From the Mind of Brett VanDonsel

Classic 60’s bachelor pad music. Pairs well with a martini in London. Smooth swingin’ big band orchestration complete with harpsichord and vibes. Also featuring harmonized full saxophone section soli, upright bass, trombone, piccolo, sort of Henry Mancini, Austin Powers powers on a more reflective day, Mr. Incredible coming back from retirement, or James Bond mixing business with pleasure, shaken not stirred.

It’s a mixture of acoustic and sampled instruments. The guitar part is me playing on a Heritage H-575 hollow body acoustic guitar. It’s a mixture of the signal from the pickups and a ribbon mic out in front of it. The drums are almost all real instruments except a few cymbal crashes and the hi-hats, which were serving as a click track. Ride cymbals and snare drums (brushes and subtle stuff) were worth the extra effort of playing acoustically rather than using samples. In my opinion it makes the who mix feel less stiff.

The horns are samples (no kidding, right?) If any horn section is interested in donating their time to record it, go for it. I can send you a version with no horns and you can add them in. Saxophones are particular tough to recreate, so I find the best bet is to focus heavily on the parts working well from a writing standpoint before getting to hung up on the sounds. Good harmonization and voice leading and well defined articulation can do a lot to mask less than stellar sounds. (but you can’t beat a real section)

To hear some “real” tenor sax playing, check out Steve Johnson featured in my track “Flowers of Rio Branco”. It’s somewhat in this vein, but leans into the BossaNova Chet Baker angle of the bachelor genre.