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Bobby Caldwell In-Depth Interview Jan 2015


January 1, 2015 Arturo Sandoval In-Depth Interview Here

Released "After Dark" 11/05/14



































Interview by: Melissa Berry


“From blue-eyed soul to pop, R&B and standards singer/songwriter, Bobby Caldwell is truly one of the most respected members of the music industry.”

In a recent interview with Bobby Caldwell about his newest album, “After Dark,” the conversation resulted in much more than just discussing this latest release of Mr. Caldwell’s.  Not only was the actual production of “After Dark” considered, but also what is involved nowadays in interpreting and recording the entirely American, but internationally famous, Big Band sound.  There are so many on going changes in how records are made:  the pros and cons between tape and digital, use of synthesizers, and how all this affects the final production.  These points returned us to Mr. Caldwell’s current album and his current tour.


“After Dark” incorporates everything wonderful from the Big Band era combined with the tunes The Great American Songbook. It’s the kind of timeless album that will please older generations and attract the new while holding in high regard a wonderful genre of music.  The immediate and contagious swing beat, the welcome familiarity of our favorite tunes, and the smooth groove of Caldwell’s voice interpreting these favorites would be enough, but there is also something different with “After Dark.” This time it’s the fact that this album was recorded using one of the Air Force Bands – “Airmen of Note.”  As Mr. Caldwell explained to me, “It only made sense.  The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force - stationed in Washington D.C.  These musicians are some of the best there are and their job is to carry on the tradition of Major Glenn Miller's Army Air Corps dance band.” Laughingly he added, “And, with Washington D.C. to just be down the river from me, and with their military discipline, we were able to make this album in two days!”


And, they did it wonderfully.


When asked about the actual recording of this album, Mr. Caldwell had some interesting insights into the current methods used in recording. In mentioning some French horns on a previous album, I found out they were real…not synthesizers.  “Synthesizers have an inherently unnatural sound, as does the perfection of digital recordings compared to recordings made on tape from years ago.”  Having heard all sorts of music, which has been transferred, mainly for preservation purposes, from tape to digital, this is a very valid point.  It was also in keeping with another recording point Caldwell made - the difference between the sound of using live musicians and synthesizers:  Live musicians create vibrations which, in essence, are “moving sound waves,” where as the synthesizer creates “standing sound waves” which can have a somewhat static effect.


Mr. Caldwell’s use of current technology while maintaining a deep understanding and respect of the history of the recording industry is what is apparent in this new album.   In particular, “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” is a wonderful example of remaining true to the past while working in the present.  With horns that demand to be listened to, this cut features the arrangement of sax sensation, Andrew Neu, in this enthusiastic interpretation.  From start to finish this version never stops engaging the listener in the music and lyrics of this timeless song.

Also included in this album is a wonderfully sweet and cuddly version of “I’ve Got a Crush on You Sweetie Pie” that includes the charming verse to set up the rest of this George and Ira Gershwin standard.

And, not to be overlooked, is a new and fabulous arrangement of Mr. Caldwell’s timeless song, “What You Won’t Do For Love” which opens with a samba beat and a muted horn that could cut butter. Such a great song, and such an unexpected new arrangement.  All brass, but with syncopations and rhythms that are unexpected without ever leaving behind the well known and anticipated nuances.


“After Dark” is the essence of Bobby Caldwell who, while remaining true to his musicality, takes us with him into new interpretations. By including new musicians, new arrangements, and new interpretations for the iconic Big Band sound, he provides something for past, present and future generations of listeners.      


Bobby Caldwell Website









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          Joe Crocker
     Dies 1944 - 2014










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