Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Session Photos: "Fareed Haque" by Carl Weingarten

SESSION PHOTOS: I met jazz guitarist Fareed Haque through my friend Joe Venegoni in 1990.  Joe and I were still living in St. Louis at the time.  Our Critical Path CD was in the works, and Joe suggested bringing in Fareed to play on a few songs.  I resisted at first as I didn’t know Fareed or how his sound might impact the album.  But Joe insisted, and he was absolutely right.  Fareed was spot on.  The Blue Note Records guitarist turned out to be a recognized modern jazz guitar master and improviser.  Fareed came in from Chicago, and upon his arrival to the studio, he immediately dug in and recorded several inspired performances.  At one point, setting his trademark nylon acoustic aside, Fareed played my electric guitar on one song, breaking a string in the process, which I hung proudly on my studio wall.  While Fareed’s playing was excellent, the most inspiring moment for me was his work on “A Window”, a song I had composed and recorded as a solo guitar piece a few years earlier.  Joe and I had agreed to record the song again, with orchestration.  Fareed quickly learned the melody and began, like spreading wildfire, to improvise and embellish on the theme.  It was startling how quickly he connected with the tune, and for the first time in my life, I heard my music played by someone other than myself.  If you’re a composer, it’s like witnessing your child’s college graduation.  Fareed infused new energy into the composition and it was affirming to hear my music in such capable hands.   I didn’t take any photos at the session, but I did capture Fareed in action a few years later, during a recording session jam in the bay area.  The group that day featured Fareed, guitarist Henry Kaiser, bassist Michael Manring (also in the photo), among others. 

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