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MP3 Ruthie Ristich - Carefully Taught

Intimate, hot, electric, sincere, she even laughs in tune. Jazz, blues,
love songs, and some humorous sophisticated swing.

14 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Swing/Big Band

I interviewed Ruthie after her set at an outdoor music festival in North
Idaho. It was midnight and we were skinny dipping in the river nearby.
Jaime de la Noche

JD: You do a lot of tunes about love. Where does that come from?
RR: It''s where I always go. I love love songs. I have a great family, full
of love and I''m passionate about people getting along, loving one another, living together. Couples, cities, countries, the world. Love songs are about the smallest thing and the biggest.
JD: Can you believe this water temperature?
RR: Mmmmm. And there''s Orion, and the Pleides. Man, I''m tellin'' you.
The stars in Idaho!


Special thanks to all the musician brother/friends who worked with me on this project. Please see the biographies at the bottom of this for more details.

bass: Ira Coleman, Ed Friedland, Peter Herbert, Mike Stanzilas
piano: Alain Mallet,Teese Gohl, Renato Chicco
drums and percussion: Ben Wittman (all tracks)
guitar: Bill Brinkley

I wanted to put together a project that represented songs I''d recorded that had never been released in a CD format along with several new arrangements. It was good to see that there were more songs than I could fit so I tried to pick a good sampling. There are still some classic arrangements of songs like Dylan''s Blowin'' in the Wind, Carol King''s Giant Step, Van Morrison''s Crazy Love, Bill Wither''s Ain''t No Sunshine, Jobim''s Dindi, and Rodgers and Hart''s My Romance that did not make it onto this CD. I look forward to re-working these arrangements for future recordings.

Several of the older recordings on this CD were stored on analog tape. Since this format is now archaic I had a difficult time even finding a studio with reel to reel decks for playback. Don Foote referred me to Alvan Long who referred me to another studio owner who was kind enough to lead me to mWorks (https://www.tradebit.com), a mastering studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The engineers and studio managers were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. A few of my 7 1/2 ips and 15 ips master tapes had a high pitched squeal when played back. Engineer Matt Azevedo knew the sound was caused by the magnetic oxide layer and the backing acetate layer slipping away from each other. As it turned out, whale oil had been used to hold recording tape together, but once it was banned, a suitable substitute had to be found. The early to mid 1980s were a tough time for tape manufacturers as they all scrambled to find a replacement medium. Matt reassured me that all was not lost. All he had to do was BAKE the tapes in a pizza oven (convection) for about 6 hours. This heat treatment would fuse the layers back together for a short time so we could then play them back, transfer the signal, and digitize the tracks. This seemed like way too much hocus pocus to believe, but what else could I do? We scheduled studio time for post-baking and sure enough, the tapes played back sans squeal. Digitizing went forward without a hitch. Jack Trifiro transferred some DAT masters to CDrom since DAT tapes deteriorate as well. Bob Patton from Thin Ice Productions in North Andover did some prep work, too. Brad Hatfield also assisted with some initial digitizing in his studio at Brad Hatfield Productions (https://www.tradebit.com Gaye Hatfield Tolan helped listen to pick and critique what tracks to use. She suggested doing some percussion overdubs on Where is Love which sounded beautiful in Ben Wittman''s capable hands.

Ben recommended using Manfred Knoop''s studio in River Edge, New Jersey for the new recording last October. He has done quite a bit of recording there, both as engineer and musician. The studio has a beautiful Hamburg Steinway grand, ample parking, and the day rate was reasonable. Lots of jazz musicians have recorded there including Cedar Walton, the New York Voices, Dianne Reeves, Cyro Baptiste, Lenny White, and Ole Mathiesen.

Teese Gohl, Alain Mallet, Ira Coleman and Ben all drove in from various points in New York and we spent most of the day recording 7 songs. They were all fascinated with whatever the latest digital studio gear, almost like it''s some highly sophisticated but also totally alluring video game for adults. Recording consoles resemble the cockpit of a space ship - lots of sliders, buttons, and lights. Since all the musicians are seasoned producers and arrangers themselves their expertise was a welcome addition to the session. Their expert ears while listening to playback takes helped pick which one had the best overall performance. Music being the collaborative medium it is guarantees each song''s enhancement by each individual musician''s artistry and creativity. Ben and I mixed the tracks at his studio Seventh Avenue Productions in Brooklyn. We also adjusted levels and settled on a line-up that would work well together since there were sonic differences between the older and newer recordings.

Without the many influences of teachers, musicians, seers, technicians, family, and fans over the years I most certainly would not be who I am today. Here''s to more learning, more giving, more music.



