I first heard Bobby Sharp’s work as a songwriter, pianist and vocalist through the rough home-recorded cassette tapes he sent me in small parcels beginning in March 2003. Some would come alone, with just a lyric sheet. Others came in groups of 3 or 4 songs carefully notated on aging onionskin paper. Each one was beautiful with eloquent lyrics, alluring melody and haunting harmonies accompanied by a distinctly unique rhythm. Songs like this are not written any more. These songs were written by Bobby Sharp in the late 1950’s through the early 70’s. They have lay dormant for over 40 years, literally collecting dust in a closet. With a little encouragement and arm-twisting, Bobby agreed to record 13 of his pieces with a band for the first time in 4 decades.
We agreed that Fantasy Studios in Berkeley would be the ultimate spot because of its rich jazz recording history, well-respected engineers and close proximity to Bobby’s home in Alameda. We set up shop in Studio D with engineer Stephen Hart and the musicians. Bobby sat nervously at the piano and ripped through “High Upon a Mountain” in less than a half hour. His only recording experience of analog tape has made him a one-take musician. He knows nothing else.
The result is a time capsule of some of the greatest work of an outstanding and underappreciated American composer. I’m so honored to be a part of bringing these songs to life and catapulting them into the ears of willing listeners. Enjoy every moment, every note.
Natasha Miller, producer
During the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s I wrote the songs on this CD in my Harlem, NY apartment. In 1977 my mother Eva died and I wrote “Eva”. Shortly after that I wrote “Turning Point” and then didn’t write another song for about 28 years.
Natasha Miller sorted through some lead sheets and cassettes of mine and put together this CD.
Thanks Natasha for your making this CD come alive.
Recorded and mixed at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
Stephen Hart- Engineer
Produced by Natasha Miller
Piano, Vocals- Bobby Sharp
Bass- John Shifflett
Drums- Tim Bulkley
Nylon String Guitar- Steve Erquiaga
Violin- Natasha Miller
Viola- Liz Prior
Cello- Marcie Brown
Flugelhorn/Trumpet- Jeff Lewis
Saxophone- Rob Roth
French Horn- Alicia Telford
Bassoon- David Granger