[Harp-L] What do YOU do?

Slim Heilpern slim@xxxxx
Thu Nov 12 10:02:32 EST 2020

> brian stear wrote:
> <The artist said he wanted me to be happy with the end result, so I
> presented a version with <a lot less harmonica ( my idea? ). He prefered
> his idea, which was for me to play a lick at <almost every space.. To be
> fair, he did pay me for my services. After he made his choice, I <let it
> go. But when I listen to it, it bothers me.So, my question is...at what
> point would YOU <guys just let it go and say, well, that's what they
> want???

I once did a session where I was asked to recreate a famous Stevie solo, note for note. The reference track was perfect -- correct key, great groove. It was really fun to attempt to copy Stevie's phrasing exactly, and I know that I came damn close, especially the phrasing/timing (tone and intonation are, of course, more difficult).

I heard back from the producer that he thought it was perfect. When the CD came out I was pleasantly surprised that he'd included all the players names and pictures. But when I listened to the cut, he had obviously messed with the timing of the phrases in the solo, it no longer matched the energy of the original. I asked him if he'd manipulated the timing and he said yeah, and that everyone liked it better this way (except me, of course).

I was paid well, but it's not how I played it (I was able to verify this against the track I sent him). I do think that if you're hiring musicians and want to effectively change the way they play, common courtesy would be to run it by them before releasing it with their name attached. In this case, I would have preferred to remain anonymous. 

- Slim


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