A. Work with Michael Bolton
B. Get dragged into the superficial Hollywood world of sycophants and cling-ons, and people who generally have no concept of how music is made and consult with them on a daily basis
C. Never be asked your opinion or get confirmation on the final song/product that’s distributed all over the world and have no recourse if it turns out nothing like you expected
I have learned these 3 valuable lessons when asked to make a duet album with Michael Bolton. I thought the record would be interesting, especially as other artists such as Eva Cassidy (who’s unfortunately passed away), Seal, AR Rahman and Chris Botti (who I have worked with) were also asked to take part in the duet album, ‘Gems’. I was called when I was in the middle of my horrific trip to Asia, when the devastating earthquake hit Japan. About 2 weeks before the studio sessions in Los Angeles, the lady on the phone told me ‘to make something up’ and improvise when playing U2′s song, “Pride in the Name of Love” with Bolton singing the lead part. I promptly phoned Gene Pritsker of ‘Variations on Sakura Sakura’ fame, who was in the middle of making a movie score. He sent me an incredible part and 48 hours before the session, when I was performing the Mozart Concerto in G Major on TV in Seoul, Korea, I was frantically practicing this part. It had me playing chords throughout the song, mirroring the guitar throughout the original song with some lovely melodies interspersed to show off the range of ‘Molly’. To hear my 1697 Strad violin sounding so glorious in U2′s song, was entirely entertaining in the studio and Michael and Dann Huff, the producer who was skyped in during the sessions, were beyond loving it and sending me happy notes of thanks.
Fast forward to today and while most of what I recorded lies on the cutting room floor, I cannot believe my ears when I finally had to purchase the album myself to hear the final version. There are maybe 2 bars of violin playing put in so softly that one can’t even tell it’s violin-it’s called ‘mime playing’ (and my management team agrees). And that is out of 4 minutes and 26 seconds of loud singing… I have been repeatedly told that my concept of duets is most definitely skewed from the MB camp. Oh, how right they are!
You can read a review from the Boston Herald…