August 29, 2017

The Temptations In A Mellow Mood A Jewel Of Classics

The Temptations In A Mellow Mood
A Classic Innovation. Why was it groundbreaking?

writer: Lee Evans

The Temptations In A Mellow Mood was the sixth studio album by The Temptations for the Motown label released in 1967. This album was one of the most magnificent, intricately arranged, harmonically blended, inspirational albums released by the mighty Temptations. Arranged by H. B. Barnum and big band saxophonist John Costa, produced by Jeffrey Bowen and Frank Wilson who wrote and produced hit records for Brenda HollowayMarvin Gayethe Supremesthe Miracles, the Four Topsthe TemptationsEddie Kendricks, and more. Album liner notes done by 'Soupy Sales'

This record, a brainchild of Berry Gordy Jr, was made with the intention of crossing the amazing Temptations over to a broader based white dominated pop market which to a large extent it succeeded. Many fans from the Tempts 'Black' fan base accused them of 'selling out'. The Temptations felt the need to expand from their current formula which gave us #1 chart topping hits like 'My Girl' 'You're My Everything' and 'Get ready'. 

In music history, especially at that time, never has another 'Soul' 'R&B' group took on such a risky undertaking to release an album in a totally different genre and do it so well!. Today, it is a bit more widely received with the likes of Lady Gaga crossing from her well-received edgy dance pop albums to her romp into classic jazz music with the legendary Tony Bennett. 

The 'Mellow Mood' album certainly struck the right chord with me and helped to shape my musical and harmonic palette for my productions and arrangements. It has been a major influence to this day.

Stirring lead vocal performances include Paul William's For Once In My Life and David Ruffin's 'What Now My Love'. Give this playlist a whirl. If you're a fan of the classics ala 'Frank Sinatra', Cole Porter, you'll be a fan!

Check out the full Temptations In A Mellow Mood album with bonus performances here:

Lee Evans is a music veteran, musician, songwriter, producer, and Co-owner/CEO  of JAMBOX Entertainment Studios NYC

The "Classic 5" lineup of the Temptations: 
David Ruffin
 (bottom left), Melvin Franklin (top left), Paul Williams (top right),
Otis Williams
(bottom right),
Eddie Kendricks (center) c. 1965.


August 8, 2017

GET OFF FOXY 12" Single

A fun party fave and throwback to the good ol dance party days when sex drugs and disco reigned supreme!

Mark Kimani may very well have the highest pitched natural voice that you've heard in a male singer. What else does he have? Mark has Perfect Pitch. The ability to listen to a song and tell you the notes are being used in the melody without a fixed reference.
Working with JAMBOX's head engineer Lee Evans, Mark worked in our Top NYC Recording Studio. Mark sang a stunning rendition of Whitney Houston's 'One Moment In Time' in the original key that Whitney sang it in. 
Take a listen to Marks unique vocals and let us know what you think! Leave us a comment:)

May 8, 2017

The Effects Of Music On The Brain 

Reprinted from Karaoke Version:
Even if we listen to music in a passive state and largely as a means to relax or let go, music is anything but. Whether you use it when you exercise or during a power nap, your brain, when in contact with music is, working at full!
Even before science began to pay close attention to the effect of music on the brain, the thinkers of the time had already traced a close link between the two. "Music is noise that thinks," wrote Victor Hugo, while Immanuel Kant observed that "music is the language of emotions." Thought and language: two capacities related specifically to the brain that intellectuals attributed to music, giving it power far beyond a mere means of distraction.
Since the 1950s, many studies have focused on identifying the action of music on the brain.

Music and Work

Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to music and work. Some prefer silence despite scientific proof that music helps to focus and improve efficiency and creativity.
In 1994, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a spectacular difference in performance of stressful operations between surgeons operating with their music of choice versus those that operated in silence.
A small distinction should be noted however. In general, instrumental music has been shown to be more conducive to concentration than alternative forms. Lyrics and singing may cause distraction even if it is in an unconscious manner. That being said, the type of work being done and the monotony of the task will affect this.

