Larry Klein is a record producer, musician, and songwriter who has also done scoring work in film and TV. He is currently finishing a new album (his fourth) with the Universal Music singer and songwriter Madeleine Peyroux. Tchad Blake is mixing the album, which will be released in fall of 2018. This album (tentatively titled “Anthem”) is composed of newly written songs for the most part; there being two previously written songs among the 12 songs making up the album. Here is a brief synopsis of the album:
"“Anthem” is the title of the new album by Madeleine Peyroux. This album’s newly written songs emanated from producer Larry Klein suggesting that they try organizing some group-writing sessions with a group of great musician/writers that included Patrick Warren, Brian Macleod, and David Baerwald. Along with the newly written songs, the classic title track was written by Leonard Cohen, and the one other previously written track is the classic Harold Arlen/ E.Y. “Yip” Harburg song, “Last Night When We Were Young,” as well as a musical setting of the classic French poem “Liberte” by Paul Eluard.
This album achieves the difficult task of balancing humor, pathos, and irony, while weaving a topical thread throughout, addressing the current state of the world while also delivering Madeleine covering great previously written songs in her own distinctive style. Absent are any traces of preachiness or angry diatribes, and in their place are songs written from a diverse group of perspectives and vantage points; a man and a woman in a mental ward / rehab discussing their predicament, a generation x pot-smoking gamer, a recently single woman whose lover has vanished, a down-on-her-luck tenant in an apartment building, whose door has just been kicked in by the landlord.
From this varied cast of Raymond Carver-esque characters and more, a vivid picture is painted of the challenges that our times present for someone trying to hold on to their hope and optimism in the world that we now confront."
Klein has also recently finished producing a second album with Norwegian singer and songwriter Thomas Dybdahl. Tentatively titled “All These Things”, the album is a dark portrait of Los Angeles that could easily be a soundtrack to accompany such descriptions of the dark side of L.A. as “The Day Of The Locust” by Nathanael West. Klein is also at work on pre-production for a new album for his wife Luciana Souza, which will be started in March.
Throughout his career, Klein has been recognized as an award winning producer and collaborator, working with artists such as Herbie Hancock, Tracy Chapman, Madeleine Peyroux, Walter Becker, Luciana Souza, Melody Gardot, Pink, Seal, numerous albums with Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, Don Henley, Warren Zevon, Celine Dion. He produced the Grammy 2007 Album Of The Year-winning, and Best Contemporary Jazz Album Of The Year, River: The Joni Letters with Herbie Hancock, featuring vocals from stars such as Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell herself, Tina Turner, Luciana Souza, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Leonard Cohen. He also produced the last record that Herbie Hancock released, the genre-traversing Imagine Project.
Klein is also currently working on a project for The Beyond Foundation which will be a braiding together of music, recording artists, and writing from a diverse group of countries and cultures which will be a testament to the fact that music is indeed a language that can traverse boundaries and borders like nothing else in the human sphere of experience. A platform is now being developed which will serve as a digital medium for the submission of music and songwriting for this project.
Also recognized as one of the premier bass players/musicians in the world, Klein has performed on most of his production efforts. Klein has also worked as a composer, music producer, and musician on many films. He composed the underscore and produced the music for the Martin Scorsese produced, Allison Anders film “Grace Of My Heart”, and a biopic about the infamous country session guitarist Hank Garland in a film entitled “Crazy”. He has played on numerous scores and film soundtracks, beginning with Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” in 1980.
EARLY MUSICAL CAREER
Klein grew up in southern California, and it was an after-school musical program at The Community Schools at U.S.C. that enabled him to hone his playing and compositional skills with university professors while still in high school. He worked in with various Jazz and Latin groups while still a college student at Cal State L.A., early breaks that led to nearly five years of touring with Hall of Fame caliber groundbreakers like Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Willie Bobo among others. Klein began to garner the reputation of a musical prodigy, with legendary Stanley Clarke later citing him in an interview as one of the handful of great bass players who have 'moved beyond the bass.' Klein appeared on a wide assortment of records in the mid-70’s and early 80’s, displaying a tremendous range, working with diverse artists such as Dianne Reeves, Bobby McFerrin, Robbie Robertson, and Neil Diamond. It was Klein’s work with Robertson that led to his other collaborations with a host of goundbreaking rock musicians such as Don Henley (Building The Perfect Beast, The End Of The Innocence), Bob Dylan (Down In The Groove), Bryan Adams (Waking Up The Neighbors), Joni Mitchell (Grammy winning Turbulent Indigo, among others), as well as Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Randy Newman and Warren Zevon.
JONI MITCHELL & 'ROCK' INFLUENCE
Klein’s celebrated collaboration in and out of the studio with singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell became the cornerstone of his early collaborative period. The two became romantically linked during the making of 1982’s Wild Things Run Fast, becoming husband and wife the same year. The duo forged an intense creative relationship that would endure for more than a decade, and include such monumental albums as their first joint production, 1985’s Dog Eat Dog, and their Grammy winning swan song, 1994’s Turbulent Indigo.
Klein’s impeccable collaborative credentials and revered bass playing skills also saw him play on some of the biggest albums of the late ‘80s rock era: Don Henley’s Building the Perfect Beast (1984) featuring his work on the classic single “Boys of Summer”, Henley’s “The End Of The Innocence”, Peter Gabriel’s So (1986), and Tracy Chapman’s self-titled debut album with the smash hit “Fast Car” (1988). He toured with Gabriel on the first Amnesty International “Conspiracy Of Hope” tour.
In 1985, Klein knocked off his first solo production credit with Cars bassist Benjamin Orr’s The Lace. In 1988, Joni Mitchell released the Klein-produced Chalk Mark In A Rainstorm.
An enlightening session with producer John Robert “Mutt” Lange during work on Bryan Adams’ 1991 release Waking Up The Neighbors, became another transformational production encounter. Klein’s reputation as a songwriter grew, and he scored several memorable co-writing ventures for talents such as Bonnie Raiit - “The Fundamental Things,” and Warren Zevon – “Genius.” Klein collaborated with the great Warren Zevon on some of his later work, playing bass on songs such as “Mutineer” and co-writing songs on the classic My Ride’s Here (2002).
In the 1990s, Klein began to be recognized as an astute producer of female singer/songwriters, working with critically acclaimed female trailblazers such as Mary Black, (Shine 1997,) and Shawn Colvin (Fat City 1994), Julia Fordham (Concrete Love 2002 and That’s Life 2004) and Madeleine Peyroux (Careless Love, 2004, which made Newsweek magazine’s Year-end Top 10 List).
PRODUCTION ERA & ACTIVITIES
Klein also reunited in the studio with Joni Mitchell in 2000, with the duo releasing Both Sides Now, a textured re-working of eight great standards and two pieces of Mitchell’s work for full orchestra. A subsequent double CD titled, Travelogue, was released in 2004.
Klein has continued to explore the areas that lie between genre, circling back to his jazz roots to work with mentors of his like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, writing for and producing such hybrid artists as Madeleine Peyroux and Lizz Wright, exploring new areas with diverse artists from around the world such as fado singer and Portuguese star Ana Moura, Norwegian alt-singer-songwriter Thomas Dybdahl, and French pop legend Eddy Mitchell. Most years you will find his records sitting in various categories of Grammy -nominated projects. His musical curiosity continues to lead him towards a completely eclectic array of artists and projects from every area of music.