Ottmar...

Could You Be Loved – Guitar Break

02016-12-02 @ 12:12

I posted a short video clip of me playing the guitar break for “Could You Be Loved” on Instagram a couple of days ago:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BNdDAsxgfpg/
Here is a guitar break I came up with this fall, for one of the pieces we played on tour. I remember showing a few funk riffs to the late dancer Vicente Romero years ago. He told me I had to find a way to play that on the flamenco guitar. Since I don't play with a pick (plectrum) it took me a long time to figure out a way to use my index finger nail to do this. I recorded this with my iPhone.

Album Release

02016-11-04 @ 11:11

My new album “slow” was released in our own ListeningLounge today.

Here is a link to the album page on our website.

This is a direct link to the album in our ListeningLounge.

And this is the link to a special page about the album, with background information and a track by track guide.

We will have the CD for sale during the last leg of this year’s tour, which starts a week from today in Fort Lauderdale. Here are the dates:

Nov 11 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Parker Playhouse
Nov 12 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theater
Nov 13 – Orlando, FL – Plaza Theater
Nov 14 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
Nov 17 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Nov 18 – Austin, TX – One World Theatre
Nov 19 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
Nov 20 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues

November 18th is the official release date of the album, and CDs should arrive in stores then. Digital distribution is seriously backlogged for all indies, so the album will be available in digital form at iTunes and Amazon, but I don’t yet know when. I’ll keep you posted.

1993 Video Shoot in Abiquiu

02016-09-08 @ 14:09

#1993 #videoshoot #abiquiu #snakecharmer

A photo posted by Ottmar Liebert (@ottmarliebert) on

May 2016

02016-05-25 @ 10:05

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Album Notes

02015-12-02 @ 11:12

On “Heart Still/Beating” Chris played the famous Reggae “One Drop” beat for the most part, except for the second verse. Here the cajon plays the Tangos rhythm. In addition one of the rhythm guitars plays Tangos rhythm throughout both of the verses. “Heart Still/Beating” and “Them Belly Full” contain trumpet-only horn sections that were written and performed by JQ Whitcomb.

The horn section on “Is This Love” and “Lively Up Yourself” consists of trumpets and an electric bass guitar. The bass guitar replaces the saxophone that would be used in a traditional horn section. I thought this would brighten the sound of the horn section and sit better with the Flamenco guitars.

On “Could You Be Loved” the guitar chorus melody is doubled by two accordions panned far right and far left. This is one of the things I always loved about Bob Marley’s albums – they were mixed so well. One finds keyboards or percussion elements hard-panned and out of the way. Marley albums weren’t a wall of sound. They were a large landscape, a wide-screen movie, with exciting stuff happening on the edges instead of everything being bunched up in the middle.

“No Woman No Cry” starts with the chorus played in Tangos Flamenco rhythm, with cajon and upright bass. The first verse uses a variation of the Reggae One Drop beat, together with electric bass guitar and pick bass. Pick bass is usually done on a guitar that plays in unison with the bass. Here, and elsewhere on this album, Jon performed the pick bass on a second bass guitar. On the third chorus the drumkit plays the Tangos beat (The kick drum sits between beats 2 and 3 and then on 4.)

On “Jamming” Robby plays silverware on the Choruses. The silverware stems from my great grandparents and is over a hundred years old. Robby “auditioned” a whole bunch of forks and knives until he found the right sound.

“Three Little Birds” – a cajon plays the Tangos rhythm throughout. Jon plays upright bass – there is no electric instrument on this song. The guitar solo wasn’t meant to stay. It was my first exploratory take and was supposed to be replaced, by something more “impressive and interesting”, but then a friend of mine heard the song and said “nice jam” and I realized that it was that kind of song. Guys making music around a camp fire, jamming, and not trying to impress anyone.

I have wanted to record a Reggae version of “Barcelona Nights” since the mid Nineties! Again, one of the rhythm guitars plays Tangos during the verses.