The Mozart effect

Listen to music and your body, in particularly your brain, will say thank you. With slower music, it can improve circulation and dramatically reduce blood pressure.
How? In 2004 a study by Japanese neuroscientists Den'etsu Sutoo and Kayo Akimaya made things more evident by observing the behaviors of a group of rats listening to Divertimento No. 7 in D Major by Mozart. According to their studies, the stimulus (music) generates a supply of calcium to the brain that produces dopamine, inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system and reducing blood pressure. This also explains why music acts as a defense against anxiety, depression and stress.
The link between music and dopamine production opens a world of possibilities, in particularly for diseases that are linked to this hormone and even arterial diseases such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy or even Alzheimer’s. Regarding the latter, a study at the University of Oregon highlighted the impact of repeated listening to music in Alzheimer's patients: their speech and conversation became more fluid and rich when music was repeatedly played.

Music makes us better

Beyond the biological benefits of music, it is now proven that it even has impact on our relationship with others.
Research by Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2009 revealed that our perception of the emotions of our surroundings are influenced by the music we listen to. For example, if one is subjected to a happy music, the people who surround us will seem happier.
Even more surprising is the experience of psychologists Rona Fried and Leonard Berkowitz of the University of New York: they subjected a group of students to listen to calm music, another to stimulating music a third group to music producing negative emotions and lastly one with no music at all. The students were then asked to render a service. Students submitted to the calming music were more likely to help (90%), followed by those in the third group and those who did not listen to music (60%) and in last, the group subjected to more negative music (45%).
Moral of the story: listen, sing, play! It's good for the body and for the soul.

JAMBOX Entertainment Studios is a Top  Recording Studio Facility in Chelsea Manhattan 

 we can be reached at 212 979-8324

May 3, 2017

To our thousands of friends and happy clients that has kept us going all these years...We just want to say Thank you.
With the closing of so many great studios in the NYC area, we've seen a big change in the city's music culture.
We are still striving daily to be your favorite place to record music.

Yours In Music
​Lee Evans


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April 23, 2017

Herbie Hancock - Don't give up (feat. P!nk and John Legend) In Studio live performance

I'm happy to share with you another piece of truly inspired music:
Herbie Hancock - Don't give up (feat. P!nk and John Legend)

Emotionally charged song with powerful performances by John Legend, Pink
and of course, Herbie's playing is phenomenal.
Jeff Beck on Guitar
Tal Wilkenfield on bass
Vinnie Colauita on drums

From the Imagination Project album by Herbie Hancock

I was so inspired by this song, I included the Peter Gabriel / Kate Bush version below which is also great. Which do you prefer? 

Lee Evans

Lee Evans
JAMBOX Entertainment Studios
Chelsea NYC's Top Recording Studios

April 15, 2017

Here's how Spotify's deal with Universal Music will impact the streaming music industry

Spotify has signed a deal Universal Music Group that lets artists release new albums exclusively on the streaming service’s premium tier for two weeks, Reuters reports.
Only Spotify’s paid subscribers will have full access to albums during this time, though album singles will still be available for all listeners.
Further details about the deal, such as its fee structure or duration have not been disclosed. It’s likely that Spotify is getting a more favorable percentage on the music licensing fees charged by Universal. This would benefit Spotify’s path to profitability and an IPO. Spotify is still negotiating with the remaining two of the "big three" music labels, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. It may use this deal with Universal as a blueprint.
Despite the dearth of details around this deal, there are points of context to provide color:
  • Streaming is music’s biggest moneymaker. For the first time in 2016, streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music made up the majority (51%) of music industry revenue in the US, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported recently. Streaming revenue reached $3.9 billion last year, growing an astounding 68% year-over-year (YoY).
  • Universal is pushing for Spotify paywalls. One condition for this deal is that Spotify only give its paid users immediate and unrestricted access to new albums. This is a sensible strategy because subscriptions are lucrative — they more than doubled in 2016 to $2.5 billion, and now make up a third of total music revenue and two-thirds of revenue from streaming.
  • The deal makes a Spotify IPO more likely. Spotify’s costly licensing agreements with major labels are an obstacle to its IPO. The company pays out 55% of its revenue to record labels, with the biggest checks going to Universal, Sony, and Warner Music. It reportedly wanted to get this down to 50%. Last summer, Spotify accounted for 10% of these labels’ revenue.
  • Spotify wants an IPO as soon as possible. The company is under pressure to IPO sooner rather than later since its $1 billion debt financing round last March. These debts are tied to the timing of the IPO. They determined that investors can convert their stakes into shares at a 20% discount to the list price. However, this discount increases by 2.5% every six months.

