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Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery | Latitude One

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New Age: Neo-Classical Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Latitude One

by Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery

Ethereal, relaxing and introspective, a real gem of musical artistry. For aficionados of the best of "new age" music of the 80s, this is one album that you should listen to and which I am sure most of you have never heard of. 'David' (real amazon review)
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
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  Song Share Time Download
1. At a Hearts Glance
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
6:04 $0.99
2. Wing & a Prayer
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
4:31 $0.99
3. A Boys Fortune
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
5:43 $0.99
4. Spring Training
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
4:22 $0.99
5. Open Water
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
6:17 $0.99
6. Private Island
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
5:46 $0.99
7. Rock Pool Dreams
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
5:24 $0.99
8. Cloud Dancing
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
4:20 $0.99
9. Making the Most
Latitude, Craig Peyton & Ben Verdery
6:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
1 At A Heart's Glance 6:00
2 Wing And A Prayer 4:28
3 A Boy's Fortune 5:39
4 Spring Training 4:19
5 Open Water 6:14
6 Private Island 5:41
7 Rock Pool Dreams 5:21
8 Cloud Dancing 4:16

Copyright (c) – P-Factor Music
Pressed By – Sound Makers
Published By – P-Factor Music
Recorded At – The Mighty P-Factor
Recorded By, Mixed By – Craig Peyton
Synthesizer Fairlight III, Vibraphone, Vibes – Craig Peyton
All Guitars Ben Verdery

5 Star Review on Amazon
For aficionados of the best of "new age" music of the 80s, this is one album that you should listen to and which I am sure most of you have never heard of. If you like Richard Burmer, Patrick O'Hearn, Ray Lynch and Shadowfax, you will love this album. Ethereal, relaxing and introspective, a real gem of musical artistry.

Latitude, A Brief History

It’s 3:00 on December 23rd 2018. I’m waiting in a restaurant called Spring on the upper west side for my dear friend Craig Peyton to arrive. We had not seen each other in over a year and decided to have holiday catch up. He finally arrives delayed by the NYC transit and lamenting its inefficiencies. The lunch topics covered family, future plans, the music biz as it is today, and some of the music we are currently writing and listening to. Both of us still grieve the tragic loss of Prince. Rewind to 45 years ago to the attic of Craig’s house where we were deep into extended drums and electric guitar jams. Those numerous improvisations on riffs, progressions and grooves that were tossed back and forth provided the genesis of what 15 plus years later was to become Latitude. After high school where we formed the two bands playing exclusively original music, Craig went on to study the vibes with Gary Burton at Berklee and I went to study classical guitar with Fred Hand And Phillip De Fremery at Suny Purchase. Fast Forward a few years to Craig asking me if I would dust off my electric and play a solo on his song Programmed Heart for the label, Profile Records. This was the first time I had played an electric solo on any real track. I remember the session well. It was another stepping stone towards Latitude. During this time Craig was performing with his band the Craig Peyton Project and writing and programing Dance music in addition to writing, recording and producing several artists.

I at that time was carving out a living that included, solo classical guitar performances, Flute an Guitar performances with my wife Rie Scmidt, contemporary chamber music concerts in NYC, recording and teaching classical guitar at four different schools. As hip hop and rap artists continued to forge new ground a music that garnered the label of New Age also emerged. Craig watched this music develop. I had some awareness of the genre because of the Windham Hill label which featured many formitable acoustic guitarists. It was Craig who was instrumental in thinking that my classical guitar playing as well as my continued love for the electric guitar and all things related to it combined with his dance music/Jazz experience and studio experience might make for an unique collaboration. He suggested we get together and try to write some music that yes might fall into the category of New Age but also, might not. The focus was just, to seriously try to write something.

It must be stated that without the Fairlight we could not have really created the music we did. Craig had just acquired one. It was one of the few that were even in existence. Today, people can create music as we did on their cell phones with Garage Band. What Craig had to navigate with that beast of a machine back then was nothing less than herculean. It is a story unto itself. One afternoon in his east side studio apartment we began a musical journey that resulted in three albums of original instrumental music. The very first piece we worked on was entitled A Boy’s Fortune which found it’s home on the self-titled Latitude. The final piece we worked was Lonesome Dove on Emotional Velocity, Latitude III. Our process was to write the majority of a piece separately and then come together to make it sound like the duo.

