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  • Nick Drozdoff

That Was Then: This is Now

I'm a little behind with my blogging, but this one has been fun to put together.

Not too long ago, I was purging files and materials in my basement studio. I had decades worth of "stuff" and I needed to just get rid of things I never use.

I stumbled across the original chart written for me by Chris Lay back in 1980 for a demo tape, calling card promo package I was to use to develop my fledgling business as a free lance musician. The first gig it got for me? A stint on Maynard Ferguson's band! After I left the road to come home and settle in, I used it to open doors and help let people know that I was here and ready to work and even had a little to give.

I need to do a couple of quick acknowledgements. Trombonist and arranger, Chris Lay wrote the arrangement of Besame Mucho. Chris was a good friend and was very reasonable in fees on this project . Next, my fiance at the time (now my wife of almost 40 years) helped me out both spiritually and financially in getting this done - booking the studio and helping pay the musicians. Without her support, I would be simply a "sounding brass."

In reminiscing about the times in looking over the old chart, I decided to re-record it these 40 years later in my basement home studio. The original is damaged and the groove is hokey (it was the disco era, after all). I also wanted to have actual video of my work on this, something that wasn't done in the pre cell phone, digital camera iMac age.

Doing this project has really taken me back. The new groove is a bit more faithful to the bolero concept, though this is a bit more of a pop jazz feel. I will share it here along with a Youtube of the original for your added enjoyment.

Here is the New and Improved Chris Lay chart on Besame Mucho featuring Nick Roach on trombones, Mike Benning on bass and my son, Colin Drozdoff on keyboards.


I do hope you found that at least a little bit fun. Now, for comparison, here is the original. I have an introduction by Maynard Ferguson on this, too.


Personally I find it fun to compare the two. I pushed the speed of the double tonguing more on the original. On the re-do, I was trying to think more of just keeping the tone as clear and consistent over the range of the horn as possible.

So, I respectfully submit this here. My new primary performance medium is my online sharing, though I still do several gigs week.

Finally, in addition to being on Twitter, I am now on Instagram!! My Instagram handle is @nickdrozdoff . If you get a chance, please follow me. I am learning the ropes there and I have quite a bit on IGTV, now.

Thanks for reading, and watching.

Respectfully submitted:

Nick Drozdoff

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