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Saddle Shoe Sally


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This is the third installment in my 2010 collaboration with saxophonist Woody Mankowski. He plays tenor on this one, a mellower tone than the first two. It's a very fun, frenetic yet somehow laid back track. It reminded my wife of saddle shoes, and I was going to name in Saddle Shoe Suzy, but that made her uncomfortable, so I settled on Saddle Shoe Sally.

Taking into account everyone's comments on the first two submissions (and there various mix version), I tried to mix the sax inside the mix the best I could. Again, let me know. The tenor, which is less edgy to begin with, may now be too soft, have lost too much edge? But, but, Woody has some great runs.

Again, I was going for the Count Basie vibe. I can see my mother swinging across the kitchen floor with the expression of a teenager who came of age in the swing era...

By the way, those occasional clicks you hear are coming from the bass player, the "thuck" made when everything collides while driving fast. Does it bug you? I didn't try to minimize it at all, cuz it didn't bug me, knowing what it was. But if it seems like a tape click, then that's not good. (But going in and EQing down those spots would be a pain.)

Hope you enjoy!

Drums: Dane Richeson
Bass: Arthur Kell
Guitar: Elliot Friedman

Please check out the finalized CD on CDBaby: The Muller's Wheel.

Here are all the draft/demo tracks from The Muller's Wheel on MJ:

Seafood Gumbo Bop
Oasis On The Rocks
Saddle Shoe Sally
Lost In The West Village
The Müller's Wheel
Windowshade
Fusion of Minds
Struttin' Up Bourbon
River Runs Through Me
Forrest's Fire

Vocal variations of this series:
Seafood Gumbo w/ AngelaHope

If you haven't heard much of my jazz stuff, please check out all the draft mixes that ended up on the album RAIN BATHER. Maybe start with I Wanna Fly. Woody also plays on most of those songs.

Other songs featuring Woody Mankowski:
Pilgrim of the Return
Final Words
A Promise
Dreams III
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Song Stats
Hits: 4142
Comments: 49
Fans: 28
Plays: 267
Downloads: 109
Votes: 2
Uploaded: Aug 25, 2010 - 07:23:50 AM
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2011 - 09:11:11 AM Last Played: Jun 23, 2017 - 04:59:21 PM
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Comments
awigze said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
my momma
would love this too... She'd say, "Oh, Tobin pour some sugar on the floor and listen to this soft shoe"! I'am diggin it too.
Check out my latest song called Tommy Cat
Doug Somers said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Swing swing swing
It's a toe tapper. Deft handling in all quarters - you all play like you're of one mind in timing and feel, and the energy that comes across right from the first notes to the end is infectious and joyful. The mix sounds fine in my cans, with everything accessible and acoustically tangible. I'm sure The Count would approve.

Tres cool.
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
TobinMueller said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
The Count
I saw Count Basie crossing the street in Chicago. He walked by me and I said to my friend, "That guy looked just like Count Basie." I turned around and realized he was wearing a tux and was across the street from where he was playing. I decided running after him would be bad form. I missed my chance to touch him. He looked even cooler in real life than on the stage, kind of magical.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
TobinMueller said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
"looks just like Count Basie"
...also, I was just a high school kid. That's my excuse...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
sloparts said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Wow, Tobin
This is quite a piece you've got here. Definitely has the Basie vibe, except of course Basie play a different horn. No matter, the mix is really good on this one although right there at the end, the Sax drops out in volume. I thought you were doing a fade out until I heard the volume on the rest of the band playing along with the Sax in maybe the last 10 or 15 seconds of the piece.

Excellent playing by all and a very enjoyable piece.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
TobinMueller said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Fade out
There is a touch of fade on the board, but more than that we all just played softer into the end, and acoustic fade? Woody responded when adding his part in his studio by playing softer. So it's not a true fade, more of a cool down. It was hard to mix across the band, since everything got soft at a slightly different pace. After listening a hundred times, it's hard to get that initial expectation back, but I felt by the end a listener would get that we are just cooling out and its not a true fade out at the board. So if the band sounds like we're playing along with the sax, maybe that's the best i can hope for?