With Craig’s pieces, he would present me a relatively fleshed out track. I would listen, discuss the arrangement and later add guitar parts and often a solo. With my tunes, I would play him what I had written on the guitar after which he would begin to program parts into the Fair light. Sometimes I would record bits of the tune on a cassette so he could reference it. The general hierarchy of how a song came to fruition was first to work on the basic form. From there Craig would create the rhythm tracks and bass lines. Extra voices on a variety of programmed instruments were added later. If the track called for it, Craig would play vibe solo or I would add a guitar solo. Craig being a refined and brilliant drummer always programmed drum parts that slayed me. Most songs especially in the last two records were programmed by Craig alone with me listening and adding my ideas after wards. The reason for this was because on the first record I often was present while he programmed. Truth be told, I drove him almost insane when with my constant indecisions and mercurial tastes. If the duo was to have a future, I had to leave the room while he programmed and go play in the traffic!

The making of a track was a mostly a democratic procedure. Each had his say with some bargaining here and there. On 40 Degrees North and Emotional Velocity Latitude III we invited a few guests artist to play certain parts and solos. Mixing was always the final mountain to climb for each of our songs. There seemed to be endless possibilities and the stakes always seemed high. Most who have mixed a record or even one song will bow to the complexities and mysteries found there in. It has often been said that a mix can make or break a tune. Writing and recording music with another passionate/ creative soul can be joyful, illuminating and frustrating. It is intense. At times, your life will appear to be on the line defending a certain harmony, a mix or a precious solo. Part of that in our case was youth and testosterone. Part of it was the passion we had in creating music we believed in. That having been said, at the end of the journey the sense of fulfillment one can have is ineffable.

All these years later Craig and I still believe in these “songs without words” on our three recordings. We are delighted to share them once again with whose ever hearts and souls want to hear them.

BV, Latitude

More about his Latitude work with Craig 9/2017:

Craig and I had been in three different bands at the Wooster school. Craig’s parents were the much beloved art teachers at Wooster. (Wooster School is a small private school in Danbury Ct. where Ben's father was headmaster & Craig's parents ran the art center)

It seemed natural both living in NYC that we would make music together again. New Age music was blossoming. Under Craig and his manager John Golden’s guidance we provided an urban sensibility to the genre. Craig brought his knowledge of Jazz-fusion and hip-hop expertise and I contributed through my years of classical guitar and past rock playing. Craig had the difficult task of the programming the Fairlight III Synthesizer without which we could not have produced the records. The machine was in its infant years. It was a beast to understand and maneuver. I marvel thinking how well he did. Today the same can be achieved in most everyone’s computer with Garage Band. Technology moves at such a clip for us musicians that it is blinding.

I was Craig’s co-pilot when it came to the tasking of the final mixes. He oversaw the mastering and did so brilliantly. The experience of writing and recording the two Latitude records on the Life Style label and our final called Emotional Velocity on Nerada Records remains extremely dear to me now more than ever. I had no idea how much I was learning from Craig and music making in general at the time. Little did I know how many people would hear the classical guitar parts I would play on my then John Gilbert guitar on those records. Many of the parts were recorded with me sitting in front of an AKG 414 microphone on the edge of the bathtub in Craig’s tiny over heated bathroom in his studio apartment on east 80th!!!

Making the Latitude records with Craig presented me with an existential crisis. It was the late 80’s and the term “cross over artist” had not really come into the vernacular. High art and low art, which was it? Was Bach high art and Hendrix entertainment? Could you perform both? I was just getting started at Yale and had gained a small reputation as a serious Bach and new music player. Now I was making NEW AGE MUSIC??????

It reads frivolous and even pathetic now but then I was tortured by it. I was extremely paranoid about people's opinion of me back then as I began my career. I credit Craig largely for loosening me up and getting me to realize that you could play Bach, New Age music or any kind of music if you loved it. What difference did it make? Who cares? I learned in years to come that I was who I was and to accept that. To be true to your artistic path is all that matters.

Two of my mentors John Williams and Paco Pena loved the fact that I was the other half of Latitude. John even commissioned me to write a duo piece for him and Tim Kaine based on our tune Play Ball. It’s possible that Latitude had the biggest audience of my recorded career. I had the experience of getting into a rent a car, turning on the radio and hearing Latitude or “The Tude” as Craig and I called it. Any musician will tell you what a thrill that is.

Many years later a brilliant young guitarist named Chris Mallet, auditioned for Jack Vees and me to be accepted into YSM. Jack and I loved his playing and had given each other the wink of great approval. This kid was in. As Chris exited thanking us, he turned to me and said “ Oh, I wanted to tell you, Professor Verdery that I grew up listening to Latitude. My dad used to play it for me every night before I went to sleep. We love it!” …..high art low art?