After the intro to “Them Belly Full” the cajon once again plays the Tangos rhythm, followed by the drumkit playing variations of the Tangos beat. In the chorus, a cajon plays Tangos and a drum machine plays a half-time Reggae beat. Char takes over the melody in the next section. Jon switches to upright bass and plays a Salsa figure (Salsa, like Reggae and Tangos, also avoids beat one) and the cajon is playing Tangos.

The original recording of “I Shot the Sheriff” was really a Reggae murder-ballad. I recorded fewer verses than are in the original. The third verse switches from Reggae drumkit to Tangos cajon. The drumkit plays “One Drop”, but with a snare added between beat four and beat one.

The guitar riff at the end of “Lively Up Yourself” is one of my experiments that combines Flamenco rasguado techniques with Funk.

On “Waiting In Vain” the drumkit plays the Reggae “One Drop” beat. A cajon, playing the Tangos rhythm, is added for the second verse and during the guitar solo.

I hope you will agree that Tangos and Reggae are siblings who, although separated for centuries, are completely comfortable together.

November Tour

02015-12-02 @ 11:12

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Sedona, Arizona
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eTown Hall in Boulder, Colorado

Review: Waiting n Swan

02015-11-26 @ 09:11

Reviewed by All-About-Jazz:

Ottmar Liebert: Waiting n Swan
This is the music of Bob Marley done with grace and finesse—with all the pomp and panache that Liebert is acknowledged for—and the proper respect and integrity it deserves.

Race Cars + Music

02015-11-07 @ 12:11

I had a whacky dream last night.

Formula One cars had changed from the current hybrid engines to 100% electric power + were quietly circling a race track, except for a few tire squeals.

Then they had the idea that the drivers, who recently had to pick a lifetime race number, must also pick a theme song that would be blared by a powerful sound system in each car. This way fans could not only hear the race car approach, but could also identify the driver by his music.

There was lots of heavy metal + drum n bass, but also a few Eighties hits. One former champion had selected Rick Astley’s big hit.

The POV switched to a grandstand. The camera followed a car that raced around the corner, dead last but resplendent in bright colors, and the sounds of “Barcelona Nights (Reggae Version)” blasted through the stadium section.

POV the grandstand: everyone is nodding in time with the music.

POV close up of the car: the driver’s helmet also bounces in time to the music.

Then I woke up. The End.

Waiting n Swan CDs

02015-10-30 @ 11:10

Waiting n Swan CDs are not available in stores yet, but will be very soon. So we decided to sell the CD on this website for a short while. And then we thought why not do something special and sell signed and personalized CDs! The holidays are approaching and CDs still sound better than mp3s. :-)

This offer will be only be available until November 10th.

Signed “Waiting n Swan” CD

New Album

02015-09-02 @ 13:09

OttmarL Waiting cover

Tangos Flamenco + Reggae

02015-09-02 @ 12:09

Last year I decided to record an album of songs that mix elements of the Tangos Flamenco rhythm with Reggae beats.

Reggae and Tangos Flamenco — not to be confused with the Argentine Tango — are deeply connected. Tangos has a lilt and features the same avoidance of beat one that Reggae and Salsa have, and to my ears it always sounded very different from other Flamenco forms.

I read that some believe the Caribbean rhythm was brought to the Spanish port Cadiz by sailors from merchant vessels, and that the catchy rhythm soon traveled to Andalusia, where it blended with local musical styles and became Tangos Flamenco. The word ‘tangos’ itself might be derived from the onomatopoeia ‘tang’ which resembles ‘the sound of the drum‘, while in some parts of South America the word ‘tangosa’ refers to Africans dancing to the beat of drums.

The deep roots of these three rhythms, Tangos, Reggae and Salsa, of course, lie in Africa.