Thanks for listening so carefully and following along with this project.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
AllenDean said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Thanks for the note
And that can be seen as a mutiple meaning statement!
First, what are you recording in? Logic studio?
This is a deep and very smooth recording. I am not aware if you place your setup anywhere on your profile or otherwise, but i would love to read a little of your mic placement, soundboard setup, mixing minmaps, etc...the upright bass is so crisp on this track, much more prominent than the previous track posted. Cymbals and drum tracks are pristine, and loved the clean jazz tone of the guitars....
On to the sax, the main piece of the mix, this one is more understated and subtle than in previous tracks, and i think it makes for a smoother integration, taking me back to some of the smooth jazz from the late 50's, early 60's...loved this one..
AD10
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TobinMueller said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
pristine
Glad you liked the drums. I remixed them over a dozen times. Becuz I was boosting the highs in the overall mix in the mastering process, I had to pre-EQ the cymbal highs down. It was kind of a trial and error method. I'm really glad modern equipment lets you bounce a track in seconds. In the old days, we would've had to do it all in real time. Thanks for wondering about the mic placements, how things are bussed, etc. That's always a tough one, since how someone plays is as important as the room. I like to over-mic and then buss them into a single 2-track per instrument. Drums, of course, are very hard; you can't use enough but jazz guys like to keep it simple with 2 or 3, which makes the ride too hot in the mix, so then EQing the track is needed to re-balance the snare and tom. I often use 3 on the piano, two inside and one underneath, when all that gear is available. I like to try bridge mics as well as a single condenser on the bass. I like electric guitars cuz they can go right into the board, but then sometimes mic'ing the amp sounds more authentic, so I do booth and figure it out later. Glad you liked the track.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
sschedra said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Finally got to the studio monitors
This stuff is just top notch. The authentic sounds, like the bass slap are to me all the more appealing because they are clearly part of the ambiance of real acoustic instruments. Great arrangement, performance and production. I will have to go back and listen to the others again on the studio monitors.
You put out some fine jazz, and as far as I am concerned, this is where I will come to get my fix.
Stephen
Check out my latest song called Cheap Tricks (LSP2)
TobinMueller said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
New speakers
Congrats on your new speakers. I still find a special joy in listening to a warm, complete mix thru great speakers. You hear everything yet it all melds together. Glad you like this. Kind of throwback stuff, but crowd-pleasing.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
dave_b said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Saddle Shoe Sally
Didn't notice the "thuck" you mentioned in the description - probably my cheap Dell speakers.
It does sound to me that the sax is out in front some. Enjoyed the composition and first rate playing.
Check out my latest song called Llarions Blues
RAVENS said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Jazzy
What a fun upbeat tune. Certainly brightens up the gloomy rainy day here. The sax sounds a bit too upfront, maybe soften it a bit. Great stuff, always a pleasure listening.

RAVEN ;-)
Check out my latest song called Tattooed Scars (w/ Sigmund, Scofugate, Rok41)
TobinMueller said 2515 days ago (September 1st, 2010)
brightens up the gloomy rainy day
Thanks. Hope you're keeping your saddle shoes dry in all that rain!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
sonnyjim said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Warm
What a great sound this has! The tune, the performances, the recording, the mix, the spirit of the thing are all excellent. It's not hard to love this stuff.


Check out my latest song called A Bell In The Valley
TobinMueller said 2515 days ago (September 1st, 2010)
the spirit of the thing
Thanks. The spirit of the thing is the most important. I appreciate you mentioning that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
tonestones said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Wonderful
Great tune. Don't worry about the clicks. It gives the bass, which is outstanding, more character. Great performances all around.
Check out my latest song called Then
TobinMueller said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
From a fellow bassist
Coming from you, that's good news. I don't know how bass players don't fry their fingers on a fast song like this. In one session, the bassist had to put duct tape over his blisters to keep on recording. Bass layers are unsung heroes; especially in jazz, where they are the main guy keeping the rhythm (in small combos, if the drummer is out there polyrhythmically speaking). Thanks for checking it out.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
paul f. page said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Piano licks
I, of course, appreciate the skill of the piano licks above all else. Very nice interlude. I also really like the bass throughout, mostly because of the intricacy of line and the general clarity it brings to the whole number. .. The "clicks" - hey, I like 'em. Give the performance a little bit more of a light-hearted quality (not that it needed that so much, but it's a nice touch and I think you made an excellent choice there). The sax: amazing playing. The mix? Well, I'm not one to be too critical about that, but as long as you asked, it DOES seem like it could a little, hummm, well, maybe just a small touch of reverb to make put it more in sync with all the other instruments. It just strikes me as sounding a tad "dry." Does that make any sense? As for "soft shoe," it's more like skip shoe or stomp shoe...or hip-hop shoe (in the old parlance)...I only remember "soft shoe" from countless performances my dad did for us in the kitchen wearing his "Romeos" and doing kind of a sandpaper shuffle very smoothly. ... Anyway, I love this number and stand, as always, in awe of your ingenuity and skill. Bravo!
Check out my latest song called Andante Languidamente
TobinMueller said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
Reverb
Thanks. I like to err on the side of dry, as you might guess from most of my submissions here, since it enables more details to emerge. Also, if your listening in room speakers, there's a nature distance that can become a kind of emotional wall created by too much reverb , interfering with intimacy. And, yes, my mother never "soft shoed." She would fox trot and wiggle her hips. And she loved saddle shoes, but knew them as a young woman's game and never wore any during my lifetime. But she did dance in the kitchen when Glenn Miller and Woody Herman played in the background.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
kickliquid said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
I've Got a Critical Question
How does one become a musical genius like you?

Just wanted to let you know that you were one of the main people back in the day on Macjams that pushed me to strive for excellence. You are a great influence to the Macjams community, at least you were for me.

When no one commented on my songs you were there to leave something insightful, and they were never blind praise, which I appreciated immensely. They were constructive criticism that only made me want to better myself. So this is not only praise for your brilliant song but also thanks for being a major contributing factor to this community.
Check out my latest song called 16 Bit Affair
TobinMueller said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
Community
Thank you very much. I appreciate your comments more than you know.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alackbass said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Saddle Shoe Sally
Downloaded! Says it all!
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TobinMueller said 2515 days ago (September 1st, 2010)
Downloaded
Thanks. Its so cool that the stuff we post here gets in random playlists going forward. Hope it brings you smiles when it comes round again.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
papag said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Saddle up
Fun tune. I didn't mind the "thuck".

Fav'd and Dl'd
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davisamerica2 said 2522 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Great Tobin!
I'm getting together a nice collection here. Keep them coming. Really like the bass on this. Tenor sax has always been my favorite. That was my instrument in HS. I'm still kicking myself for putting it down. Those keys really shine on this too. Terry
Check out my latest song called Road to Yourself/with Abandon Style
TobinMueller said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
High school sax
I played sax in high school too. Alto, and then baritone. I played in college too, but sold my alto (the bari belonged to the school) to pay for my first born. I bought a really nice tenor for my 3rd son, which he played for years and passed it down to my 4th child, my only daughter. She finally stopped playing it so now it has become mine again. I tell you, regaining chops, especially with lung problems, is not easy... Great exercise, tho.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
billykirsch said 2521 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Gotta love jazz
I have to say first that the imperfections that make music sound human are perfect to me. I can hear the thuck of the bass, the air through the sax mouthpiece. I can close my eyes and it's almost like the band is here. Awesome performance as you guys have us used to. This is smoking!

To my ears the balance of levels is just right. The sax in the front of the mix as it should being the focus of the song, bass loud and clear, keys coming up when soloing.

It's probably on purpose (to get that retro vibe) but the drums are a little bit "opaque". I don't know if some "air" in the eq would make them feel more present.

I also miss the guitar a little bit in the rhythmic role. The interplay with the piano has to be something.

This is an awesome production. Professional from every angle. Quality distilled for years.

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TobinMueller said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
Perfect imperfections
Thanks for all your fine observations and compliments. Just a note on the guitar coming in so late... He actually played along with the groove on some takes but I just didn't like it. Something slowed it down. Maybe I didn't like the actual manifestation of the chordal structure, that it sounded better when stark. Less was more. But his solo was too good to not share.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Joanna said 2521 days ago (August 25th, 2010)
Crossing the street
You missed the Count while crossing a street. I crossed a street with Meryl Streep, my acting idol. I didn't do anything -- she was with her family and it would've been way too intrusive. Instead I enjoyed breathing the same air.

That's what you guys are doing on this track. You're breathing the air of the jazz and swing greats, like the Count. Wonderful artistry in this track. I liked the mix and everyone who participated. Sweet!
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thoddi said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
Enjoyable
Hi, I'm in the middle of a busy period at work, and have been enjoying your three latest jazz pieces while at work today. They sound as they could be taken of a classic jazz album with Sonny Rolllins or the likes. Enjoyed these pieces much, and all involved are performing at a high level and with a very good sense of support for each other. Your music made me lower my shoulders a bit on a busy day. Thanks:)
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CIASM_ZENABI_ said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
SALLY
slick, polished,, cool, professional, accomplished. restrained. very authentic. enjoyed it. cheers
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Dennis James said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
G'day Tobin....
I am absolutely no jazz aficionado, but, my goodness, this sounds like the real thing....gives me the vibe of the 1940s movies I love. A compliment....
Check out my latest song called All Dried Out.
TobinMueller said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
New Years resolution
Thanks. My New Years resolution was to do nothing original this year, so I conceived this project. I picked my favorite combo leader, Count Basie, and started in. I think we will get funkier as we keep collaborating, Woody and I, tho.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
Nice cool dancin
and swingn ! Lots of sophisticated rhythms and terrific finger snappin fun! The music is very tight, like the electric guitar as well.
Like how the piano works off the other instruments. Like how the instruments become less numerous at the end as well ! Way TO Go Tobin ! God Bless !
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ktb said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
sweet swing
deep bows is all. A very rich, organic, live sounding mix. You guys gel insanely well.
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Vic Holman said 2521 days ago (August 26th, 2010)
saddle up
excellent. this swings to the stars. pro musicianship at it's best with great interplay throughout.
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RochaMalhada said 2520 days ago (August 27th, 2010)
another one for the CD
Tobin, you're on a roll - thanks for pointing me over here

. - Harold
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VicDiesel said 2520 days ago (August 27th, 2010)
Turn up the sax!
No seriously, even without having heard the previous versions it sounds loud to me. The piano, when it is comping, sounds several meters further away than the sax. Since the piano has a nice and clear sound it can be heard anyway, so it's not like it's buried under the sax.

About the guitar. Somewhere around the 3:00 mark I think I hear it do some chords, but it loses the fight with the piano. But more than that: does your poor guitarist really have to sit out 2:30 before he can 5 whole seconds of solo? Poor guy....

Of course the musicianship is all around great, and that sax lick will stick in my head for a while. Definitely in that respect the Count would be proud of you.
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TobinMueller said 2519 days ago (August 28th, 2010)
Breaks
Actually, the guitarist has a weak bladder, needs breaks, so we let him come in late every now and then. Are slip in a cigarette break, cuz you can't smoke in clubs anymore. He looks forward to those moments, I suspect. Plus, he's wealthier than all of us put together, so we don't really feel sorry for him.

Mixing the sax in is proving to be frustratingly listener-dependent, depending on volume, gear, time of day. Truly, in my studio speakers and headphones, the balance is dead on. When using headphones on my iPod the sax could even come up a tad. On my laptop, its sax heavy. But it jives and swings and I'm happy with that. I think the minimalist piano is throwing me off, since I usually mix denser tracks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
fasteddie said 2520 days ago (August 27th, 2010)
You guys
really tear it up Tobin.

I was really listening to the bass and I don't hear the "click". I love bass guitar and Arthur really can play, that's for sure.

Great stuff Tobin.
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kristyjo said 2518 days ago (August 28th, 2010)
Love the Tenor Sax
This sounds like a good mix to me. i like the more dry sound, because it really does sound more intimate, like I am sitting up close in a small club. The instruments sound live, and the human sounds, like fingers on strings and breathing spots, make it sound like the combo is playing right now for me.
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jiguma said 2518 days ago (August 29th, 2010)
Don't know much about jazz .....
..... but I know what I like.

This is superb Tobin!
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egobandit said 2518 days ago (August 29th, 2010)
Oh yeah
swinging Love the Horns on this, the piano is movin and groovin what a great song Love the old bebop sound your getting! Guitars and everything all around greatness! I love that the horn is so up front, great recording It must be fun to work with such talented musicians!
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perceptualvortex said 2517 days ago (August 29th, 2010)
Swings
Very cool. Reminds me of nights going out to see the Mel Brown sextet in Portland... long ago. Great playing by all.
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DWL said 2516 days ago (August 31st, 2010)
Ticks all the boxes
Splendid work from all involved.

Playing is exemplary as is the production. No problems with the clicks for me.

Cheers

Dick
Check out my latest song called Metaphoric Bullet
Dadai.2 said 2516 days ago (August 31st, 2010)
Woody can...
certainly play that sax. Such tone, control, and nimble finger movement. OK... you're not bad yourself on the piano! ;-) Kudos likewise to Dan, Arthur, and Elliot. Great ensemble... fun song.

D
Check out my latest song called You Belong To Me (live - Betty's song)
FEEL said 2516 days ago (August 31st, 2010)
I would expect it
The clicking sound coming from the bass. I do know what you mean especially when the tweeter picks it up. This is also what I would expect coming from you and your collaborations. Just sensational work. Thanks for sharing!
Check out my latest song called Stuck n D - 214ce ES2 test
michaeljayklein said 2516 days ago (August 31st, 2010)
Calling Zoot Sims!
As a student of swing music, this rather reminded me of the early phases of bop and how some of the leading instrumentalists from the swing era transitioned into it (like Goodman, Shaw, Basie)--it has that kind of fusion to it. Very good stuff!
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fambroski said 2513 days ago (September 3rd, 2010)
Making it Count. : )
Yup you nailed Basie on this one. I'd love to hear a big band do this.
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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