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Date: 14 October 2011
Session Time: 3-5pm
Studio: Angel Studio 1
Arranger/MD: Chris Walden/ Bill Ross
Project: Film called Journey 2
Track: 'What A Wonderful World'
"Chris and Bill are amazing arrangers/composers from LA who have worked on great albums and movie projects. I've worked with Chris before on several occasions in London. Chris came over from LA specially to conduct this chart and arrived at the studio direct from the airport! It was a version of 'What A Wonderful World' for the end of the film. It is a combination of what Chris described as an 'Island Feel' and swinging big band. Figures A to D on the chart had a really nice latin groove and then the chart broke out into full-blown swing at bar 77. The end of the chart finishes in the same feel as the beginning. The demo had a kind of rim-groove that felt great. I did something of my own that was similar; a mozambique with the right hand on the rim and the left had cross stick on the snare drum without snares. Snares came on for the swing section.
"Once the big band joined in, it was pretty full-on... classic big band style. This was played live with the full band: Four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones doubling woodwind, piano, double bass doubling electric bass, electric guitar doubling acoustic guitar and drums. Percussion (bongos & shaker played by Luis Conte) was already on the track. All to click of course. The chart was beautifully written, as always with Chris, with simple clear phrasing as appropriate... easy to play and making a lot of sense... what a joy!
"We played a run-through and then made about four takes. A few things were changed in the process, and Bill was listening from LA and producing, talking to us on Skype. All in all a lovely thing to do... a musical chart that played itself. We finished early and left tome for a few overdubs. Strings were going down at 7pm. Chris was on a flight back the next morning."
Click to the next image to see what gear Ralph used on the session.