The Sons Also Rise   continued from previous page
They reproduce music in a variety of realms--independent documentary film production, remote 'live' recording, commercial film scoring, CD promotion, DJ'ing parties-- a new generation of chameleons as versatile as their late father and his associates, the elite studio musicians of the 60's known as the Wrecking Crew.

In fact, that group of ace musicians is featured in a documentary being produced by Denny Tedesco. The 14-minute demo of that project, currently being shopped in the hope of garnering funding for its completion, offers fascinating glimpses into the hidden side of pop music production in the 60s and 70s.

Tommy Tedesco was a charter member of that coterie, and the film shows him reminiscing along with drummer Hal Blaine, saxophonist Plas Johnson, bassist Carol Kaye, keyboardist Don Randi, Nancy Sinatra and Cher. The film's revelations, not shocking in our jaded era of brazen music piracy and Milli Vanilli-style deception, are nonetheless startling: While groups such as the Beach Boys, Mar-kets, Righteous Brothers, Mamas and Papas and the Ventures were being groomed and marketed, each with its own individual, idiosyncratic sound, their records were often being created or enhanced in the studios, in total anonymity, by the Wrecking Crew. This young group of exceptionally skillful 'hired hands' was as capable of creating 'surf' music (impersonating The Ventures on the theme for the tv show 'Hawaii 5-0') as r & b (often without credits from Motown). The young Tedesco shows a deft hand at evoking and juxtaposing the pride, humor, resentment and irony in the reflections of these once-invisible yet indispensable hit-makers.

Music of today is also of interest to the Tedesco progeny. By day, Damon has been a music scoring stage manager for Warners and Fox for many years, "working with orchestras, big bands and rhythm sections on a daily basis."

Recently, between projects for Fox, Damon Tedesco was found working at a broad, state-of-the-art mixing board under that portrait of his late father, wearing another of his several hats -- as head of Mobile Disc & DAT -- turning recorded musical phrases into computer language and monitor images, and back to music again. It was a mixing (and later, mastering) session for another in a series of his company's 'live' recordings. This one had taken him and his mobile studio to a hotel lounge near LAX last summer, to capture the magic of jazz legends Sam Most and Al Viola. The final product receives generous airplay on LA's jazz radio station, KLON, a living testament to both the artistry of the players and the skills and instincts of this engineer.

In this same bedroom-cum-studio there's a stack of CDs that will never be played on the radio or sold in stores, yet they reach a large audience. They bear the logos that are familiar icons of American business, including Eastman Kodak, USA Today and Hilton. These are discs of original music written and performed by LA-area jazz musicians, later compiled by Damon and Denny Tedesco and sold (under their business name, CD Promo) to a growing list of companies that use the discs as a marketing tool. High-profile companies are increasingly intrigued by his idea of tailoring the musical content of promotional CDs to the needs and desires of corporate clients and customers.

Oh--and that beefy black van parked outside' It's not merely there to provide transportation: On a given night, it will disgorge a load of recordings, amps and speakers for an evening of dance music. Suddenly, Damon Tedesco is a DJ, orchestrating yet another private party.

Meanwhile, Dale Tedesco heads his own publishing consulting company, Dale Tedesco Music. 'I service background and vocal material to motion pictures and television series,' he says.

Obviously, the legacy of Tommy Tedesco is greater than even his massive output of recordings. Judging by their increasing success in their respective realms of endeavor, the younger Tedescos are adding lustre and renown to the family name... and maybe a smile to the face in that big portrait.