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Friday, March 3, 2023

Tony Mottola And The Quad Guitars

Moonlight In Vermont

Tony Mottola And The Quad Guitars
Produced by Enoch Light
Associate Producer: Tony Mottola & Jeff Hest
Arrangements: Tony Mottola
Engineer: Steve Friedman
Mastering: Al Brown
Project 3 PR5078 QD

Four of America's greatest guitarists:

Vinnie Bell
AL Caiola (courtesy of Two World Records)
Don Aaron
Al Casamenti

Join Tony and these giants of rhythm:

Dick Hyman
Jule Ruggiero
Ronnie Zito
Derek Smith
Phil Kraus

From the inside cover: When Enoch Light first suggested to me that I I should do a quad album for Project 3 Records, my thoughts went back almost 15 years to the time when Enoch was the founder and creative head of Command Records. This gave me my first opportunity to do an album of my own with the company that revolutionized the concept of stereo recording. That album, "Mr. Big", featured an original and distinctive sound of four electric guitars accompanied by a rhythm section. Enoch and I then agreed that the guitar quartet would be ideal for this quad setup.

I discussed the technicalities of recording the album with engineer Steve Friedman. We concluded that the album should be recorded on 16 track, using to tracks for each electric guitar – one track going directly into the "board" and the other "miking" the amplifiers. This left four tracks for the rhythm section and four for the possibility of over-dubbing.

I was fortunate and delighted to be able to re-invite the original group of guitarists who were with me on the original "Mr. Big" album: Al Caiola (courtesy of Two World Records), Al Casementi and Don Arnone – all old friends and very talented musicians. I invited a newcomer to join the group, Vinnie Bell. Vinnie has played on some of my most recent Project 3 albums – he is a most creative guitarist. The rhythm section is truly outstanding. It includes Dick Hyman, piano; Julie Ruggiero, Fender bass; Ronnie Zito, drums; Phil Kraus, percussion and Derek Smith who replaced Dick Hyman on our second session.

When I began the selection of tunes for the album, I wanted some that would show the true range and versatility of the electric guitar. Again, I went back a few years to the time when I first came to New York. At that time it was my good fortune to meet the now legendary guitarist, the late Carl Kris. He was instrumental in my getting started in the New York studios, for which I am still grateful. Carl, at the time, was working in duo with another great guitarist, Dick McDonough. Together they wrote and performed many guitar duets. I decided to record two which I consider to be their very best: "Chicken-A-La Swing" and "Stage Fright". With Dick's untimely passing, Carl asked me to join him and together we preformed these selections many times on various radio programs and transcriptions. The guitar duo is very much in vogue today – you can see how many years ago it all began. To me, this album was truly a labor of love. – Tony Mottola

From Billboard - November 3, 1973: CD-4 discrete Quadradisc and QS matrix. Enoch Light, owner of the label, releases in all three quadrasonic disc systems. Here, QS was compared with CD-4. The discrete was champion, but matrix still scored extremely well with definitive separation on most cuts. The mix differed, especially on a tune such as "All The Things You Are."

Classical Gas
Sugar Blues
Over The Rainbow
Stage Fright
Moonlight In Vermont
Chicken-A-La Swing
Galloping Guitars
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
Guitar Boogie
All The Things You Are
Paganini's 24th Caper 

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