Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Studio Savvy

Three of jazz’s best producers on how to make the most of your time in headphones

Al Pryor of Mack Avenue Records
Marc Free of Posi-Tone Records
Michael Cuscuna

“We make a lot of records in our bedrooms these days,” admits Al Pryor, the executive vice president for A&R at Mack Avenue Records, where his production credits include albums by Stanley Jordan, Sean Jones and Cécile McLorin Salvant. “We don’t often have the resources to be there the way we used to, when the business model for the record business was very different. So it behooves us to really plan well to make great use of the time that we’re there.”

The meter is running as soon as an artist sets foot in the recording studio, so it’s important to know how to maximize your time while making the most of your budget. Other veteran producers agree with Pryor that to get the most out of your studio time, you should do most of the work outside of it. “The more preparation you can do before you step into the studio, the better off you’ll be on a financial level and also on a musical level,” says Michael Cuscuna, a producer renowned for his work with Atlantic, Blue Note and many other labels, including his own highly collectible Mosaic imprint. “It makes the difference between an expensive, boring record and an excellent record that comes in under budget.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published