The musicians who perform on Carefully Taught are all world class players whom I''ve worked with since attending Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Pianist Alain Mallet is currently touring and recording with Paul Simon and Phil Woods, he''s also worked with or produced records for The NY Voices, Jonatha Brooke, Paquito D''Rivera, Marc Cohn, Dave Samuels, Club D''Elf and Chiara Civello among others. He is a professor at Berklee College of Music.

Pianist Teese Gohl has worked with Nana Vasconcelos, Sergio Brandao, Cyro Baptiste, Ictus, Bob Moses, Dave Stewart, Carly Simon and many others. He is also a music producer with the composer Eliot Goldenthal on movies such as Batman Forever, Aliens III, Michael Collins, Titus Andronicus, Frida (last two directed by Julie Taymor), and many others. His collaboration with composer John Corigliano on the movie The Red Violin won an Academy Award for best score. Teese has also worked on several documentaries with Ken Burns including The West series. He is co-owner of his own movie music production company (Gohl/McLaughlin).

Pianist Renato Chicco is a graduate of both the College of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria and Boston''s Berklee College of Music. He played with the legendary Lionel Hampton Orchestra from 1990 to 1991, and was the pianist and musical director for Jon Hendricks & Company from 1991 - 1997. In addition, he has performed with Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Wynton Marsalis, Lou Donaldson, Junior Cook, Benny Golson, Jerry Bergonzi, Milt Hinton, Gary Burton and many others. As a sideman he has recorded with Woody Shaw, Hal Crook, Jerry Bergonzi, and Jon Hendricks. As a leader, he recently released two trio records with his arrangements of Slovenian folk songs. He has also recorded three play-along records and demonstration tracks for Inside Improvisation, written by Jerry Bergonzi. Renato is the recipient of the Oscar Peterson Jazz Masters Award at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has been called pianist par excellence by Jon Hendricks. He is currently living in Verona, Italy.

Bassist Ira Coleman has toured and recorded with many jazz artists including Herbie Hancock, Didi Bridgewater, Monty Alexander, Betty Carter, Joni Mitchell, Wynton Marsalis and others too numerous to mention here. He has recently recorded with and produced projects for Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin (Below the Bassline and In Search of the Lost Riddim on Palm Pictures Records), Senegalese kora master Kawding Cissouko, and Angelique Kidjo.

Bassist Peter Herbert has performed with Art Farmer, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Sheila Jordan, Woody Shaw and many others.

Bassist Ed Friedland is a contributing editor for Bass Player Magazine, the author of 7 popular instructional books for bass, and has a new funk/slap bass instructional DVD out for Hal Leonard Corp. He has played with a wide range of artists including Johnny Adams, Robert Junior Lockwood, Illinois Jaquette, Larry Coryell, Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski, John Stowell, Randy Johnston, Marc Elf, Bud Shank and many others. https://www.tradebit.com

Guitarist Bill Brinkley has performed with David Ruffin, Mick Goodrick, George Garzone, Soul Kitchen and currently runs his own music copying business and desktop publishing company.

Drummer Ben Wittman has performed and recorded with many artists including Bob Moses, Billy Martin, The New York Voices, Peter Eldridge, Sam Rivers, Don Byron, Michael Gibbs, Lucy Kaplansky, Jonatha Brooke, the Story and Patty Larkin. He has also produced projects for Lucy Kaplansky, The Story, Patty Larkin and many others.

Evelyn Rosenthal is head of publications at the Harvard Art Museums. For a number of years she sang in clubs in the Boston-Cambridge area with guitarist Bill Brinkley, sax player Greg Badolato, drummers Bob Gullotti, Bob Kaufman, and Bob Weiner, and other outstanding musicians. Two of her passions were singing Brazilian music and performing lyrics she wrote for songs that had been written as instrumentals, or whose lyrics were difficult to track down. "Samba de Orfeo" the great Brazilian tune that become a jazz standard, combined both those passions. Evelyn thanks Ernie Petito of Warner/Chappell Music for permission to have her English lyrics for Luiz Bonfá''s great song recorded on Ruthie''s CD.

And what about Ruthie Ristich? Here''s Jamie''s synopsis:

Musician, singer, aunt, caregiver, cook, seamstress, carpenter, traveler, organizer, director, photographer, priestess, artist, filmmaker, teacher, student, reader, painter, prophet, lover, writer, ethnobotany enthusiast, mycophile, lover of lepidoptera, cyclist, planner, fixer, dancer, woman, kayaker, healer, poet, friend, advocate, conduit, inspiration. There, that''s the essence of Ruthie. Jaime de la Noche

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