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The Little Black Dog Story

My name is Joel Penner and I am the leader of The Joel Penner Sextet.  We put out a CD in 2001 called DragonJazz.  It was very well received and we got quite a bit of work from it. In mid 2004, it became clear to me that it was time to do another CD.  I had a name for it, but I had not decided on the tunes.  The name "The Church of The Little Black Dog"  comes from my relationship with my little black dog, Jasmine.  She is a sweet, loving, happy dachshund, chihuahua, pit bull mix.  She loves people and always wags her tail and smiles whenever she sees someone coming. "The Church of The  Little Black Dog" has only one thing that it teaches - unconditional love.

I went to bed one night with the question on my mind, "what tunes should we do on the next CD?"  I woke up in the middle of the night with the answer.  I had all of the tunes and their order locked in my mind and this great feeling that if I focussed the CD around "Laura", that it would a wonderful CD. I was so excited, I could not get back to sleep. It was like some type of spiritual gift.  The most interesting about it is that the next morning, while reading the newspaper, I learned that David Raksin, the composer of "Laura" had died that night.

Armed with my tunes, I went shopping for a great engineer to record the CD.  I found someone I liked very much and we set the middle of October, 2004 for the session.  As luck would have it, my drummer got a great gig on the road for that period and I had to reset the recording dates for the end of December.  We got the recording done and it sounded great.  We began mixing and found that my engineer had run out of time.  He had a new session planned with someone else and was unable to continue work on my CD.  I found a different engineer to finish up the mixing.  He did a great job and I am very happy with the results.

With a completed master, I felt that I had something that a record company would like.  I researched companies and found that Sea Breeze Records has a roster of artists that fits my style of CD, so I called them.  They agreed to listen to the material and would let me know if they wanted to sign me.  Two weeks later, they called and told me they wanted the band on their label.  Again, I was very excited.  Getting on a label is generally not an easy task, but Sea Breeze was the only label I contacted.

As of this writing, " The Church of The Little Black Dog" is scheduled to be released in October of 2005.  I have plenty of copies and you can order it now simply by clicking order on the left or upper panel.


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