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Reimagining another composer’s greatest work

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I was asked at the very last minute to write an arrangement/mashup of two iconic songs from Wicked, Dancing Through Life and The Wizard and I, for the Out of Oz series.Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 1.37.01 PM

I got the email during the first show of a two show day and when the matinee finished I went into the emergency exit stairway of the Gershwin theater where I sometimes practice in the echo of the stairwell.  It was there that I constructed the feel and the outline of these two songs.

Four days later I was on a soundstage in Brooklyn with the artists Jackie Burns and Casey Cott recording the arrangement live.  There are no overdubs in this video, it’s exactly how we performed it over and over for camera shots.

I couldn’t have done this without the help of my friend and colleague Paul Loesel who helped me coordinate the vocal arrangement.

I hope you all enjoy this one.

First Album Review of “@DREAMLAND”

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Album Review


by Hidayat Honari


“Ric Molina has accomplished almost everything a guitarist can within the span of his diverse career. This includes session work, soundtrack scoring, record production, performing onstage with “98 degrees,” under the stage in the orchestra pit at Broadway’s “Wicked,” and the list goes on. He is an in-demand guitarist and composer for many artists. “@Dreamland” is Molina’s first recording where he not only steps into the position of band leader, but puts his own art in the foreground. It is a collaboration with long-time friend and musical colleague, bassist Fima Ephron. The album consists purely of Molina’s own compositions and arrangements. It was recorded in 2013 at Dreamland studio in Woodstock, NY.

Hailing from New York City, his bandmates saxophonist Samir Zarif, pianist Ted Baker, bassist and producer Fima Ephron, and drummer Dan Pugach present Molina’s sweeping musical vision with a beautiful and adventurous spirit. “@Dreamland” brings an understanding of what makes Molina the musician that he is by reflecting on his vast musical experiences and artistic influences.

The first track “The Tree” is a beautifully hypnotic afro-pop styled ostinato groove, not yet specifically highlighting any one performer. It is an accurate symbol of what Molina feels the band represents as a cooperative, creative force. “The Tree” is followed by the riff-driven cut “ProChannel.” Molina takes the helm and lets loose with an acid jazz/rock guitar exploration, underscored by Pugach and Ephron’s thunderous, dirty groove. “Squintet” introduces Zarif’s beautifully introspective soprano saxophone work.

“November” is a gorgeous ballad with some truly sensitive playing by Molina as well as some extremely tasteful and spacious accompaniment by his bandmates. The album concludes with “Soul Secret,” a narrative composition seamlessly weaving elements of funk, gospel, polytonality, and all of it deeply soulful.

“@Dreamland” is a moving and ethereal experience and can be appreciated by many audiences. It is simultaneously accessible and elegantly sophisticated, crafted with outstanding musicianship by every member of the band. This is an exciting debut recording done by a group of artists that have a wonderful chemistry. I look forward to future projects of the Ric Molina Group.”

— Hidayat Honari

Dreamland Studio Sessions

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RicMolinaGroup recorded 3 days at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY early this month. Their debut album will be tilted “@DREAMLAND” after the studio and featuring 9 original compositions by Ric Molina. Stay tuned for updates on the release date of RMG’s debut album.