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April 11, 2017

Should you buy or lease that hip hop beat?

Should you buy or lease that hip hop beat?
If you have contacts you can shop a song to, buying exclusive rights to a hip hop beat might be a good idea. If you are just looking to get noticed, you should consider leasing that beat.
So you found a hip hop beat on SoundCloud or YouTube and wrote a killer hook to it and you’re certain you have a hit on your hands. The next step is getting in contact with the producer and obtaining the rights to the beat. At this point, due to the normal enthusiasm you feel after you’ve created something great, it can seem like an excellent idea to buy the exclusive rights to the beat – but there are a few things you should think about before diving in and making that purchase.

What is your goal for the song?

This might seem obvious, but I’ve run into many artists who don’t have a clear goal or realistic expectations when it comes to a potential song. Many simply answer that they think the song is going to “blow up” and “get them on” without a plan to get to that point. Now, if you’re savvy enough and have label contacts you can shop the song to, buying the exclusive rights might be a good idea for you and you can probably stop reading this and get to work. However, if you are like the majority of artists who are just looking to get noticed, you’re going to need a better plan than posting to ReverbNation and SoundCloud and hoping for the best. This brings us to the next big question:

What is your budget?

You need a plan if you want your song to enjoy any modicum of success, and that plan will most likely involve spending money. So, after setting your goals, you’ll need to develop a budget for the track. This should include considerations such as the beat (obviously), the recording session, the mixing and mastering of the track, any artwork needed, any video that will be shot, and any marketing and promotions that will be run for the song. Once you have your budget set, you can move on to the next step…

How much of your overall budget should you be spending on the beat?

Now that you know how much you can spend, you have to start divvying it up. Let’s say you have $1,000 to spend on the song and the exclusive rights to a beat cost $750. Can you confidently spread the rest of your budget across recording, artwork, marketing, etc.? Maybe. Is it a good idea? Absolutely not.
In order to garner the attention and buzz you’re hoping for, you should probably allocate at least half of your budget to marketing and promotion, and you obviously don’t want to skimp on recording, mixing, mastering or artwork. So that leaves you with about 30% of your budget or less. So unless you can increase your budget, you’ll have to be extremely smart with your money, which means purchasing exclusive rights to a beat is probably not the best use of your money. What you should do instead is look into leasing a beat.

Why lease a beat instead of buying it?

First off, if you didn’t know, yes, there is such thing as leasing a beat, and it’s a prevalent practice in the independent hip hop scene as it benefits both the rappers and producers involved. A typical lease price for a beat can be anywhere from $15 to $35 in most cases, so you’ll immediately save money that can be better used elsewhere. Most lease agreements allow you to sell up to 2,000 copies before renewal, meaning you can still sell the track to recoup your money while taking a smaller financial risk up front. Also, if the song does blow up, you always have the option to buy exclusive rights to the beat at any time. So by leasing instead of purchasing, you put yourself in a low risk/high reward situation.

Will producers be pushing me to buy the exclusive rights?

They shouldn’t. From an independent producer’s standpoint, leasing out a beat is almost always in their best interest. While selling a beat for a couple hundred dollars is a nice payday up front, exclusive rights means they can no longer profit from that beat, for the most part. There’s the off chance they’ll gain royalties from the track if it blows up, but their earning potential for that beat is likely realized if they opt to sell it exclusively. If you run into a producer who is pressuring you to buy, you might want to find someone else.

Is leasing the way to go?

In most cases, yes. It is easier on your wallet and it is more beneficial to the producer. There are certain scenarios where purchasing exclusive rights would make sense, but those are very rare and chances are if you’re an independent rapper, leasing a hip hop beat is the better avenue for you.

The BeatLandLorde is an independent producer who works at a desk by day and makes scorching hot beats by night.

JAMBOX Entertainment NYC is a Recording Studio and music services company located in Chelsea NYC  212 979-8324

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