Former Paul McCartney and Wings drummer Denny Seiwell says even McCartney never envisioned the way he covered one of his best-known songs “Live and Live Die” on the new Denny Seiwell Trio album Boomerang on Quarto Valley Records which hits the streets Sept. 7. The album, which he describes as “in your face” jazz, turns the song into what he describes as an “organ trio shuffle,” and is very different from what McCartney first had in mind.
“I thought I'd pay homage to my old boss Paul McCartney, who probably made this possible. It seems like you play with one Beatle and that's part of your life afterward. So I thought, 'Well, why not do the track that I'm best known for (and) how about doing 'Live and Let Die' as an organ trio shuffle?,” he told AXS in a phone interview.
“I was there when he was creating the song. Paul wrote it and we were all hanging around the house. And he sent it off to George Martin for him to complete the original arrangement. And the next week we were in recording it. It was always done that way. It was never done in a jazz way by any means.”
He says the new version changes the song dramatically. “We rehearsed over here at the house. It took little or no time at all to get most of the song in. We tried to get all of the different parts of the song in, but we left out the reggae bit and the ballad-y bit in the middle just because we wanted something that was energetic and in your face. I'm really happy with it. We even got the George Martin bits in there, the kind of weird thing that George put into the tune. It was basically for the film. But we found a way to incorporate that into our version as well, which was really cool.”
He said they recorded the track and as soon as it was mixed sent it off to Paul. “And he got a real kick out of it,” Seiwell said. “He said it was a very cool rendition.”
There are 11 other tracks on the album which cover a mixture of styles including upbeat and energetic jazz and also music with a Brazilian flavored flair. “We just knocked it together without much gear. I met a fellow named Bruce Quarto who has this new label called Quarto Valley Records. And I'm the first jazz act that he's signed. He gave me just enough money to go in and do a proper record. So we went into NRG Studios, one of the better studios here in L.A., and recorded the tracks. And then luckily I had my friend Al Schmitt mix it for us over at Capitol Studios. We had the best of the best.”
Playing with him are John Chiodini on guitar and Joe Bagg on the organ. “Six of the songs were three from Joe Bagg and three songs from John Chiodini. The other six are a smattering of stuff we really, like some Brazilian classical pieces. We picked music that was challenging so it would be challenging for us to play. So it all came out so good.”
Seiwell wasn't involved in the making of McCartney's new album, Egypt Station, also out Sept. 7, but he did get a preview from McCartney in the studio. “He played a couple of the new tracks. This one track he played, I said, 'Wow, that's really great. It sounded like the old Beatles. I loved it. What's the name of it?' And he said, 'I Don't Know.' I said, 'What do you mean you don't know? You wrote the damn thing.'” “No, that's the name of the song,” McCartney told him.
He says The Denny Seiwell Trio wants to do some shows, including some jazz festivals. “We're talking to a couple of people now, managers and agents to see if we can pull something together.” He said the album's gotten some good advance buzz. “Apparently, it's selling rather well in Europe already on just pre-orders,” he noted.