Al Schmitt, the most honored sound engineer/producer in recording history with 23 Grammy Awards and recognitions, took a break from a mixing session at Capitol Studios in Hollywood on Dec. 2, 2014, to speak with Santa Clarita journalist Stephen K. Peeples.
In Part 1 of this exclusive eight-part interview, which covers many highlights of Schmitt’s career (spanning the late 1930s/early '40s to present, from Duke Ellington to Neil Young), the 84-year-old studio legend talks about working with American music icon Bob Dylan on the fall 2014 sessions for Dylan's "Shadows in the Night" album, out on Columbia in February 2015.
The same sessions also produced Dylan's "Fallen Angels" album, out in May 2016.
Dylan’s re-imagining of standards from the Great American Songbook -- all of them recorded by Frank Sinatra at various times in his career -- was Dylan's first project with Schmitt, who produced Sinatra’s later-career duets albums in 1993 and 1994.
Multiple Grammy nominee Geoff Gans of Rare Cool Stuff Unltd. designed the "Shadows in the Night" and "Fallen Angels" covers; Gans has served as art director for most of Dylan's album packages released in the last couple of decades. See http://www.rarecoolstuff.com.
In 2015, Al Schmitt was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, outside the Capitol Records tower in the 1700 block of Vine Street.