Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Orrin Keepnews

Dr. Bob Prescribes the Bill Evans Trio

The Job of a Record Producer Here’s how The Recording Academy (formally the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, or NARAS) defines a record producer: “The person who has overall creative and technical control of the entire recording project, and the individual recording sessions that are part of that project. He or she is present in the recording studio or at the location recording and works directly with the artist and engineer. The producer makes creative and aesthetic decisions that realize both the artist’s and label’s goals in the creation of musical content. Other duties include but are not limited to: keeping budgets and schedules, adhering to deadlines, hiring musicians, singers, studios and engineers, overseeing other staffing needs and editing.” When it comes to making a recording, the producer, then, is the chief, the chef, the Jefe, the Geater-with-the-Heater, the Big-Boss-with-the-Hot-Sauce, that single person who makes (or breaks) a recording session. We should be aware that the job of a record producer will vary tremendously depending upon the genre of music involved (concert, rock/pop/country/hip-hop, or jazz) and whether the recording is made in a studio or live, in front of an audience. Let’s start with studio recordings and the differing role played […]

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Music History Monday: Orrin Keepnews: With Great Respect and Appreciation

We mark the death on March 1, 2015 – six years ago today – of the American jazz producer and founder of Riverside Records and Milestone Records Orrin Keepnews, in El Cerrito California, but a couple of stones’ throws from where I’m writing this blog. Born in da Bronx on March 2, 1923, Keepnews died one day before what would have been his 92nd birthday. Keepnews remains one of those indispensable people who made entire careers possible, who protected and respected musicians in an often-vicious artistic environment, who labored in the background and was thus someone whose contributions are often overlooked. Well, not here; not today. We will get to Mr. Keepnews in a moment. But first: March 1st is one of those “feast days” during which so much stuff happened in music history that any number of anniversaries or events could have occupied the bulk of today’s post. As I would never forgive myself for not mentioning at least some of them, here we go. We mark the birth on March 1, 1810 – 221 years ago today – of the miraculous Frédéric François Chopin in Żelazowa Wola, Poland, not far from Warsaw. He died, all-too-young 39 years later, […]

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