Episode 120 of The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media Network, features the return of Natalie Cressman. JamBase’s Scott Bernstein again interviewed the trombonist/vocalist about the new Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini album, Auburn Whisper, that arrives through GroundUP Music on April 15.
Cressman, a longtime member of the Trey Anastasio Band, previously shared “Tour Stories” with Scotty in 2018. Natalie spoke remotely with Bernstein this time around from her home in Berkeley, California.
Auburn Whisper centers around the California Redwoods, which hosts the annual Brazil Camp week-long retreat where Natalie Cressman first met and eventually reconnected with her musical and romantic partner, guitarist Ian Faquini. Cressman began the conversation by explaining how she linked up with Ian decades after their initial encounter.
The 13-song effort was recorded in 2020 while the pair were forced off the road due to the pandemic. Cressman and Faquini tracked the album during weekly sessions held at the home studio of Natalie’s father, Jeff Cressman. The trombonist/vocalist revealed how much the pair enjoyed playing with textures and honed their compositional skills by having plenty of time to work on Auburn Whisper as they made lemonade out of COVID-19 lemons.
Natalie and Ian co-produced Auburn Whisper and are the only two musicians featured on the follow-up to 2019’s Setting Rays Of Summer. Cressman discussed how the songs on the new album were informed by feelings of longing for Brazil and disappointment in having their touring plans canceled in the wake of the pandemic while also celebrating all the positives they could find in that difficult period.
Cressman went on to discuss the songwriting and recording process that yielded Auburn Whisper as well as the use of multiple trombone parts on each track. She also spoke about how her father acted as a sounding board throughout the making of the LP.
Eventually talk turned to Natalie’s recent performances with bassist Oteil Burbridge for Oteil & Friends concerts at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York last month. Cressman described how great it was to share the stage with “TAB sibs” Jennifer Hartswick and James Casey. Natalie shared James is in good shape following his treatment for colon cancer and how excited she is for upcoming Trey Anastasio Band shows. She also told the story of the night her father joined TAB in Boston last fall and revealed lessons learned from late TAB founding bassist Tony Markellis.
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