Theta Sound Studio

because the world needs your music

Susan Kohler opens
Harold Arlen’s songbook

Susan Kohler opens Harold Arlen’s songbook

Harold Arlen may not be the first name you think of when asked about the top songwriters of the Great American Songbook. In fact, many people don’t even know him by name. But we’ll bet that you’ve heard his music! Do any of these songs ring a bell… Over the Rainbow, Stormy Weather, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive, One for My Baby, Last Night When We Were Young, Get Happy, Paper Moon, and the list goes on for some 400+ songs. Arlen co-wrote with some of the top names in the era including Johnny Mercer, and with Yip Harburg he wrote all the songs for a little film called The Wizard of Oz!

Harold Arlen
With that brief introduction above, it’s no wonder the Susan Kohler came up with the idea for her third album, consisting entirely of songs by Mr. Arlen and simply titled, Just Harold. To bring the magic of Arlen’s music to life, Susan enlisted arranger/pianist Nick Fryman and a group of L.A.’s finest, forming a big band that really sizzled as the takes were recorded. On hand for the recording dates were: Nick Fryman and Jeff Colella on piano; Frank Potenza on guitar; Randy Landas on bass; Rod Harbour on drums; Rusty Higgins on alto sax and clarinet; Glenn Morrissette on tenor sax; Roger Neumann on tenor and baritone sax; Bob O’Donnell, Carl Saunders and Anne King on trumpets; Scott Whitfield and Bryant Byers on trombones. Susan, who is also the producer for this project, laid down the reference vocals and has been working on the final version over the past few months.

Although Susan would like to complete this album sooner than later, her other career as an author, researcher and seminar leader specializing in training families and caregivers on effective techniques for connecting with persons with Alzheimer’s and dementia, has taken much of her time. But the challenge of helping others to communicate with patients and loved ones, coupled with making music and other creative pursuits (Susan has played many roles in television, plays and musicals) has certainly made for a complete and focused life, which we’re sure she wouldn’t trade for the world!

You can listen to a bit of Susan’s first two records here.

Music director and arranger Nick Fryman distributes the charts while sax man Roger Neumann sets up during Susan Kohler's recording sessions for "Just Harold"

Music director and arranger Nick Fryman distributes the charts while sax man Roger Neumann sets up during Susan Kohler’s recording sessions for “Just Harold”

Frank Potenza on guitar and Jeff Colella at the piano, going over a chart during the "Just Harold" sessions at Theta Sound Studio

Frank Potenza on guitar and Jeff Colella at the piano, going over a chart during Susan Kohler’s “Just Harold” sessions at Theta Sound Studio

Bassist Randy Landas in iso booth 2 during the recording sessions for Susan Kohler's "Just Harold" album

Bassist Randy Landas in iso booth 2 during the recording sessions for Susan Kohler’s “Just Harold” album

Rod Harbour laying down the groove in iso booth 1 at Theta Sound during Susan Kohler's "Just Harold" recording sessions

Rod Harbour laying down the groove in iso booth 1 at Theta Sound during Susan Kohler’s “Just Harold” recording sessions

The brass section for Susan Kohler's "Just Harold sessions: Bryant Byers and Scott Whitfield on trombones; Carl Saunders, Bob O'Donnell and Anne King on trumpets

The brass section for Susan Kohler’s “Just Harold” sessions: Bryant Byers and Scott Whitfield on trombones; Carl Saunders, Bob O’Donnell and Anne King on trumpets

The saxophone section for Susan Kohler's "Just Harold sessions: Roger Neumann, Rusty Higgins and Glenn Morrissette

The saxophone section for Susan Kohler’s “Just Harold” sessions: Roger Neumann, Rusty Higgins and Glenn Morrissette

Arranger and musical director Nick Fryman conducting the big band for Susan Kohler's "Just Harold" recording sessions at Theta Sound Studio

Arranger and musical director Nick Fryman conducting the big band for Susan Kohler’s “Just Harold” recording sessions at Theta Sound Studio

Another view of the brass section with producer Susan Kohler listening from the control room during the "Just Harold" sessions

Another view of the brass section with producer Susan Kohler listening from the control room during the “Just Harold” sessions

Whether it’s a big band or little band or solo, Theta Sound Studio captures the magic of your music. Call us at 818-9-555-888 to schedule a complimentary consultation with award-winning engineer, Randy Tobin.