After a five-year recording break, Paula Atherton is back on the charts with her new CD Groove with Me. The new release covers a range of styles, including smooth jazz, funk, R&B, and Latin, and as of this writing, it is flying up the charts. By the end of May, Groove with Me was number 6 on the Smoothindiestar chart, number 41 on Smoothjazz.com, and entered the Radio & Records chart at 27—with a bullet.
Atherton’s first CD, Let Me Inside Your Love, hit the national contemporary-jazz charts in 2004. In 2006, a cut from this CD, “I Long For Your Love,” was released on the Warner Europe compilation CD Ladies of Jazz, which also featured Natalie Cole, Candy Dulfer, and Eliane Elias. Now she’s back and grooving.
In addition to displaying her considerable vocal prowess, the multitalented Atherton played woodwinds and wrote all but one of the songs on Groove with Me. She was ably assisted by a litany of fine musicians, including Chieli Minucci (Special EFX), Greg Adams (Tower of Power), Onaje Allan Gumbs, and Bill Heller (Rippingtons).
A hard worker, the New York native has toured Japan, Monte Carlo, Portugal, Canada, and the U.S. and even gigged with jazz-piano legend Hank Jones in a week-long Frank Sinatra tribute at the famed Blue Note in New York City. She has performed with Michael Bolton on the Rachael Ray, Today, and Good Morning America television shows; appeared on CBS’s Nueva Estrella Awards; and was the bandleader for the Lifetime network show Girl’s Night Out (30 episodes). Atherton also wrote the score for the independent film The Definition of Insanity and performed at fundraisers for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. She has opened for a long list of stars.
Long-time studio veteran Lou Gimenez engineered and produced Groove with Me at his New York City facility The Music Lab. Gimenez has engineered projects for many major stars, including Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion, Laura Branigan, Paquito D'Rivera (whose album won a Latin Grammy Award), Will Calhoun (Living Color), and Ben E. King. His work with Paula Atherton is in every sense a labor of love: Gimenez and Atherton are husband and wife.
“Groove With Me used several pieces of PreSonus gear,” says Gimenez. “On ‘Send Down An Angel,’ we used ADL 600 preamps on the drum tracks and as a DI and preamp for the bass and the electric guitar. We also used it with a Neumann U87 on the sax and with a Peluso 2247 tube mic for the vocals. As if that wasn't enough, the piano (a Synthogy Ivory sample) was recorded using the line inputs of the ADL 600 into a Manley Elop [limiter] to impart a little magic into the sampled piano. We also ran the strings—a four-part string arrangement—through the ADL 600. It's fair to say there is a lot of ADL 600 on that song!
“On ‘Block Party,’ we used the ADL 600 on the drums and bass, as well as on the sax and on Celli Minucci's guitar,” Gimenez continues. “And in the mix of both songs, we used our trusty PreSonus ACP88s on some of the drums and on various percussion. When I want something uncolored and honest, the ACP88s have been real workhorses for me.”