From the Wires
Update: "All My Friends Are Here" Arrives in June; Last Recording by Irreplaceable Producer Arif Mardin; Multi Grammy Winner Considered One of the Greatest Producers of the 20th Century; Companion Documentary "The Greatest Ears in Town" to Follow
By: Marketwired .
Feb. 10, 2010 11:07 AM
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/10/10 --
One of the most atmospheric, challenging and powerful projects of legendary producer and artist Arif Mardin's storied career will be released on June 15, 2010. "All My Friends Are Here," the final recording produced by the multi-Grammy winner who was responsible for well over 50 million-selling recordings throughout the world, and who is credited with creating sonic imprints for countless superstars including Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, The Bee Gees, The Young Rascals, Hall & Oates, Dusty Springfield, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and Carly Simon to name just a few. Mardin celebrated his final months by assembling many of those very artists to record songs he'd written over the course of his 40-year career, as well as songs written specifically for this album which will finally be released on NuNoise Records.
Though the project has been gestating for years, it was begun in earnest as a response to the pancreatic cancer that claimed Mardin's life in 2006, and was completed after his death with the invaluable assistance of his son and co-producer, Joe Mardin. A companion documentary, appropriately titled "The Greatest Ears in Town," directed by Joe Mardin and Doug Biro (credits include Herbie Hancock: "Possibilities") will be released for theatres, broadcast and as a DVD later this year.
Self-described as a collection of "weird songs and interesting lyrics," "All My Friends Are Here" is a testament to both the beloved producer's genius and to the many artists with whom he collaborated. Fueled by an encyclopedic musical knowledge and passion for film noir, Mardin had a knack for crafting profiles in sound and featuring the perfect voice to bring these images to life. Here, both music and lyrics, and the interpretations of this all-star assemblage, convey a precision that allows us to see the emotional underpinnings of each song with our eyes closed.
Passionately dedicated to the music he made with all of his famous friends, Mardin was no less committed to his own muse, and over four decades of popular success he snatched odd moments to mold his art. The sonic images he preserved here serve as both a more complete gauge of Mardin's gifts and an unabashed love letter to those with whom they were shared.
With the exception of the hilarious opening track, "The Greatest Ears in Town," co-written and performed by Bette Midler and also featuring Barry Gibb, Mardin composed all of the music and wrote a large portion of the lyrics on the album. Norah Jones sings "Longing for You," which dates back to the producer's days in his native Turkey, long before he joined Atlantic Records as staff producer.
"Chez Twang's," recorded by Dr. John, was originally titled "Byarding," in tribute to multi-instrumentalist Jaki Byard, and was written while Mardin was a student at the then, Berklee School of Music. A young Willie Nelson is featured in an acoustic guitar solo on "Lonestar Blues," as is Doug Sahm on electric guitar and Mardin on piano, while Katreese Barnes provides the vocal some three decades later.
The title song was created by Mardin as recording neared completion as a vehicle for many of the artists he worked with over the years. The all-star lineup features members of the Average White Band, The Rascals, The Bee Gees, Hall & Oates, Phil Collins, Cissy Houston, Boy Meets Girl, David "Fathead" Newman and Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the late Donny Hathaway.
Other tracks include collaborations with Diane Reeves, Chaka Khan and Carly Simon, among others. A complete artist and track listing is attached.
"The Greatest Ears in Town," the companion documentary, is the visual testament to Arif Mardin. Under the careful eye of Joe Mardin, the film follows Mardin's recording of "All My Friends Are Here," while also telling his life story. Interviews with Aretha Franklin, Sir George Martin, Quincy Jones, Phil Collins, Barry & Robin Gibb, among others, as well as historical footage of recording sessions provide a rare and insightful look not only at the creative genius behind the songs but also the very special husband, father and gentlemen he was. As Ahmet Ertegun, the late, legendary founder of Atlantic Records comments in the documentary, "Arif developed a sense of artist loyalty and friendship that few producers I know have ever done, because of his natural nobility. He was one of the greatest producers of the 20th Century."
ARIF MARDIN All My Friends Are Here 1. "The Greatest Ears In Town" - Bette Midler featuring Barry Gibb (Written by Bette Midler & Marc Shaiman) 2. "So Blue" - Chaka Khan featuring David Sanborn 3. "No Way Out" - Nicki Parrot 4. "Goodbye to Rio" - Raul Midon 5. "No One" - Dianne Reeves 6. "So Many Nights" - Danny O'Keefe 7. "Calls A Soft Voice" - Carly Simon 8. "Longing For You" - Norah Jones (also featuring Joe Lovano & John Faddis) 9. "Dual Blues" - Amy Kohn 10. "Chez Twang's" - Dr. John 11. "Lonestar Blues" - Willie Nelson featuring Katreese Barnes (Also featuring Doug Sahm on electric guitar and Arif on piano) 12. "All My Friend Are Here" - Featuring Hall & Oates, Barry & Robin Gibb, members of the Rascals and the Average White Band, Phil Collins, Lalah Hathaway, Cissy Houston and more; solo by Randy Brecker 13. "Wistful" - Arif Mardin, piano
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