Late last night, after hours of drinking Schlafly beer and watching a strange movie with the guy, I reported that St. Louis mix and master wizard Adam Long had been nominated for a Grammy. Actually, it was the record he recorded, mixed and mastered, Gypsy: The Original Broadway Cast Recording, that was so honored, but I know that Adam did almost all of the work on that recording, even if the industry pays all of its attention to the guy who put together the deal (the producer) and the writers and performers.
Turns out I sold Adam short. He actually was nominated for two Grammys! St. Louis gospel hip-hopper Flame (in the Cardinals jersey, above) was nominated for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album for his record Our World Redeemed, which - like Gypsy - was recorded, mixed and mastered by Adam Long!
What adds even more amazement to this remarkable achievement is that, other than the original cast tracks recorded in New York City, Adam did all of the work on both records in a small apartment in Midtown St. Louis, carved out of a mansion on West Pine, just west of Boyle.
I have a tiny role in his great achievement. Adam credits me with the existence of his home studio. When I moved home from New York four years ago, Adam was getting ready to buy yet another expensive telescope. (He's a passionate stargazer.) I looked around his apartment, empty but for telescopes and milk cartons, and asked him why he didn't put his money into a home studio instead, so he could quit paying room rates all over town. He took my advice - and now he never pays a room rate (though his Broadway producer sometimes does, in the best rooms in New York City - and maybe in London in 2009).
Of course, I had self-interest in my suggestion. Adam and I have been making recordings together for a long time. I met him when he mixed and mastered a record for my band Three Fried Men at Clayton Recording Studios (where he also did the first St. Lunatics record, helping to launch the career of a young rapper named Nelly). Adam liked that Three Fried Men record so much he joined the band on cello.
Next, we recorded rebel radio for the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People together. The picture of Adam (in the red hair) and me, above, is of us eating fish pepper soup after recording a Radio Kudirat session at the home of an exiled Ogoni leader. That work got Adam (and me) on a list that was altogether different from a list of Grammy nominees - after we were name-checked on one of the shows we recorded (and overnighted to London, whence they were broadcast to Nigeria) we ended up on the death list of Gen. Sani Abacha, according to the Ogoni's spies inside the military government. So much for that trip to Ogoniland!
Now Adam mixes and masters the projects we record for Poetry Scores, which is what he is doing on this blog. Just a little bit of boasting about one of our own here.
Adam has bought a tux and is headed to Los Angeles in Februrary. While I can't say his nominations will be enough to make me watch the awards, since these two categories probably won't be televised, I will actually care who wins for the first Grammy of my life.
adam is the most capable, consistent and considerate audio engineer i've ever worked with. when cutting string tracks for poetry score's "go south for animal index", his patience and encouragement enabled me achieve a comfort zone that i'd never reached before. he is a true dichotomy - a remarkably easy-going perfectionist who's always got the big picture dialed in. St. Adam ? St. Long? A red-haired angel with silk ears!
"a remarkably easy-going perfectionist": that is IT, brother. That is it.
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