The Gospel Truth of What Living’s All About

On November 20, 2005, at Architecture, the recording studio of Scott Fraser, in the Mount Washington district of Los Angeles, an amazing collection of musical minds collaborated in recording of my three original gospel style songs, “Doctor Sun and Nurse Water,” “Sometimes It Takes a Long Time” and “Love, Understanding and Peace,” for my CD, What Living’s All About, released in May 2006. Artist/photographer Hoshi Hana took all of these photos, except the ones of Scott and of Mari, which I took.

First, meet Jessica Williams, powerful rhythm and blues singer and leader of one of the choirs at the Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. She hired the other singers, participated in creating the arrangements, and hired the pianist, Reverend Harold Pittman, minister of music at the same church. Her fabulous improvised vocal solos grace both “Doctor Sun and Nurse Water” and “Sometimes It Takes a Long Time,” and she delivered a fierce and tender oration on “America the Blues.”

Jessica’s choir on my CD includes her daughter, Vetia Richardson, and her friend Irene Cathaway, with whom she sings backup for Connie Stevens. We recorded the singers five times on each song to create the sound of a full choir.

Jessica’s gospel keyboard specialist, Reverend Harold Pittman.

Our bass player, Kevin O’Neal.

Our drummer, David Anderson.

Here I am, wailing with the band.

Ron Grant, my co-producer, works as a film composer. He made all of the music charts for the songs, collaborated on the arrangements and instrumentation, and sometimes conducted the choir.  He’s got an Oscar and an Emmy on his shelf.

Scott Fraser, recording engineer and live audio engineer for the Kronos Quartet, worked with all of us from a viewpoint both technical and compassionate. Scott was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for a recording he co-produced.

Our intrepid photographer, Hoshi Hana, creator of spiritually inspired photocollages and other amazing artworks.