Best known as a founding member of the legendary Oakland, California horn band Tower of Power and a prodigious songwriter, Stephen “Doc” Kupka has once again pulled together the best of the best for this, his latest Strokeland Records release. This release, however, is a major departure from Doc’s
Doc Goes Hollywood - John Lee Sanders and The William Ross Orchestra
Best known as a founding member of the legendary Oakland, California horn band Tower of Power and a prodigious songwriter, Stephen “Doc” Kupka has once again pulled together the best of the best for this, his latest Strokeland Records release. This release, however, is a major departure from Doc’s trademark East Bay Soul or “snap funk” style. A personal dream of Doc’s for over twenty years, Doc Goes Hollywood is a collection of lush ballads in a modern “Great American Songbook” style.
In the style of the great classic American songwriters, these are finely-crafted songs where melody is king and every lyrical turn of phrase has been lovingly crafted to be the best it can be. Written, performed, and engineered to stand the test of time, these songs exude true musical and emotional depth.
Doc Kupka called on his friend and “A-list” Hollywood composer, arranger, and music director, William Ross, to provide full orchestral arrangements. Mr. Ross (whose credits also include Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, and top Hollywood films such as “Ladder 49”, “Forrest Gump”, and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”) delivered arrangements that are simply stunning.
Stephen "Doc" Kupka and William Ross (l-r)
Producers of Doc Goes Hollywood
Filmed March, 2007 during production
Fresh from serving as Music Director for the 2007 Academy Awards, Mr. Ross conducted the William Ross Orchestra through these beautiful arrangements at the Robert Irving Studio in California. Full string, woodwind, and brass sections provide a depth and emotional presence that today’s synthesizers and samples simply cannot match.
Canadian resident blues artist and long-time Strokeland Superband member John Lee Sanders turns in a masterful performance on lead vocals in this setting. In addition to his tasteful and soulful lead vocals, John Lee also arranged and performed all of the background vocals himself. These are some of the best vocal arrangements you’re likely to hear anywhere.
Tower of Power drummer, David Garibaldi; bassist Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins); pianist Chris Caswell (John Williams); and jazz guitarist Ray Obiedo comprised the all-star rhythm section, with additional guitar parts by former Inner City Records artist Ray Wilkes, and additional keys by Robert Irving.
Tower of Power alums Mic Gillette and Lee Thornburg, along with David Woodford, Nick Lane, Paul Colicchio, and the Funky Doctor himself, Stephen Kupka, provided the world-class horns.
Mixed by fifteen-time Grammy-winning engineer and producer Al Schmitt (Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Steely Dan) at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, Doc Goes Hollywood has a lush, warm sound that perfectly fits the finely-crafted melodies, lyrics, and arrangements. Ron McMaster of Capitol Mastering added the final sheen with the result being a truly world-class production.
If you want to hear beautiful, enduring songs, performed and recorded by world-class masters of their craft, give this release a listen. Produced by Stephen "Doc" Kupka and William Ross, and Executive Producer Chuck Hansen (House of Hansen Productions, LLC), Doc Goes Hollywood is simply great, timeless music that will touch your heart.