What do you get
when you mix Rock with Jazz and five monster virtuoso musicians? CAB - an eclectic
robust blend that you simply can't ignore. Guitar wizard Tony MacAlpine, bass
phenomenon Bunny Brunnel, drum legend Dennis Chambers, Hammond B-3 master Brian
Auger, and keyboard innovator Patrice Rushen come together in CAB 4, the third
release for the group (Rushen joined on this last one while Auger became a part
of the ensemble with CAB2). Oh, by the way, since you will be wondering already,
CAB 3 is reserved for the band's upcoming live album, hence the 4 title for
this studio release.
Tony, thanks for taking the time. How are the rehearsals coming
along for the G3 tour? [a popular tour featuring other guitar greats
Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen]
TM: Very well. I have just been so busy lately with the G3 tour
and now the CAB release and tour as well. But I'm having fun.
Well, tell me a bit about how CAB4 differs from the other CAB projects
TM: We had more musicians working on this project than any other.
We worked the songs quote a bit on stage, performing them live,
and they really evolved in what you hear on the record. We definitely
spent more time on composition this time and I think everyone felt
much more creative about themselves and the band. This is a 100%
more musical record; more lyrical record. We definitely have more
variety and more texture because we felt more creative and freer
to experiment with different things.
How did the recording process differ for this record? Did it make
TM: Well, this time we did things a bit more differently which,
as I said, gave us some more time to work on the composition. Plus
everyone is so busy with their solo stuff it made it easier to do
things the way we did.
How was that?
TM: We only did a couple of live ensemble recordings [playing together
in the studio]. What we did was me and Bunny [Brunel] recorded a
demo of the tune that was then passed on to Brian [Auger] and Patrice
[Rushen]. They added their parts and sent the whole thing to Dennis
[Chambers] who put the drums. It worked great.
Patrice was added to the band. You needed another keyboard player?
TM: Brian [Auger] was really busy with his band, Oblivion Express,
so we would be doing some gigs with Patrice filling in. And she
was great. When it came time to work on this project we thought
that she would greatly compliment the band and what Brian [Auger]
is doing. We play with other great musicians live, you know. Steve
Weingart who plays with Dave Weckl, Virgil Donati, and others. All
the time! I think that's what makes you click as a musician. Playing
and exchanging ideas with other musicians in live shows. You just
learn so much and you grow as a musician.
Any special favorites or challenges on this new record?
TM: I don't have any favorites. They are all my children and I love
them equally, as they say [laughs]. But "One For The Road"
is the most challenging. It is written on keyboard and you don't
want to play with cold hands!
Tell me about CAB 3. When should we expect it?
TM: It has not been recorded yet. Last year we played the Blue Note
clubs in Japan and it went fantastic. We will be touring again over
there with CAB in support of CAB 4 and we will most likely record
CAB 3 there over the next year.
Time for a philosophical, if you wish, question. What in your opinion
is the future of fusion?
TM: I really don't know what's in the future. But you can't be and
won't be successful if you try to guess the future. The 70's people
- The Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Weather Report, and others - created
a new wave. Nowadays there are so many genres and subgenres and
sub-subgenres. Too many titles and too many media! I think that
distorts the meaning and holds back the creative process.
What about Tony and CAB?
TM: For myself, I try to do the best of what I'm feeling at the
time. I try to go as far as I can and I'm not afraid to work with
others and experiment. That's how you progress and evolve. By the
time a record is released, which is four or five months from the
composition and the recording, my direction will have probably changed
already. As far as CAB is concerned we are definitely staying together
as a band and have plans to release many more records in the future.
Thank you Tony.
TM: My pleasure!