Released May 31 2013
"A Man Called Sonny" is an acoustic bass and drum driven funk and soul narrative about feared and misunderstood former heavyweight champion Charles "Sonny" Liston, the original "Baddest Man on the Planet" whose tragic life ended shrouded in mystery.
Jeff Martini wrote the song in 2007 and was inspired by "Every Time I Talk to Liston", a book by friend and amateur boxing teammate Brian DeVido, along with articles by Nigel Collins. The basic tracks (Mike New on drums, Jeff Martini on acoustic bass) were performed live in Mike's Cold Spring studio to an analog tape machine in early 2009. The overdubs were completed throughout 2009. Vocals and percussion (hand slaps on acoustic bass) were also recorded in Mike's studio, along with overdubs in 2011 (Wurlitzer electric piano, and guitars played by Mike at his studio and Jeff at his in Washington DC). Both Mike and Jeff learned a lot about 8-track tape machine maintenance along the way.
Jeff picked up the recording in early 2013 after performing the song with the One Two Soul Revue for a few years in Washington DC, adding Avy Mallik's guitar parts to the mix along with Scott Firestone's trumpet and Jeff's saxophone to round out the track.
The tracks were mixed and mastered by Mike New in Cold Spring, New York.
Vox, Bass, Percussion, Electric Piano, Guitar & Tenor Saxophone: Jeff Martini
Drums, Guitar: Mike New
Guitar: Avy Mallik
Trumpet: Scott Firestone
Vocals, Bass, Percussion, Guitar and Drums Produced and Engineered by Mike New in Cold Spring NY.
Additional Guitars, Electric Piano and Horns recorded by Jeff Martini in Capitol Hill NE, Washington DC.
Mix and Mastered by Mike New in Cold Spring New York
Cover Design by Jeff Martini