The award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (VJO) now has one more trophy to add to its extensive collection: the 2009 GRAMMY® Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, for its sonically brilliant Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard LP (Planet Arts, 2008). The recording was made at New York's historic Village Vanguard, the legendary 74-year-old Greenwich Village club venue. The club was outfitted with classic and cutting-edge recording equipment and microphones, all provided thanks to the vast product and support/personnel resources of Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users.
The recording was engineered by Ed Reed of Lighthouse Recording in Staten Island, New York. The project had further GC Pro presence, thanks to the assistant engineering done by Rick Rivera (GC Pro Accounts Manager, NJ/Pennsylvania Area) and Ben Krumholtz (a then-assistant manager in a local Guitar Center store). Mixing and mastering were done by long-time VJO associates Gary Chester and Alan Silverman.
GC Pro was able to call upon its huge resources to provide the right combination of gear that let Reed and the VJO achieve the sound they were looking for. The equipment included a 32-input A&H GL2400 Dual-Function Live Sound Mixer console, coupled with four TASCAM DA-88 digital recorders and TASCAM's new X-48 Multi-Track Recorder as the back-up system. Microphones included Neumann U 87 Condenser Microphones on trumpets, trombones and flugelhorns, a refurbished Neumann/Blue U 47 Condenser Microphone (personally owned by the owner of Blue) used on the upright bass, AKG C414's on the saxophone section and the piano, Shure SM81 Instrument Microphones used as overhead mics on the drum kit with Shure Beta 989s on the toms, and an EV RE20 Wire Microphone on the kick drum.
"The gear was perfectly matched to this project," noted Rivera. "We recorded four shows over two days and nights at the club and it was just magic." When the tracking was done, Reed loaded it into a Pro Tools system for editing and mixing. This GRAMMY Award is the second for the VJO, joining the Orchestra's five previous GRAMMY nominations and an Association for Independent Music (AFIM) win.
Tom Bellino, Planet Arts Recordings President, stated, "Thanks to everyone at GC Pro. Everyone I speak to comments on how this recording sounds exactly like sitting at the Village Vanguard, listening to the band. I know it was a ton of work setting up the recording, and we all appreciate the hard work, expertise and support from GC Pro."
"We congratulate the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, winner of the GRAMMY for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album," stated GC Pro Director Rick Plushner. "Guitar Center and GC Pro are dedicated to the creation of great music, and we were proud to have played a part in the spectacular GRAMMY win."