Craig talks about Latitude in his book: Cloudman, Surviving Stage IV Cancer: A New Beginning (Kindle Edition Excerpt):

'Ben and I were signed to a label after writing four tunes, and "Latitude" was released in 1982 on the Moss Music, 'Lifestyles' label. With our quirky blend of R&B grooves and classical guitar, Latitude quickly jumped on the radio airways. I had hated the term New Age, and didn't like many of the releases in that category. Like it or not the 'new age' label stuck to Latitude, and almost overnight we were on hundreds of stations nationally. We were quickly under label pressure to produce another record before the buzz died. Ben and I were having a great time with many interviews and sessions, where we spent half the time laughing about the unique (at the time) production approach we were taking. A large part of the modest production budget was spent in local cafes, feeding our caffeine and dessert addictions. Writing music and recording in my apartment was done using the new Australian production computer, the Fairlight III. I had sold all my equipment to buy this most advanced production sampling & synthesizer station of its time. The refrigerator sized synth helped me get studio gigs with Dan Hartman, James Brown, & Nona Hendrix as well as jingles and underscore work. The very early generation computer was always on the verge of a breakdown. I had to learn DOS programming to run it, often praying it wouldn't freeze up in the middle of a take, always ready to go through hours of tech support just to keep it alive. The Fairlight tech crew from Australia just about moved in to my apartment, keeping the Fairlight barely running. Since it was able to output 16 channels of music at once, we could produce quality records right in my studio apartment. Simply adding a 4 track recorder, and mixing through the Allen & Heath 24 track board directly to a finished stereo 2 track, we avoided the high expense of a 'real' studio. The sequencer sample sound merged with Ben's guitar skills & lack of commercial pop production thinking, really giving a fresh approach to the project, especially with his use of melody and harmony. Most of Ben's amazing guitar parts were recorded in 'Studio B,' the tiny bathroom in my 80'th street apartment. Our second Latitude album "40 Degrees North" (1987) was released to good reviews, moving up the charts quickly with heavy airplay. It was great to hear the music on radios and restaurants walking down the streets in New York.' Hitting #1 on many the NAC and New Age charts was a wonderful validation of our going out on a creative limb. Many years later, in the hospital during experimental chemo cancer treatment I was receiving to save my life, one of the nurses asked me if I was happy with my 'legacy' if I didn't survive. In the swirls of vomit, pain, and blackouts, my inner music and some of the Latitude melodies were looping on and off in my head. I smiled at her with a nod, knowing I was part of something magical, the simple music of two friends. ' CP 2019

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
Cloudman Review
MayCay Beeler rated it it was amazing

Cloudman,Surviving Stage IV Cancer – beautifully and soulfully written- inspires us to hold on in the toughest of times. Through Peyton’s heartfelt and heart wrenching story, we learn that anything is possible, including a second shot at life. Peyton is living proof.

Latitude Background:

Ben’s discography includes over 15 recordings. In addition to recent releases, recordings include Happy Here with William Coulter; Branches, featuring works of Bach, Strauss, Jimi Hendrix, Mozart and the traditional Amazing Grace; Start Now (2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award); Some Towns & Cities (winner of Guitar Player Magazines Best Classical Guitar Recording 1991) and collaborations with John Williams (John Williams Plays Vivaldi) and Andy Summers (First You Build a Cloud). Future recordings include Searching For A Chorale, music by and inspired by J.S. Bach, and a recording featuring his classical guitar arrangements of Randy Newman, Neil Young, Prince, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Eddy Vedder, The National, Cream and Elvis Presley.

Ben Verdery: Many of the leading composers of our time have created music for Ben, including Ezra Laderman, Daniel Asia, Martin Bresnick, Bryce Dessner, Javier Farrias, Aaron Kernis, John Anthony Lennon, David Leisner, Hannah Lash, Ingram Marshall, Anthony Newman, Roberto Sierra, Van Stiefel, Christopher Theofanitis, and Jack Vees. Of particular note was the commission by the Yale University Music Library of a work by Ingram Marshall for classical and electric guitars. Ben Verdery and Andy Summers premiered this work, Dark Florescence, at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. Bryce Dessner (guitarist with The National) has been commissioned to compose a work for guitar and string quartet that will premiere in 2018 with the St Lawrence String Quartet.

Craig Peyton:
Peyton's production, writing, and arranging skills contributed to many music dance, jazz, and pop chart hits. (including Peyton's own #1 NAC charting release, "Latitude, 40 Degrees North") In the 80's and 90's Peyton worked with a diverse group of artists including Dan Hartman, Michael Brecker, Steps Ahead, James Brown, Melba Moore, Nona Hendrix, Levon Helm, Darryl Payne, Arthur Baker, Jolyon Skinner, and Keith Diamond. Peyton has written underscore music for the Friends series, the Smithsonian, PBS "Nature" series, and many TV productions and jingles. Many of Craig's productions are on his EarthFlight site.

As a Pilot/Aerial Photographer Peyton's aerial film work has appeared in hundreds of films, videos, and TV shows. His photography is represented by Getty, Shutterstock, Adobe Images, and Pond 5.



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