Ralf Bredehorst & Friends at Raffi's
From conception to completion, 'Ralf & Friends at Raffi's' has been a miraculous chain of events! Raffi had previously 'fallen in love' with my German friends' band 'Trio-Vital' during their gigs with him in 2008 & 2009. So when I asked him if another German musician friend Ralf Bredehorst could also play there (they hadn't met, nor had Raffi heard Ralf's CD), the ever gracious Raffi said, 'Of course!'. I then issued the invitation to all my local musician friends (most knew Ralf) to come jam with the German at Raffi's. I had NO idea who would show up. THEN I contacted everyone and their sister and invited them to the event, again, having no idea who would show up. After getting 'Trio-Vital's' gig at the library recorded by Jesse Knight on May 31st, I started playing around with the idea of having Ralf's gig recorded. I LOVE live recordings, and although Jesse offered to do it for Ralf, I knew I also needed professional help with the mixing and mastering, but knew no one who could do it for me. On October 2nd I took Ralf's 'Creole Jazz' CD to Raffi so he could get an idea of what Ralf was all about. In turn Ralf introduced me to the mixer and master of this CD, Greg Loomis.' Ralf & Friends at Raffis' became a reality on October 14, 2009. Raffi and his incredible staff( Kurt Schnautz, Darko Curciza, Blair Ude, Moe Abu-Taqa, Tascha Clark, Melissa Gormley, Mike Hunter, Travis Shadley, Zack Nellom, & Keith Forman) created the warm and welcoming ambiance and food. Musician after amazing musician continued to stroll through Raffi's door to join Ralf: Bob Ballard, John Michael O'Leary, Chuck Eakins, Brett Birkhead, Barbara Santora, Joan Moore, Gina Moore, The Sounds of Grace, Brian Hunt, Carl Rodenberg, Harry George, and the other 'Battle of the Saxes' stars: Monte Skelton, Roy Carter, and Bookie Buchenberger. The jazz fans came in droves and ate, drank, talked, laughed, and listened the night away. Which made for a very successful event, but created a bit of a problem on the recording and producing end... The recorder used that night was fine for Trio-Vital's fairly quiet library gig, but wasn't adequate for Raffi's set-up with so much background 'chatter'. Greg told me at the time he had concerns about the quality of the recording and after he started mixing and mastering, the concerns became legitimate. But after hours of his work, we have a CD that not only preserves the music, but after the first minute or so, the background 'chatter' morphs into 'white noise' and you get the amazing feeling you are actually there. So to all of you named above and all of you fans who weren't, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And to adapt Raffi's motto: 'Both great food and great music praise God!' Robin Church.