According to an article in The Buffalo News, DEEP PURPLE frontman Ian Gillan has been spending time in Buffalo, New York working on a record documenting and celebrating his 40 years in the rock world.
"I love Buffalo," Gillan told Jeff Miers of The Buffalo News. "The people here are wonderful, genuine; they look you straight in the eye. It's a wonderful community you've got here, a real artistic sensibility. And wonderful musicians, as well."
Gillan, who became friends with ANIMAL PLANET/MLJ BAND guitarist and vocalist Michael Lee Jackson about a decade back, came to Buffalo with plans to mark his 40th anniversary in music by revisiting important benchmarks from throughout his career.
Jackson, now Gillan's creative manager, assembled the core band for the backing tracks — himself on guitar, Howard Fleetwood Wilson on drums, Rodney Appleby on bass — and rehearsed them in advance of Gillan's arrival. Producer/engineer Nick Blagona — whose credits include DEEP PURPLE, GILLAN AND GLOVER, the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack, and the POLICE masterpiece "Ghost In the Machine", among hundreds of others — set up shop inside the old Trackmaster studios, abandoned and unused for 10 years now but, according to both Gillan and Blagona, "one of the best-sounding rooms we've ever worked in."
"The thing to remember when you're re-recording pieces from the past is that you have to have respect for the original performances, recordings and arrangements," Gillan said. "If something was improvised originally, then it's OK for it to be improvised again. But if there are bits of a particular solo — the one in 'Smoke on the Water', for example — that are part of the composition, then those bits should be played as they were. That said, the reason for doing this record now and revisiting these songs is that it affords us the opportunity to record them in a modern context, in the same room, with the same producer and, for the most part, the same musicians. There's a continuity allowed by this, and it's really exciting."
After the basic tracks have been recorded here in Buffalo, a list of cameo performers will dub their contributions onto the record from various points across the globe — Gillan's pal Luciano Pavarotti in Italy, BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi and former PURPLE organist Jon Lord in England, Uli Jon Roth in Germany, a guitarist described by Gillan as "the beautiful and mysterious Ms. Fanny Craddock" somewhere in Europe, and a veritable dream team of musicians still pending confirmation. Concurrently, a documentary is in production for English network television, and it will eventually see release on DVD.
Read the rest of the article (and view photos) at this location.