Saturday, February 21, 2009
February 9-12 – NASHVILLE – e sessions part 1
Wow - Eric and I just got back from having the best time in Nashville and at Sweetwater in Ft Wayne (more on that later). The exciting news is that while at Chateau Belew, we recorded our first studio album with Adrian. I must admit it’s pretty amazing what we accomplished in six days, although that’s not to imply that’s it was an easy process. It all began in the fall of 2007, when we flew down to Nashville to learn the title track, “e”, which we have played live all over the world for the past year. I'll never forget being sick with the flu, coughing under bundled blankets as Eric and Adrian sat at the piano, figuring out contrapuntal melodies and rhythms. We returned in the spring (before another tour) to learn a few more parts, and finished our education of the sections before our European travels in October.
Consistent with every other time we stay at Ade's (and even when I had the flu), I kept myself engaged upstairs from the studio, preparing meals for everybody. My main job (other than playing bass) is to prepare lunch, so we don't want to interupt our workflow too much by going out in the middle of the day. I cook dinner some nights, but some days we're just too busy with music and we have to go out to Cinco de Mayo (the best restaurant near Casa Belew):
But let's get back to Adrian's kitchen: somewhere along the way in the last 3 or so years, we've come to making a ritual out of lunch. What makes it ritual? Not just the fact that we all sit down together to discuss our day's work, but I also make a variation on the same menu items every day: hummus, warm pita chips, and salad:
Perhaps that sounds mundane, but I always make the dressing from scratch, and mix up the ingredients that I serve. Some days the chips are spiced with cumin and oregano; others its curry and paprika. Adrian loves when I roast whole sweet peppers and marinate them with garlic and thyme, which I chop and toss on top of tender baby greens. But sometimes a ripe avocado sprinkled with salt and fresh lime juice is too good on its own and should be combined only with some scallion, cheddar and cilantro over torn romaine.
On the first day we didn't even have any of usual accompaniment, Sabra Roasted Pepper hummus, so I made grilled cheese triangles to serve with the salad:
On the second day, I was feeling settled in and confident with my tracks, so I woke up early and rode with Martha down to Publix to do some grocery shopping so that I could make some dinners. I was also excited this time around because I decided to make the hummus too, rather than continue to go through tubs and tubs of Sabra.
I wanted to keep things simple on the first night, so I made Potato Leek soup with Cheesy Garlic Bread:
We were stuffed but that didn;t keep us from going back down to the studio to finish up the tracking of "b":
The next day, I wanted to make Adrian a really special meal. At the grocery store I was drawn to a display of fresh asparagus and cremini mushrooms: two of the boss's favorite foods. In the produce section I randomly came across a package of wonton wrappers - I grabbed them, knowing exactly what to make: leek, asparagus and mushroom ragu over "fresh pasta squares." A little thyme encrusted pan seared chicken on the side (I had cooked nothing but vegetarian fare so I figured the family might want some animal protein), and the meal was a smashing success: