Shortly after New York City Drag came out, Tony and I bought a video camera and I got the idea to do a video of myself explaining how the album came to be, over the instrumentation for the first cut on the CD “You’re Outa Here,” based on Fats Waller’s piece “The Minor Drag” and featuring Dick Hyman on piano. (Tony learned Final Cut Pro for the occasion. The manual is as thick as a phone book for a small city.)
Much of the video was shot in our bathroom with the videocam in the bathtub while I talked into the mirror, an earbud tucked into my ear so I could hear the track while talking. About 90% of the time was taken trying to get myself in frame by standing an inch to the right or left or slightly adjusting the tripod in the tub, another 5% righting the tripod after accidentally yanking on the cord attached to the videocam.
“Rockin’ in Rhythm” was also done mostly at our house.”The 101″ (like “Rockin’,” based on an Ellington piece, this time “Suburbanite”) was taped at a theatre in San Francisco, as was “Remembering to Breathe.” Please see the credits for the names of the nice and talented people who worked with me on these home-made projects!
The last vid, You’re Outa Here, is a cartoon produced and animated by the great NYC indie animator George Griffin. It showed at several dozen festivals worldwide, and won a few awards, including Best Animated Video at the South Beach Animation Festival. The live pianist is Dick Hyman, who played on the original recording “You’re Outa Here” for my New York City Drag album.