ducer Andrew Melzer recently released two new CDs that have been in the works for a few decades.
After Hours 1996
Norm Amadio Trio + Tommy Ambrose
After Hours 1966, written and produced by Andrew A. Melzer (Panda Digital), was recently released in August.
Norman Amadio (1928–2020) studied music in Toronto with Boris Berlin at the Royal Conservatory of Music by day and played jazz after hours. He was influential in starting the be-bop jazz scene in Toronto and a prominent figure of “after hours jazz” from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. Amadio was the musical director for CBC’s weekly Music Hop show. He played in the house band on CBC’s “Wayne & Shuster” and “Cross Canada Hit Parade,” and he was orchestra leader and musical director for many CBC TV series. He recorded his last album, Norm Amadio and Friends in 2009.
Andrew A. Melzer was a twenty-year-old songwriter in 1966, studying at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and producing his first project. Melzer had met Amadio years before, having been a fan going back to the House of Hamburg in the early 60s. He brought Amadio lead sheets of some of his songs and they agreed to set a date to record. And so, in February 1966, after Norm Amadio Trio and Tommy Ambrose were playing at The Cellar in Toronto, they started recording at 3 am, after the gig, to capture that “after hours” feeling.
Recent post-production edits for After Hours 1966 were done by Adam Gallant at The Hill Sound Studio in Charlottetown, with graphic design by PEI’s Kevin Smith. All songs were written by Melzer. The song “This Is The Last Time,” co-written by poet, journalist and novelist George Jonas, was recently featured in the Archie Comics-based TV series Riverdale.
From the Heart & Soul
From the Heart & Soul, produced by Andrew A. Melzer (Panda Digital), will be released September 10.
Dianna Brooks (1939–2005) was born in New Jersey and began singing as a small child. In her teens, she was part of the group The Three Playmates, who recorded the hit single “Shuga Wuga.” In her twenties, she moved to Toronto and was part of Soul Searchers in the 60s, as well as Dr. Music and Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass in the 70s. She toured and/or recorded with Thad Jones, Count Bassie, Bozz Scaggs, Al Hirt, Anne Murray, Gino Vanelli, Bette Midler, Herb Alpert, Henri Mancini, Dusty Springfield, Natalie Cole, Emmilou Harris, Ritchie Havens, Scatman Crothers, Billy Eckstein, Della Reese, Mama Cass, Robin Gibb and Mel Tormé.
From the Heart & Soul was recorded in the late 70s/early 80s in Los Angeles and Toronto. The first five tracks were recently mixed by Melzer and Adam Gallant at The Hill Sound Studio in Charlottetown, where Chris Corrigan’s guitar overdub on the song “All I Need Is You,” was also recorded. PEI’s Doug Riley played piano on the last three tracks, which were originally recorded at George’s Spaghetti House in Toronto in 1983.
“Words cannot describe how happy I am to have finished these projects, and I’m so proud to have worked with all the super talented people involved,” says Melzer.
Andrew Melzer began his music education as a young boy in Budapest, Hungary. He went on to complete his musical education at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario. His productions have been distributed through multiple music labels, and his music has been recorded by numerous artists.