Dan Fornero is an LA-based freelance trumpet player who has toured the world with Phil Collins, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Johnny Hallyday, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band & Bob Mintzer's Big Band, among others.
His new album "not so old school" features LA's finest musicians & pays homage to the many genres of music that have influenced his sound.
“not so old school began in a conversation with my great friend Wally Minko, a brilliant musician/composer who shares my musical heart. Wally has a deep understanding of harmony that I felt was necessary to balance the simplicity of what I had written. He was the clear choice to produce my album. This simply could not have been made without him.
After tracking a large part of the record, Wally and I found ourselves stalled amidst demanding work schedules. To realize the potential of this music, we called on the services of Gary Grant. In addition to laying down spectacular horn tracks for thousands of pop artists, Gary had also established himself as a great producer. His level of experience and attention to detail were exactly what the project needed.
This record is a breakaway from tradition. It’s 2013 and the rules have changed. With these great producers behind me, I was able to create music that I like from different genres that have inspired me. Something I could leave behind that says a little about who I was. Sometimes showcases me, sometimes doesn’t. . .but always includes horns.
I invite you to approach this cd like you would an old album. I loved the days when we’d sit in silence while a record played from front to back. . .filling our ears with real music played by real musicians. I hope you find Joy in reading the liner notes and dissecting the inner workings of this album. I believe there’s a home for not so old school in the landscape of today’s music.”
– Dan Fornero
GONNA BE FINE
Gonna Be Fine was originally inspired by a groove I heard from Prince. Needing more than my sequenced verse & chorus, I asked Wally to create a new section, which became the horn interlude in the middle. Gary envisioned this as a vocal tune, sang a simple melody & suggested that I sing the track, much to my dismay. It became apparent to me that if I was actually going to sing this, it had to be an autobiography. We added FX on my voice to make it clear this was tongue-in-cheek & soon the Prince-ish idea took a Joe Walsh turn. We brought in a guitar solo in honor of Joe Walsh, one of my absolute heroes. The story line, although intentionally humorous, is ultimately a true account of my life in 4 verses. The last high trumpet lick must be noted as the one and only Gary Grant.
CUNNING & BAFFLING
Cunning & Baffling evolved from a bass line that I remembered hearing by a funk band in Dallas in the late ‘70s. Wally & I developed the bridge containing the Harmon mute solo. (Note the masterful use of the Seashell Purse at the start of this section.) Gary suggested a long flowing line to contrast the movement of the bass, which became the flugelhorn melody. The B section was inspired by The Average White Band. This is the only track on the album where I play all the trumpets & flugels. The title can be found in a large book that has had a profound impact on my life. . .
MY ONLY GIRL
My Only Girl practically wrote itself. I had a couple of simple chord changes with a groove & the melody quickly formed. I sent this early version of the track to Phil Collins, as just a verse & a chorus. He felt the chorus was actually a bridge that lead somewhere else. Following his great advice, I added the modulation section. The subject matter of love gone wrong is one I think everyone can relate to. Soulfully sung by Sean Holt, My Only Girl is destined for the rolling credits on a chick flick.
Hey Thanks, an original composition by Wally Minko, is a tribute to Jerry Hey. The impact Jerry Hey has had on the world of commercial music is extraordinary. His unparalleled horn arrangements have added a distinct flavor to countless hits for the biggest artists in the world. Purposefully written to stretch the ends of all our abilities, the recording sessions for Hey Thanks were something special indeed. We hope this honors you appropriately, Jerry.
THESE ARE THE WORDS
These Are The Words was inspired by George Duke. The story is about a young couple finding themselves drawn into a relationship almost reluctantly. At the end of the story, they look back & realize it’s been a process they’re grateful for. Lamont Van Hook & Lynne Fiddmont have been working together for many years & you can hear their vocal chemistry throughout. Ramon Stagnaro’s masterful guitar work perfectly suits this tune.
Like Cunning & Baffling, DataBass began with another quirky, funky bass line & a groove. Wally came up with the melody & horn interlude section. The great Al McKay joined us on guitar & can be heard panned to the right. From this point on in the album, I suggest you crank the volume. . .
DON’T YOU KNOW
Originally titled 12/8 Toto, Don’t You Know, like My Only Girl, seemed to write itself. Some might notice a nod to my Wisconsin roots in the title? Once again utilizing the
vocal skills of Sean Holt, the song features a Pink Floyd-esque interlude & a gnarly guitar solo by Kurt Griffey. Would love to see Don’t You Know climbing the charts with a bullet.
WISH YOU WERE HERE
I’m a huge fan of Pink Floyd. Their tunes have always inspired & moved me, but none more so than Wish You Were Here. It was important to me that the song be recorded with reverence to honor & respect the original. I chose to play the melody myself. No frills. Straight from my heart. Leland Sklar really poured himself into his performance & was the perfect choice for this track. I decided to record the flugelhorns at Fumosonic Sound with John Fumo, my dear friend from that era. As further tribute to David Gilmour, I created a platform for Andrew Synowiec to take us home in classic Floyd tradition. . .