Fred Kevorkian, master of the Gentle Giant re-masters!
Fred Kevorkian at the mixing board
The final part of the job in completing the sound of Gentle Giant albums (IN A GLASS HOUSE, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, FREE HAND, INTERVIEW, PLAYING THE FOOL: THE OFFICIAL LIVE, THE MISSING PIECE, and GIANT FOR A DAY) for CD and vinyl is the mastering process.
Gentle Giant had Fred Kevorkian of New York City's Kevorkian Mastering, Inc. handle the duties. Recently Fred's mastered albums from moe., Phish, Ryan Adams, Charlie Musselwhite, Dave Matthews, Railroad Earth, Willie Nelson, and Willie Nile.
The job includes listening to the artists, finding out what kind of audio shine they want in the albums, plus making sure each song's level and brightness are consistent.
Fred came of age in the '70s in France, and his favorite bands were rockers--AC/DC, Sex Pistols, the Rolling Stones. He liked more simple music, so he didn't listen to Gentle Giant growing up, though he knew of them.
In tackling the Gentle Giant re-releases, he was pretty impressed with the musicians of the band, "They knew how to handle their arrangements. It would seem the music would drift in parts, and then return, and go in a way that was meant to be."
He notes that "50% of the job in mastering recordings is the relationship you have with the musicians. You have to understand the artist's point of view for their songs and sensibility." After Ray Shulman remixed the albums from the band's original 1/4 tapes from the original Abbey Road sessions, they expressed what they were looking for in the masters. The band members even expressed things they didn't like about those albums through the years!