Philippe Saisse  ... Liner Notes   work in progress 

"In the summer of 1979, four bright eyed 20 something musicians, Vinnie Colaiuta, Bruce Kulick, Tim Landers and I found ourselves working with legendary engineer producer Eddie Offord ( YES, Emerson,
Lake and Palmer....on his mobile recording studio set up in Levon Helm's Huge Barn/ Studio in Woodstock.  

We were there for a new artist signed to 20th Century Fox a sexy bold singer songwriter-recording artist,
That record date went through three seasons, summer into fall then snow on the ground...!  40 years later....details of the project are a bit cloudy  but here is what I recall.....while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston from 1975 to 1978, I joined Narada Michael Walden's brand new band. Alex Ligertwood  
was the lead singer. We immediately struck a close friendship which lead to his asking me to play on his demo at his " friend’s studio " in Woodstock where Alex also lived. That friend was Eddie.  I became Eddy’s go-to keyboard player for the next few years including Blackjack’s Worlds Apart and Andy Pratt’s Motives album and obviously Rozetta

 

During a Berklee Performance as a bass player Tim Landers blew me away ---Fall 1978 Tim went to NY to audition with  Al Di Meola who had asked him to bring a suitcase with just enough clothes for 3 weeks, just
in case he got the gig. Tim nailed the audition and joined the band  and we were  roommates and best friends.

The original drummer who joined us did not meet Eddy and Rozetta’s approval which put us on a quest for
a drummer. We set up audition for days, anybody in the Woodstock area with a drum set and sticks was fair game. One of them was such a nervous wreck that he bawled at Rozetta “I can’t have any fun when you yell at me !!!”. So famous and not so famous drummers came and went to no avail.  Tim suggested his band
mate with Al Kooper while attending Berklee, had just gotten the gig with Frank Zappa and might be available. Vinnie Colaiuta.....big score !! slam dunk 

 

Rozetta was a solo artist, and her co-writer Blake Levinsohn was a talented songwriter and keyboard player,  but the the songs/sessions required music charts to stay within time and budget...so Eddy decided to make me his co-producer/ musical director. What is striking now listening to the record decades later is how strong the songs were and how “progressive” it was 1979....especially for a female artist.


The four of us had a lot of chops and we were musically fearless and certainly not afraid of overplaying!
We had the pedigree. I always felt that the real “glue” that made the project not fall on its head and gave
it the rock edge that Rozetta and Blake really were after was Bruce, who was the first true rock guitarist I had played with so far.
Bruce had "THAT SOUND", not an ersatz rock sound i had been accustomed to with Berklee fusion guitarists he was the real deal, Marshall amps and big hair ....bodacious Bruce had young warrior courage  playing more complex chord changes & rhythm patterns that were not his personal library
with a bunch of Berklee students
who could play faster than their own shadow!  

He was truly up to the challenge and was incredibly creative in adding beautiful colors with both electric
and acoustic guitars. We became fast friends and continued working together on some of my projects
in New York until he joined Kiss.

Songs like Voodoo, with a repetitive bass intro, odd time signature and flanging pianos is a good example
of how progressive we could all go, with Vinnie effortlessly playing over the odd meter " I'm On To You is
pure rock and a good showcase for Bruce’s guitar work. Paradise Lost is harmonically very dense and the structure is also complex, with Minimoog solos, synth parts, lush background vocals. Involved and daring. Rozetta’s strong suite really comes forth on all this diverse material as both a great song writer and
powerful singer.

One lasting memory of the project was the total camraderie among all of us as we all lived under the
same roof for many weeks which turned into a family affair really. Rozetta, always the life of the party,
was our big sister and many nights were spent watching TV eating Fig Newtons and drinking tea.
The fact that all the musicians assembled for this album at the starting gate of their careers
are all still in touch after having gone in vastly different directions speaks volume of the fond
memories we all have of Rozetta "Summer of 1979) in Woodstock, NY.

 

Philippe Saisse
  Co-Producer / Musical  Director

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