Despite five solo albums, recorded over an eleven year period, Alan Hewitt has often been regarded as ‘one of music’s best kept secrets’. Yet much of this time spent behind the scenes has been done so purely through choice. Although this has fuelled a creative process that continues to deliver impressive writing credits for both television and film, Alan Hewitt is at long last all set to grab the headlines. When I caught up with this multi platinum writer, producer and keyboard player at his studio in Palm Springs CA I first asked him how he would sum up his own writing process. He explained that composing music for shows such as ‘Oprah’ or ‘The Osbornes’ brought with it a discipline and a training that he has found invaluable when writing music both for himself and others.
For example, the compositions Hewitt has provided for Earth Wind and Fire have served to afford him excellent R & B credentials. Not for the first time his skill in this respect was recognized when guitarist and former 215 label-mate Blake Aaron sought him out to produce and play for his track ‘Forever’. Hewitt used his connections to enlist TJ Gibson to provide the soulful vocals and the result has proved to be a standout of Aaron’s current CD ‘Desire’. Equally, in the field of contemporary jazz, Hewitt’s work for Jonathon Butler and his collaborations with Euge Groove, Michael Lington, Mindi Abair and Karen Briggs have given him recognition within the genre as a true musician’s musician.
Alan is also notable for his creative involvement with the All Star Smooth Cruise where, as well as directing the music for the shows house band, he will also be interviewing artists back stage for later broadcast over the ships own television network. The 2008 event will be Alan’s third ‘All Star’ gig and he marvels at the way the relaxed atmosphere of the occasion engenders a unique relationship between artists and fans. From his own point of view, the cruise has enabled him to strike up many great relationships with other artists and he will be looking to draw on some of these when he goes into the studio to cut his brand new CD that is expected out early in 2008.
He describes his own sound as having a typically moody vibe and his 2005 CD, ‘Metropolis’, has been portrayed as being his most urban influenced to date. I wondered if, for him, this was indicative of the direction in which contemporary jazz is moving. He told me that he sees the genre as something that is always evolving. However, he added, in his view there are times when this evolutionary process reaches back to draw on influences that originally helped to frame the music. For this very reason he expects that the currently prevalent urban groove will gradually take on aspects of the jazz fusion so characteristic of the eighties. With that in mind he intends to take an altogether more aggressive approach with the new album, to draw upon his own rock and fusion background and, in so doing, get closer to what might be described as a ‘live’ sound. 2008 looks certain to be his breakthrough year and with the credentials of Alan Hewitt out there for all to see that cannot come a minute too soon.
Check back here often for updates on Alan Hewitt and be sure to visit his website at www.alanhewitt.com