The group began recording Sons of Soul in 1993. They initially held sessions at several recording studios in California, including Air L.A. Studios, Paramount Recording Studios, and Westlake Recording Studios in Hollywood, Jam Studio in Oakland, J.Jam Recording in Oakland Hills, and Paradise Recording Studio in Sacramento, where Raphael Wiggins resided at the time. Wiggins, his brother guitarist D'wayne Wiggins, and drummer Timothy Christian Riley each played several instruments for the album. Raphael and D'wayne came up with ideas for songs by playing guitar and a drum machine, and working them into compositions with Riley and Carl Wheeler, an unofficial member and in-studio keyboardist for the group. They also created drum loops at their homes, with Raphael using an Akai MPC60 and D'wayne using an Emulator SV12, and the group improvised their respective instrumental parts for songs at the studio to a certain loop.
They also worked with various session musicians, including string arranger Benjamin Wright, programmer Ali Tabatabaee, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Lenny Pickett, trumpeter Ray Brown, arranger Clare Fischer, and audio engineer Gerry Brown. Brown engineered the group's previous albums, and later their subsequent output, including Raphael Wiggins' solo albums after Tony! Toni! Toné!. Brown recommended for him to use a dynamic microphone when recording his vocals to thicken them with more bass, a practice Wiggins continued throughout his career. Wiggins sought after former Tempations vocalist Eddie Kendricks to sing on "Leavin'", but Kendricks died prior to the sessions. They also worked with two horn sections, The Fat Lip Horns and The SNL Horns, the horn section of the Saturday Night Live Band. Raphael and D'wayne Wiggins sang impromptu musical ideas to the SNL players, who in turn modelled their horn parts after their singing.
Read more about this topic: Sons Of Soul
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“I didnt have to think up so much as a comma or a semicolon; it was all given, straight from the celestial recording room. Weary, I would beg for a break, an intermission, time enough, lets say, to go to the toilet or take a breath of fresh air on the balcony. Nothing doing!”
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