When we were writing “If It’s True” for Popular Songs, we tried to cobble together some string parts and realized quickly we were out of our depth. We made a fantasy list of arrangers, and Richard Evans was number one. Not long after, James reported that he had located him, and he was up for writing a chart. Making the most of the opportunity, we added “Here to Fall” to his workload, and waited for the results. The session was held five years ago today in Nashville. The parts themselves only arrived the day before. We asked Lambchop’s Tony Crow to come by and play them on piano, so we could get a feel for what they sounded like, which didn’t work at all–hearing one part out of the context of the entire arrangement was the opposite of helpful. In fact, the session itself got off to a slow start. As the Nashville players sightread, they were surprised by the intricacies, and their tentative performance made it sound like something was wrong. (At one point, the engineer, hearing what appeared to be a mistake, asked who invited Jimi Hendrix.) But once everyone learned and trusted what was on the page, it sounded incredible. And yet there was still a problem: Producer Roger Moutenot was getting sicker by the minute. He ended up being forced to bail before the end of our session, and our mix, due to begin the following day, was delayed while he battled the flu.
if I am correct (and F. Clarke Martty is wrong), we are facing other health issues 20 years earlier. In 1989, we performed at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO (oddly, we have played the Blue Note three times over the years on March 31). Feeling peckish after the show, Clarke took us to an all-night diner that dared patrons to eat four of their giant omelets. Do so, and there’s no charge. Our Swiss German bassist, Stephan, pronounced himself “wery hungry” and accepted the challenge. At about the 3 1/2 omelet mark, things were looking bright, but soon after Stephan put down the fork, food still on his plate. Luckily he was a man of few words, so he was never that graphic about how sick it made him or for how long. Out of respect for vanquished competitive eaters the world over, I will say no more.