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Saxophonist and vocalist Erich Cawalla grows home with new CD – Reading Eagle

For the past 15 years, saxophonist Erich Cawalla has gained a lot of support as the face of an uptown band.

Through equivalent parts grit, determination and talent, he incorporated a 9-piece R & B / jazz / funk outfit into one of the most sought-after bands in the region and beyond, releasing two CDs along the way. did.

But Kawara and some of the people around him always felt like he was doing a little unfinished work. It seemed natural for him to record a standard solo album featuring his talent not only on the saxophone, but also on vocals and Michael Bublé.

Think of it as fulfilling your mission with the May 10 national release of “Erich Cawalla — The Great American Songbook” by Chicago-based Bluejazz Promotions.

The album will be celebrated locally at Boscov’s Burks Jazz Fest Preview Show. The show will feature a 24-piece big band and orchestra on Wednesday at 7 pm in the auditorium of Mifflin High School.

It has criteria such as “Have You Met Miss Jones,” “All My Tomorrows,” “Ooh Baby Baby,” “When Sunny Gets the Blues,” and “Almost Like Being in Love,” in memory of Kenny Rankin.”Curtain Falls” in memory of Natalie Cole and Bobby Darin

Wait for 2 years

It’s been a long time since the release. Originally scheduled for spring 2020, Kawara chose to put it on hold when the coronavirus pandemic revealed the extent of the blockade. At that time, he didn’t expect it to take two years for the dust to settle.

“We were supposed to release it on March 25th (2020) and the whole world shut down 10 days ago,” Kawara said.

What happened in the meantime was a mixed bag. There were deaths along the way, including Cawall arranger Dave De Palma and percussionist Leonard “Doc” Gibbs playing on CD. And others too.

“I think what’s really sad to me is that many of the people who were my mentors who wanted to listen to this CD are now inherited. That’s really annoying to me,” says Cawalla. I did. “People like Don Walker, Bobby Murcer, Tony Kurdira, (Robert)’Doc’ Mulligan.”

But on the bright side, Kawara was able to make some tweaks to the record, such as adding strings to “All My Tomorrows,” courtesy of Yanny’s violinist Karen Briggs.

“We thought we had another two years to work on it, so we should complete it as much as possible,” Kawara said. “So we put her on it, and it made a big difference to the truck.”

Another plus is that the rescheduled CD release show is back where Cawalla got off to a good start.

“This is the third time (the location) has changed and it’s now at my alma mater. It’s very cool because the jazz ensemble of Governor Mifflin Statesman, who played 25 years ago, is open.” Said. “Now it’s the same stage I started with Mifflin.”

5 years of production

For Kawara, the 11-track CD was not a small task. During the five-year production period, all-star friends and music acquaintances who back him up with a 17-piece big band played on five tracks will appear. Grammy-winning guitarist David Karen, former Maynard Ferguson drummer Marco Marcinko, Yamaha pianist Steve Rudolph, legendary Philadelphia saxophonist Larry McKenna, and jazz saxophonist Andrew. He says the lineup of musicians who can gather in the area, such as Neu, is great.

“So it’s all local Pennsylvania, but they’re all incredible,” Kawara said. “They are all Cream de la Creme guys.”

Big band featuring big names is recording backtracks at Spyro’s Modern Music in Laureldale. (Photo courtesy of Erich Cawalla)

To get a vintage sound like when Sinatra recorded with a big band on Capitol Records, he collected them all in Laureldale’s Spiro modern music for a live session.

“I lowered the four (chart), looked at the price tag, and said,’Oh, this won’t be a cheap record,'” Kawara said with a laugh.

For cake icing, he turned to Philadelphia’s trumpeter and Randy Brecker, a fixture at the Burks Jazz Fest. The resume includes Blood, Sweat & Tears, Horace Silver Quintet and, of course, Brecker Brothers stints. Brecker tears it solo with Cawall’s version of “Stella by Starlight.”

“I wanted to give it a bigger name, just to show people that this is a special album, given the Grammy Awards,” Kawara said.

Brilliant arrangement

On most charts, he turned to De Palma, who he met behind the scenes on a showboat in Atlantic City, NJ 20 years ago, but they lived within a few miles of each other. According to Kawara, DeParma, who lives in Denver, Lancaster County, was good at creating everything from the Tower of Power atmosphere to the arrangements of big bands and orchestras in the style of Sinatra.

“He was just great, and he was a local,” Kawara said. “I was very fortunate to find such a world-class man.”

Songs that do not feature big bands may have smaller horn sections, strings, oboe, bass clarinet, and flute.

“There are different textures,” says Cawalla. “It takes you to the year of Sinatra-base, where you really get the sound of that big band. Then it takes you to the year of Capitol (record), where you really Get the sound of that orchestra. Charlie Parker also has a strings-like album. “

The sky is the limit

On the left is Eric Kawara playing the saxophone with his longtime friend Benny Sims, who made the CD. (Reading Eagle)

Kawara’s longtime friend, music partner, producer (and bassist) Benny Sims says the sky will be the limit when the album is released.

“I’ll tell you now. When this record is released, I don’t think anyone is ready for the level of talent he has,” Sims said. “No one knows. That is, everyone knows he is talented, but how much do they know? And this record will blow people away.”

Kawara has what The Sims described as a smooth, simple falsetto that exudes warmth, and he also has a considerable vocal range.

“His voice, it’s very fascinating,” Sims said. “He brings you with his voice and his tone.”

Favorite track

In collaboration with DePalma and Sims, Cawalla created an original record called “Life’s About Forgiving”. He said Bouble modeled on his favorite song on Chris Botti’s record called “Let There Be Love.”

He also picked the album closer “The Curtain Falls” as his favorite.

“When I watch the movie’Beyond the Sea’, I hear the song at the end, but it really spoke to me,” Kawara said.

The lesson learned from Bobby Murcer is to break down the barrier between performers and spectators.

“It’s really about experience,” Kawara said. “And it’s about what the song is, just the relationship between the audience and the performers.”

“A little emotional”

The Sims remembered two years ago when he finally finished the record.

“We sat in Eric’s car and heard it, because he still does,” he said with a laugh. “It was a bit emotional because it’s a very beautiful sounding record. I think I was able to really capture the essence of his talent. The arrangement is great. Dave De Palma did most of the arrangements. That is, a great arrangement. That arrangement is very powerful. “

Kawara said the release of the Great American Songbook marks the pinnacle of his career to date.

“But I hope it keeps growing,” he said.

If you go

The “Great American Songbook” will be on sale at the concert on Wednesday.

event: Boscov’s Burks Jazz Fest Preview Show, Erich Cawalla — The Great American Songbook

when: Wednesday 7:00 pm

where: Governor Mifflin High School Auditorium, Sillington

tickets: $ 15 for adults and $ 10 for students by calling erichcawalla.com in advance or calling 610-781-8312. ($ 20 and $ 15 at the door)

Saxophonist and vocalist Erich Cawalla grows home with new CD – Reading Eagle

Source link Saxophonist and vocalist Erich Cawalla grows home with new CD – Reading Eagle

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