ABOUT "THE MUSIC IN ME"
Every CD starts with the songs. The collection of songs on this recording were written over a 25 year period. Some deal with my observation of the culture, some of my love and gratitude for my Savior Jesus the giver of the music, and some reflect my own struggles and joys.
I wanted to make a CD where musicians were playing together. There is nothing like having great players in a studio, the synergy is magic! So you start with the rhythm section:
Guitars, Don Russo. Don is one of the most gifted players I know. His musical input for this project was invaluable. I think you will find his playing speaks for itself.
Bass guitar, Ed James. Ed is MR. FUNK. His sweet spirit and talent make him who he is. He also has a twin named Morris. :-)
On the drums for 9 of the tracks is John Allen. John and I recorded at Columbia recording studios in NYC when he was still in high school. John played on the original demo of Funky Lick that we recorded in my parents garage way back when. John is also a gifted engineer and producer.
I am grateful to these guys for their friendship, their musical prowess, time and energy. Their spirit of collaboration was priceless during this recording.
Keyboards on You Are Mine and Sacred Dance were played by John Drymon. I can't tell you the amount of record industry people who have asked after hearing him play "Who is the keyboard player?" A testament to John's gift.
The player who is a new friend is David Nunez. David played keyboards on the other 7 songs that have keys. His talent, enthusiasm and encouragement made him a joy to work with.
I wanted to use real strings and horns on many of these songs, so that meant working with musical arrangers. For strings there was only one person I wanted to work with and that was the late Tom Howard. I was fortunate to work with Tom in the 1980 on a project I was hired to produce. When it came time to do my own project he was the guy I called. Tom did the string arrangements on You Are Mine and Be Not of This World. He came to NJ in January of 2007 and conducted the string session. Tom was a consummate professional, talented, kind, a true gentleman...he was loved and respected. His discography and Facebook dedication pages bear witness to this. I will always remember that string date for many reasons. I am grateful for his musical signature on this project. Tom went to be with his Savior on January 29, 2010.
Thank you to all the string players and to Katie Gusman for contracting them.
For the horns enter Steve Jankowski. For the R&B horn stuff I knew that Steve was the man. He has toured and played with Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears and the Funk Brothers, just to name a few. Along with being an outstanding player and arranger, Steve is also a composer and engineer. I am grateful to the rest of the horn players, Jay Davidson, Rick Brunermer, and my dear brother Stan McCleary.
The last song we recorded was Donna. The drums on this track were played by Randy Yelton. Check out Randy's wonderful cymbal work. The horns were arranged by Jon Plante. I had worked with Jon many years ago and always loved his flugal work. I tracked him down and asked if he would do the arrangement and play a flugal horn solo. He said yes. Thanks to Warren Fioretti on tenor and Joe McDonough on trombone.
Last but not least to my dear sisters, Holly Orgo, Cherie Morton, Stephanie Emery and Krista Morton for singing background vocals. I cannot thank them enough for giving of their time, energy, prayers, and talent. It is a joy to make music with you guys!
Also a special thanks to Rev. Michael Morgan for bringing the Word at the end of "Be Not of This World".