he mic’d the instrument in stereo, as well as the room, so we had four channels of live guitar. For the Steve Gilchrist archtop, he added a mic for the amplifier, giving us five channels. Al continued his magic, mixing these tracks into a lovely warm balance. On Al’s recommendation, I took the two track mixes to Doug Sax at the Mastering Lab, who put the final touches on the project with Robert Hadley. Finally, Meg Zivahl-Fox used her magic to visually combine the archtop guitar with one of her digital tapestries, for the cover design, capturing the warmth and color Al created in Capitol Studio B. Meg happens to be my wife, and her beautiful art brings a special sense of pride for me, in this album. The choice of material was easy. These are some of my favorite songs, plus one original, “The Man Who Was Magic.” All of the selections are played ‘in time’, with the exception of, “My One And Only Love,” which is played mostly in tempo. The standards represented herein are a part of our American artistic legacy of the Twentieth Century. I’m not sure we will see this kind of depth in the popular song form for many years. This body of work from Broadway Shows, Tin Pan Alley, motion pictures, and records is a remarkable accomplishment, by some great composers. All in all, this is what I love to do and I hope you enjoy it. - JIM FOX

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