This week’s recording session for the piano, guitar and bass trio (The Eclipse Trio) went well, considering how little time we had, how tired we all were and how tricky parts of the song were. My car had broken down on the way to the studio and the pianist had been through a very long day at his day job, with an early start to look forward to the next day. It was suggested we just rehearse the piece but I saw no harm in running the tape while we played.
We gave ourselves one hour to play once the levels were set. The piece began well and tightened up over a few more plays. But, a pesky three note phrase resisted being played precisely by all of us at the same time. Timing was crucial. The difference between right and wrong timing was so subtle that you would have found it hard to notate. However, when it wasn’t right, it wasn’t right and we couldn’t be happy unless we nailed it.
Just over the hour it was evident that any more takes would result in inferior version of the song. A bit of computer editing could have saved the song but, pretentious as it might sound, we wanted to play it right. So, we had two choices: drink a gallon of coffee and keep going, or pack up and try again next time. We went with the latter.