Paul Zaleski Contemporary Piano Instrumental Music
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In April of 1983, I, Paul Zaleski was invited to sub as an engineer at
Al Green's Studio in Memphis, Tn. Renee Kirk ,Fred Jordan and Errol
Thomas had all worked with me in my studio and I give them the credit
for getting me in the door, especially Renee, and Fred Jordan.
I finished the first project as an engineer. It was the Full Gospel
Tabernacle Choir album on the Myrrh label.
Right after that project, we started the White Christmas album produced
by Moses Dillard and what a treat that was.
It was during the White Christmas project that we would start "messing"
around with ideas ,and talk about some new things to try.
He had some old tracks laying around that were never released, and he
owed the record company one more album for his contract. He hired me as
his producer for the project.
That was " Trust In God" released in 1984 and it was nominated for a
Grammy. It also stayed number one on the Gospel charts for a long time.
I thought it would be a good idea if Errol Thomas, who was my
co-producer since 1977 was brought into the next project. Errol brought
so much to the table and was so well respected by the musicians.
Errol and I cut a cover track of "He Ain't Heavy" and an original track
titled "Let it Shine" written by Arthur Kohtz ,who at the time was the
most talented "hook" writer we've ever heard. Arthur's song
was THE song that sold the project to A&M for Al Green. But Al Green and
Arthur had a huge problem when it came to Al Green cashing checks that
were written to Arthur. So Arthur decided to pull out of the project,
and there is no telling what or where Al Green would have been if he
didn't try to "pull a fast one" over on Arthur.
We were thinking of a
different direction for Al. so we continued on without Arthur...and that
bothered Errol and I a lot.
I called Al and told him we had two hits for him that would
We felt so confident about it that we told him we would pay for the
studio time, even after what he did to Arthur Kohtz.
"Soul Survivor" was born. Even though we used other producers, we were
main producers on the project. The same for the album " I've Got Joy".
We had fun recording " Soul Survivor". We recorded it at a very
leisurely pace and did a lot of experimentation..especially in those
days, with the advent of drum machines and synthesizers.
It was our goal to get Al some secular ( R&B) airplay with some material
other than the old stuff.
I wrote and played a track and Al put the words to the track. The song
was titled." You Know & I Know" we would later do 11 more. Soul Survivor
was the album that would get Al back on the R&B charts after many years.
"Soul Survivor" won a Grammy.....it was the FIRST TIME he was on the R&B
We went to work on another...I Get Joy...
That album contains AL's BEST vocal performance
period....on the track " Mighty Clouds of Joy"...check it out
That album won a Grammy.
Al and I wrote 11 more songs together..then I told him that it was time
for me to head home to Chicago to pursue my personal goals.
He has done so much for my career that I could never re-pay him.
In 1999...I worked with Al again doing his induction show into the Rock&
Hall of Fame in Cleveland. We traveled around the world for the next 2
years doing shows.
How can you explain a Polish kid from Chicago, classically trained on
the piano, ending up in Memphis Tn..working with one of the greatest R&B
singers of our generation....as a producer yet...what a ride.
In memory of Bill Cantrell whose inspiration will always be remembered
by Paul, Errol , Al.
Short story of composer, producer Paul Zaleski, 14 time Grammy Winner Al
Green, and the making of " Trust in God", " Soul Survivor",
and "I've Got Joy".