News from Elsewhere, Article VII

“Making a Recording: Mixing and Mastering This Christmas with Night Is Alive

Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

It has been a very long time since our last News from Elsewhere. There are the usual excuses: I have Covid, I am busy with other musical responsibilities, I forgot about writing these (that’s the best one)…and anything else I forgot to use as an explanation. With all that in mind, I am going to start with today: August 11, 2023. Here I am in New York City one of my favorite places in the world and it is always a joy to record here and finish the product for your enjoyment.

Today I spent the day in Bass Hit Studios in New York, New York recording Night is Alive’s newest holiday album, This Christmas With Night is Alive. The studio is owned by Dave Darlington. He is the master and mixing expert and one of the best in the business.

Joining us in the studio was saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, who is producer of This Christmas with Night is Alive. Wayne can be heard on quite a few of Night is Alive’s other recordings, including Christmas Ain’t Like It Used To Be, Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue, and My Ship. You can learn more about him by visiting

Recording an album is so much more involved than just showing up and playing into microphones. Our day began around 11:00 a.m. and finished up around 7:00 p.m. Hours are spent mixing and mastering the music for all of our listeners to enjoy the most perfect sound possible. This is a long day, as we listen to every note and take special care adjusting every song. This means paying attention to the smallest details, including:

  • Are individual instruments too loud? Too soft?
  • How is the balance with the rhythm section – especially the drums?
  • Is the vocalist in tune?
  • Where is the bass?
  • Okay, let’s listen to the entire CD again and make sure the sound is cohesive.

This continues until we are happy with the overall sound of each tune. After that, we need to decide on song order, especially the first and last tracks. The length of each tune is also important – we do our best to keep each track under 5 minutes 30 seconds. We managed to accomplish this goal today! Keeping the tracks from being too lengthy is good for DJs, who are always looking for that one tune to fill a certain play space.

One of the fun aspects of recording is working with the musicians and experiencing how much they care about every song they play. We at Night is Alive are very excited about this new Holiday music. As always, we are committed to bringing you the best and hottest musicians and providing the greatest listening experience possible.

Be sure to keep an eye out for future News from Elsewhere articles, which will focus on my memories of the past few years. Make sure you don’t miss an update: subscribe to News from Elsewhere so you can receive new articles as soon as they become available. Just send us a message with the comment text, “Sign me up for News from Elsewhere emails”.

For more information about This Christmas with Night is Alive and our world-class musicians, please visit our web page ( or contact directly via phone.

Article by Kathy Salem, Producer & Managing Director, Night is Alive

Revised and transcribed by Elizabeth Carney, Principal Editor, Night is Alive

Friday Feature Janis Siegel #1

Happy Friday! 🥳  Kick back and relax this weekend by reading our Friday Feature about the lovely Grammy-award-winning vocalist Janis Siegel. 

Siegel’s smooth and unmistakable voice can be heard on Night is Alive’s brand new album “Cryin’ In My Whiskey,” which is a unique cross-genre collaboration that brings together the very best of country western and jazz music. Featuring modern renditions of classics like Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” and “I Fall to Pieces,” this album is a perfect way to welcome the sunny weather and enjoy the many social gatherings to come! You won’t want to miss it! 

“Cryin’ In My Whiskey” is available at and all major online music platforms. 

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Siegel was exposed to the music business at a young age, singing with an all-girl pop trio and releasing two singles by the time she was 12! Siegel lived and breathed pop, country and folk music, that is until 1975 when she joined the Manhattan Transfer and was introduced to swing, which opened her eyes to more musical possibilities. The Manhattan Transfer went on to explore many different genres during their 35-year-long career, including a cappella, vocalese, standards, Brazilian jazz, R&B and pop. And in 1981, The Manhattan Transfer was also the first group ever to win Grammy Awards in both Pop and Jazz categories in the same year! 

Night Is Alive was lucky enough to sit down with this world-famous, genre-blending star and ask her a few questions about her taste in music:

  • Besides jazz, what genres of music do you like to listen to?
    • I listen to everything: classical, modern classical, opera, world music, country, bluegrass, alternative, blues, Yiddish music, funk, pop, R&B and gospel. What did I miss… ? I guess disco and rap… I do like some rap, too! 
  • Who are some other musicians that inspire you?
    • John Coltrane, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Ella Fitzgerald
  • What is your favorite tune from “Cryin’ In My Whiskey”?
    • This week it is “Where Do I Put His Memory.” (Originally released by Gladys Knight & the Pips in 1975)

Wow, Siegel has quite an eclectic taste in music! How about you?

What are your favorite genres and musicians? Comment below! 

Night is Alive @ Jazz Congress at Lincoln Center, New York

Night is Alive at Jazz Congress 2020 - Lincoln Center New York City

We’ve been having an amazing time at the 2020 Jazz Congress, hosted at the Lincoln Center, here in New York City. We’ve had the chance to listen and speak to so many gifted artists, teachers, mentors, and musicians. What can we say, it feels good to be inspired and to be surrounded by your peers. If you’re here with us, let us know! You can alwaaays drop us a line on our instagram at