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© Ralph Salmins
Date: 13 January 2012
Session Time: 10-1, 2-5
Studio: Abbey Road 2
Project: New Eurodisney attraction
Musical Director/Arranger: Joel McNeely
“This was a slightly unusual session, as it was for a new attraction at Eurodisney. We played tracks for a montage that will be used in the attraction. They had new arrangements written by the great Joel McNeely, a phenomenal American arranger that has been writing for films and albums for many years. He's just finished a big band album with Seth McFarlane at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles that sounds like it will be phenomenal. All live to tape
“The line-up in the morning was piano, double bass, drums, guitar and accordion. The afternoon line up was classic big band: four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones and four rhythm. We tracked everything live and to click.
“The session was quite tricky because they were using the original Disney vocals... Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins, Robin Williams and Louis Prima singing ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from The Jungle Book. Obviously these tracks were recorded before clicks were invented, so the tempi were matched to the originals, which meant they were moving around a lot. It took quite a few run-throughs for us to get the tracks.
“Drums were my standard studio kit, tuned open, as the brief was ‘50s for some things: Gretsch USA Custom 22”x16”, 12”x8”, 15”x15”, 1959 trans badge Ludwig brass 400 snare drum. Cymbals: Sabian 14" HHX Studio hats, 18" Legacy crash, 17" HHX Dark crash, 21" Groove ride, 22" Manhattan Jazz ride.
“For the jazz material I am using Vic firth AJ2 or AJ6 model sticks which have a very small tip for enhanced clarity.”