Best of…

02002-06-09 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

I noticed that Epic is releasing their “Best of Ottmar Liebert” CD in July. I wish they had asked me or at least let me sequence the album – but they didn’t. I wonder which songs they picked. These “Best of…” collections are so embarrassing…..This will be the third “Best of…” record…(or fourth if you count “The Rumba Collection”)….

Here is the dilemma: almost two years ago I decided to record a new album that would show how some of my songs had grown and changed during the last decade. New parts, new arrangements, new textures and a much better sound quality thanks to new digital recording technology…etc. So I wrote a couple of new songs and picked 10 songs from various albums (basically the period from Nouveau Flamenco to Opium) and recorded new performances. The new “Snakecharmer” for example starts with the intro we play live and has a long ending which also reflects what we do in performances. This new version is beautiful and over 8 minutes long. Similarly we recorded “Barcelona Nights” and added a fourth verse with the horns we had during the Luna Negra XL tour. It sounds fantastic. “Morning Arrival in Goa” was recorded as a Bossa Nova for this album, which is how we performed it in 2001. The chorus is lovely and very uplifting with the Bossa beat and the added horn line. The two new songs are a very happy Bossa Nova and a Cuban-Flamenco sounding piece.

What to do now? I had hoped to release this album, named “Fiesta!” this Fall, but does that make sense after Higher Octave released two “Best of…” CDs of old material in 2001 and Epic Records will release yet another “Best of…” CD this Summer? Granted, “Fiesta!” is a brand-new recording that sounds fantastic compared to the rehashed “Best of…” albums, but might it be seen as yet another compilation?

In favor of “Fiesta!”: new recording of great new performances, innovative new arrangements… two new compositions…great new digital sound…classical musicians constantly re-record compositions – as do Jazz musicians playing “”standards” – why shouldn’t we…new recording captures the growth of the songs after a decade of performing them hundreds of times…

Against “Fiesta!”: might be perceived as rehashing old material…standing still and no longer innovating (innovation for innovation’s sake is boring anyway)…OL has writing block and records old songs…even if this recording contains all new performances, new solos and many new parts, do people want to hear a familiar melody or do they want to hear a new melody…

An what are the options? Do I wait with the release until next year? Or even longer? Do I write and record more new songs and then divide “Fiesta!” over two albums, each with 5 new recordings of old songs and maybe 6 or 7 new songs?

My gut feeling: release “Fiesta!” and let the chips fall where they may, then write and record an album with all new material sometime next year….but I am unsure…

Let me know how you feel about my dilemma:


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