The new album will be released on October 23rd.

seesalt

02014-04-30 @ 08:04

Here is another track from three-oh-five, perhaps more unusual than the others. I came up with the music backstage at the Dewan Filharmonik in Kuala Lumpur, waiting for the start of our concert there last November. The rhythm shifts between different meters while the tremolo guitar plays a 12/8 ostinato (Bulerias).

I would like to do a whole album of music like this someday, atmospheric, trippy… but perhaps it is best to slide the occasional piece like this into a “regular” album.

New Albums Released

02014-04-22 @ 05:04

My new albums were released digitally overnight!

More info:

three-oh-five

Bare Wood 2002-2012.

The music is also available in HD FLAC form (24 bit + 88.2 kHz).

PS:
We also uploaded HD FLAC versions of our binaural surround sound album Up Close and my solo album One Guitar to the ListeningLounge.

Two Versions of One Melody

02014-03-27 @ 09:03

On 22. April SSRI will release my two new albums. The music on these two albums is quite different, but one melody is present on both, as a bridge connecting the albums and a way to demonstrate the approach I took on each album.

three-oh-five Cover

02014-03-27 @ 08:03

Here are a few photos documenting the photo shoot for the three-oh-five cover.

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Drawing the three-oh-five logo on the window:
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The above photos are by Diane Small and the location was Shibui, Richard Yaski’s sculpture garden in Little River, near Mendocino, on the Northern Californian coast.

And here is the finished cover:

OttmarL 305 cover

Newsletter

02014-03-21 @ 10:03

Yesterday our monthly (in reality more like 8-10 times per year) newsletter was sent out to our mailing list. The recipients received “secret” links and can listen to one song from each of the two new albums that are officially dropping in mid-April.

If you would like to be on that list in the future, you can sign up here.

Blue

02014-02-22 @ 11:02

I posted a few new images in my photoblog. They were taken at sunrise in Carmel, on the day of our concert there on February 13th.

Portable Listening

02014-01-18 @ 13:01

I have always been a fan of headphones. We have been using in-ear-monitors on stage since 1994 and I have used Stax headphones when I work on an album for almost as long. Over the years I have accumulated quite a few headphones for listening to music when I am not in the studio.

But, I have a new favorite way to listen, and I have used this new setup a lot in the past six months, while I am finishing two albums to be released by SSRI this Spring.

This is it:

I put ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec – 16bit/44.1kHz) files on my iPhone. I bypass the iPhone’s digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amp by plugging the Lightning-to-USB cable into the ADL X1, a Japanese DAC + headphone amp. Finally I connect the Audeze LCD-2 headphones to the X1 and enjoy great sound. One can also plug a USB cable into one’s computer and in that case the X1 will work with files up to 24bit/192kHz.

The LCD-2 headphones sound really natural to me. I don’t hear the unnatural boosted highs and bass that so many headphones push out. The bass is rich, but not flabby or tubby. The treble creates a clear and beautiful image, but without that biting brightness that fatigues the ears, and the mid-range is luxurious. I can listen to these headphones for hours, and have many times. My new absolute favorite pair of headphones!

It is not exactly a cheap setup – I have seen prices for the X1 range between $399 and $645 and the LCD-2 seems to go from under a thousand to around 1,200 – but this can easily become a person’s only stereo system. These days I can’t imagine spending many thousands of dollars on a regular, non-portable, hi-fi system. Mobile is the way to go, I think, and with this setup I am not sacrificing anything!

three-oh-five

02014-01-08 @ 17:01

Three oh five SQUARE

© Greg Gorman 2013

‘appy nu ‘ear!

02014-01-01 @ 07:01

On new year’s eve I redid three mixes for the new album “three-oh-five”. Then I sat down with a glass of wine and listened to the whole album using Audeze LCD-2 headphones – through an old Parasound DAC and preamp.

I loved every track and heard nothing that took me out of the experience, which means it looks like I was able to finish the music on the last day of 2013.

Now I can turn my attention to another album I want to release this Spring…

 


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