Nick Jaina in-studio, 3-12-10
Recording engineer: Steven Kray, with technical assistance from Bill Ward
"A studio album....in a good way." That's how Nick Jaina describes his new release, A Bird in the Opera House, the prolific Portander's third effort in two years out once again on Hush. Along with producer Lee Howard, Jaina has created a record that shows the tasteful possibilities of a studio setting-- that is, there are bells here and whistles there, but never at the same time and never to the point of weighing down songs.
It's just the latest approach from an artist who likes to challenge himself with predetermined sets of rules for his recordings-- for 2008's Wool it was to write an album of piano songs. For A Narrow Way, out later that same year, it was to record his band playing live in a room with no overdubs. We talk to Jaina about these rules and their results, the advantages of having a consistent lineup of musicians backing him up, and about the circumstances surrounding the songwriting on the new album, with a number of the songs named after places ("Sebastopol," "Asheville," etc.). In the midst of a western states tour throughout the month of April, look for a Portland return from Jaina and the band May 8th at The Woods.
Hear our first session with Nick Jaina, recorded in January of 2008.
Photos: Inger Klekacz
See the full photo set here
Video: Anthony DelCalzo / Jay Jaacks