Inside the Outside, jazz saxophonist Amy Lee's first solo album, includes eight original instrumental works ranging from contemporary pop to straight-ahead jazz, an R&B love song featuring soulful vocals by Geoff McBride, and "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" written by Stevie Wonder.
I started working on Inside the Outside in 1992, after hiring Peter Mayer, Jim Mayer and Roger Guth for a session while they were in Atlanta touring with their band. At that time we recorded my tune "Little Tortoise Shell" and Stevie Wonder's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" along with Cheryl Rogers on keyboards, at Doppler Studios in Atlanta.
Between 1992 and 1995 I spent my time writing songs and focusing on other ventures instead of going back into the studio. For years, while on the road with Jimmy Buffett for Boston area shows we'd stay at the Four Seasons there. Nightly I'd go down to the lounge to listen to Bert Seager's jazz trio playing in the lounge. His piano playing reminded me of Bill Evans and his style and soloing were mesmerizing! In '95 I approached him while they were taking a break to ask if he'd be interested in playing on my album.
Bert was a gem! He lined up the studio and the players - his trio: Joe Hunt on drums and Dan Greenspan on upright acoustic bass. I flew up to Boston after tour, ran through the songs the night before the session and then recorded "Consider This," "In A Memory" and "UD1000N" live in the studio. These tunes are the more traditional jazz (what I call "straight-ahead") tunes on the album. "Consider This" was written in a style similar to Freddie Hubbard, modal and somewhat slow to start but the soloing gets intense. "In A Memory" I call my Bill Evans-style tune. This is a mellow ballad and is like old school jazz. Bert enhanced my tune with his piano solo intro and ending - Wow! The tune titled "UD1000N" is written in a style ala Thelonius Monk and is rather avant garde. This rhythm section's playing off of the live moment, listening and complimenting everyone's ideas, made that night in the studio magical and captures the epitome of what music is all about to me. The session took place in a studio outside of Boston called Thin Ice Productions.
The rest of the songs for the album were recorded at Black Mountain Studio located in my house. The first tune on the album, titled "Our Song" was co-written by Steve Schwartzberg and myself. "Lonely Summerwinds," the only vocal tune on the album, features an extremely soulful and talented vocalist named Geoff McBride who put his heart into the tune. Bill Wilson added piano and Scott Meeder played drums.
The title track, "Inside the Outside" is a minimal ensemble featuring soprano sax, acoustic guitar, bass and piano with strings for coloring. Peter Mayer graced his talents playing the acoustic gut string guitar which was recorded in his home on ADAT. The rest of the song was played by myself utilizing my various samples and keyboards to create the perfect sounds. "Zo Zo" is my 'dance tune.' It has a trippy groove with mild hip hop undertones weaving throughout.
"Behind the Moon" was originally written as a vocal tune. Jimmy Buffett had asked me to co-write on a tune about a certain woman singing to her dog for a musical he was working on at the time. I came up with this and passed it to him. But later he told me that he decided to just go ahead and write all of the music himself since he was having so much fun with his newly-discovered keyboard medium. So then I rewrote the lyrics changing only a few of the words to make it more my song. When I did that, I envisioned this song as a Brazilian-flavored Tania Maria-style tune and tried locating a vocalist to sing the lyrics in Portuguese. None of that worked out, so I just performed the song as an instrumental. Maybe someday it will be recorded as I intended it to be.
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