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Making the CD - The Gospel Truth Revisited by Gospel Jazz Saxophonist Greg Vail.

Gospel Truth Revisited - Making Of...

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The Gospel Truth Revisited CD featuring Gospel Saxophonist, Christian sax player Greg Vail

The Gospel Truth Revisited CD cover by Sax Player Greg Vail, 2006

Making The Gospel Truth Revisited CD

Greg Vail Music (c) 2006

The Gospel Truth Revisited Home | Gospel Truth Revisited Booklet | Gospel Truth Revisited Press | Making Gospel Truth Revisited

Making the Gospel Truth Revisited


The Gospel Truth Revisited was conceived by basic conflict resolution. I had many people in the Christian world that felt Santanaís Europa was not appropriate for a Gospel CD. It seemed like more than 1 Christian Radio Station discounted the potential of these great Praise and Worship tunes due to this one track.

At the time of recording the original Gospel Truth CD, it seemed really cool that I was able to introduce so many Smooth Jazz fans to some of my favorite Gospel Worship Music, just because they wanted my version of Europa so much.

Fast forward a few years and I made the decision to pull Eurpoa from the song list and add some new music we had been blessed with at Saddleback Church over the past year.

As many of you might know, Rick Muchow had composed many of the songs on the Gospel Truth CD for Saddleback Church. Rickís son, Brandon Muchow had just released a CD and was leading worship at a new Saddleback Church campus in San Clemente, CA. Although Brandon is a youngster, he had some great writing on the CD and I feel in love with a few of the songs. I decided to record 2 songs off his new disc as bonus tracks to the Gospel Truth CD - Revisited.

There was a song that had kinda become the mantra for the Purpose Driven Movement in the US. Reach One More For Jesus was written by a good friend of mine and really should have been on the first release of the Gospel Truth (of course looking back in hind sight).

So, I decided to use Reach One More and Brandonís 2 songs, Embrace Godís Way and More Than Worthy, and create a new Gospel Truth collection for the Church. I kept the other 9 Gospel Tracks from the original Gospel Truth CD, and began the new Gospel Truth Revisited CD for the Church at large.

Recording the Gospel Truth Revisited CD

Since 9 tracks came from the earlier release, all I had to do was track 3 songs and create the new product. One important note would be, I am a little sax player dude with no money and trying to do good things in music with myself as the primary resource. This leaves me in a very creative spot for working out solutions for time and expense problems.

What I ended up doing was taking the original tracks from Brandonís CD, minus the vocals and recording over the rhythm section from his CD. Rick and Brandon were kind enough to make these tracks available and they really sounded good.

I had a friend that had recorded a new version of Reach One More for Jesus that sounded amazing too. I asked him and he agreed to give me the track to blow sax over. I now had tracks for the 3 new songs for the CD and it was something I could actually afford.

Recording Reach One More

Written by Alva Copeland and track provided by producer/keyboardist Tom Brooks, Reach One More came as a very polished and ready to blow sax over the track. Tom Brooks had recorded the track live in Washington DC for a large Christian outreach. He later took the tracks home and added richer orchestration. The finished product was outstanding. All I did was decide which version I wanted to use. I choose the version with vocal backgrounds and lead vocals removed to play sax over.

On the technical side, I use the AEA84 ribbon mic, run thru the UA solo/610 mic pre into a Pro Tools MBox run on a PC system. I mixed the track and had it mastered by Wally Grant. It was an easy track to record and probably a first or second take that was used from the 4 sax tracks I played. The track turned out really amazing and sounding like the sax was intended all along.

Recording More Than Worthy and Embrace Godís Way

These tracks where much more involved than Reach One More. Both tracks had great rhythm section sounds, but needed more orchestration. I took out the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and began arranging and tracking orchestral parts. When it was done, I had tracked Brass (Trumpet 1,2, Trombone and Bass Trombone) Strings (Violin 1,2, Viola, Cello) and Bass Clarinet from the EWI. I also tracked real Flutes and Clarinets to create an orchestra sound that was real and sounded great.

Each track from the EWI was a real performance with real expression and volume from the EWI. I used the Yamaha VLM70 module and my Roland D50 for the sounds. The arranging was done by playing ideas first on the EWI, then working them out with harmonies on paper, then rerecording clean performances for each individual part. The process takes a while, but for me, it is the best approach since I am not a professional arranger, but do have good ears and ideas.

The only exception was with More Than Worthy. There were background vocal parts that I really liked. I took the 4 part vocals and transcribed them off the CD, and played them on 4 Flutes. I then recorded the same parts on the strings and mixed them hard left and hard right, strings on the left, flutes on the right. The rest of the orchestration was the same as Embrace Godís Way.

All 3 new tracks I mixed and Wally Grant Mastered, along with the complete CD to make sure the levels were good and the new CD sounded like it belonged together, on the same disc.

Same technical info. R84, UA Solo/610, Pro Tools on my PC.

Manufacturing was done at Crest Digital in Yorba Linda. Art Work was printed at Capitol Disc in Santa Monica. Art Work was done by Shannon Kennedy, with the original art work in mind, yet the cover was set to not confuse the 2 CDs. We continued the circle theme with a different, yet related color and decided against a photo cover so it ended up being more of an art cover design. The CD was released mid 2006 and has been a growing seller over the last year.

I hope to release another Gospel CD soon Ė Timeless Hymns, the Classics. This next Gospel CD on Greg Vail Music will feature music from the past, performed in the Smooth Jazz Style. Songs will include The Old Rugged Cross, Amazing Grace, I Have Decided To Follow Jesus, Precious Lord, What a Friend We Have in Jesus and moreÖ

Greg Vail Music has 2 other project ideas not yet started, but just a note to keep an eye on in the future, as new Gospel Music should continue to be released over the next few years.

Thanks for reading and Blessings,

Greg Vail Music

Gospel Truth Revisited site update MARCH 27, 2008

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