Richard Alderson began his engineering career in the 1960s with live recordings of Bob Dylan and Nina Simone. Moving on he recorded the bulk of ESP Disk’s free jazz catalog, mainstream jazz for Prestige records, and classic salsa for Fania. Alderson also recorded Johnny Nash’s reggae masterpieces during this period. As a producer Alderson has worked with Thelonious Monk, The Fugs, The Pearls Before Swine, and Suzanne Couch. In the 1970s Alderson recorded the ethnic music of Chiapas Mexico for Smithsonian Folkways (“Modern Mayan”). A commercial version of this was released on Latitude (“Bats’I Son”). In recent years Alderson has done significant work with producer/arranger Rob Mounsey (Aaron Neville, Debora Cox, and Leslie Mendleson) and Bird’s Records of Japan (Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, Andy Snitzer, and Miraca Hiraga). Alderson has just completed recording, mixing, and mastering Sonny Fortune live at Sweet Rhythm.
2009 Grammy Nomination:
This outstanding new CD by gifted singer/songwriter Leslie Mendleson was produced and arranged by my friend Rob Mounsey in the studio I designed and built for him. Swan Feathers was nominated for an engineering Grammy in 2009 along with several gifted engineers and Rob who contributed much to its success.
“Ethnomusicology has produced engineers with a passion for music and extraordinary listening abilities, but the tragedy of the ethnomusicologist is unchanging: even for someone as talented as Alan Lomax, the music is always data before it is music- it signifies a culture before it signifies emotion. Despite its position as a “field recording,” Bats’I Son (“real song” in English) achieves something magnificent, something that few field recordings accomplish: it transcends its academic framework entirely, and becomes tangible on purely emotional grounds. It was intended as the document of a place and a time, but stands as something much greater.” Online review by Sam Sweet
In the Rhythm, Suzanne Couch's second solo release, is that rarest of creatures: A pop album that integrates reggae rhythms into its natural flow, and while it definitely has a Jamaican lilt, it's probably closer to than it is to Bob Marley. Richard Alderson co-produced the project with Couch, and he is very familiar with working Caribbean rhythms into a pop context, having begun his long career with Johnny Nash's "Hold Me Tight" back in the early 1960s. A pop masterpiece with enough melodic flow and freshness to allow it to play well on the radio, and with enough rhythmic punch to allow it to stand its ground in the clubs and dancehalls, In the Rhythm deserves to find a wide audience. If there is any fairness left anywhere in the world, it will. Allmusic.com review by Steve Leggett