Karen Mantler, "My Cat Arnold" (LP) - skaņuplate, 33.3 RPM, ECM Records.
In 1987 I moved to New York City. By this time I had written enough music to make a record, so I put together a band and started rehearsing. It wasn't hard to decide who the musicians would be. Of course I wanted Jon Sanborn to be my bass player. We had already played together a lot. He was the best bass player in town. We later met again at Berklee and he was still the best bass player in town.
I hadn't met a good drummer yet, but my mother told me that a friend of hers (the photographer Garry Winogrand) had a son who had been bugging her to play drums in her band for years. So I convinced Ethan Winogrand, who also works with Unknown Gender, to be in my band instead. I had met Eric Mingus at Berklee. We became friends because of our common frustration with being "children of famous musicians." My mother and Steve Swallow, the producers of my record, thought he would be perfect for the band.
Steve Weisberg, well; we artists on XtraWATT have to stick together. Besides, he used to be my boyfriend. He had a friend, Marc Muller (a great guitar player), who was working with The Surreal McCoys, The Spencer Davis Group, and the Tommy Shaw Band, but he agreed to work with me, too.
All I needed were some horn players. That was pretty obvious, too. Pablo Calogero, my baritone player, was often staying at his parents' place, right down the road from my parents' place. So I just went down the road and asked him to be in my band. He had a friend that turned out to be someone I had met earlier at Karl Berger's Creative Music Studio, a young troublemaker named Steve Bernstein. He had grown up to be a fantastic trumpet player, and was playing a lot in New York City with a band called Foreign Legion, as well as with Pablo's band.
We played together for about six months, then went into the studio and recorded My Cat Arnold.