Jay Messina

Biography

Jay Messina is a world-class engineer/producer who is greatly respected by his peers. His discography includes classic albums by Aerosmith, Kiss, Miles Davis and Cheap Trick, to name a few.

Jay grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His father played acoustic bass in a trio. At age eight, his father bought him a set of orchestra bells, and Jay has been having fun with music ever since. He graduated to playing vibes and played in bands throughout high school and for several more years after that.

In the mid sixties, Jay’s good friend and composer David Lucas offered him a job as a recording engineer. Jay, who wasn’t quite sure what an engineer did, trusted his friend and his own instinct and took the job for ‘food money’. Jay started his engineering career at Don Elliott’s studio. Don was a super-talented musician, singer, and composer.

Don had a one inch 8-track machine he had purchased from Les Paul. It was one of the very few in the world. This was the period when 2, 3 and 4 track was considered multi-track recording. Jay, very quickly, became the sole operator of Don’s studio. He learned enough in the next year and a half to get a job at the legendary A & R Studios as a mastering engineer.

Phil Ramone, one of the owners of A & R, graciously allowed the employees to use the facilities when they weren’t being used. Jay readily took advantage of this perk and spent most of his free time at the studio. He was fortunate enough to be friends with some of the most talented musicians in New York. Names like Mike Mainieri, The Brecker Brothers, Steve Gadd and Tony Levin just to name a few. Jay invited them to join him in the studio to record any new music they had written. It was a ‘win win’ for everybody. The musicians recorded their music, and Jay got lots of invaluable experience. It wasn’t long after that Jay started getting requests to record some of the highest profile bands in popular music.

In 1971, Jay made the move to “Record Plant” in New York. Record Plant was the hottest studio in town. This quickly became his new ‘home’ where he served as chief engineer for 15 years. Jay was consistently busy recording albums and stayed with Record Plant until he left in 1987. He’s since embarked on a very successful freelance career.

In 2005 Jay opened his own studio, West End Sound, where he mixes and masters national and international projects today. Anyone interested in having Jay mix their next project should contact him at info@jaymessina.com.

Clients

Aerosmith
Ai Kuwabara
Alabama
Ambergris
Andrea Bocelli
Anita Baker
Benny Golson
Blues Brothers
Booker T and The MG’s
Buddy Miles
Charito
Cheap Trick
Chin Suzuki
Colleen Messina
Dave Liebman
Eddie Gomez
Eddie Palmieri
Gordon Lightfoot
Jeremy Steig
Jimmy Cliff
Joe Beck
John Lennon
Jonathan Edwards
Judy Collins
Kenny Loggins
Kimiko Itoh
Kiss
Krishna Das
Lou Reed

Mika Yoshida
Mike Mainieri
Miles Davis
Nancy Wilson
Patti Smith
Pedrito Martinez
Peobo Bryson
Peter Frampton
Rick Derringer
Roberta Flack
Rolling Stones
Ronnie Montrose
Sha Na Na
Slash
Sonny Fortune
Stephen Bishop
Steve Gadd
Supertramp
Ten Wheel Drive
Terumasa Hino
The McCoys
The Platters
The Three Degrees
Tom Rush
Wang Wei
Wayne Shorter
White Elephant
Yoko Ono
Yun Fan

News

Well, it’s about time.  I’m long overdue for updating my news.  I’ve had a fun 2016, in and out of the studio.  My wife and I spent some time in Tortola, in the Caribbean, and also visited family in Montana.

Two studio projects that stand out for me are the new Blues Brothers record, and Ai Kuwabara.  I recorded the Blues Brothers all in one room and everything was live.  It is an amazing band with some incredible guests, like Eddie Floyd, Paul Shaffer, Dr. John, to mention just a few.  I won’t name everybody in the band, but I will say they are all exceptional musicians.  We recorded at IIWII Studios in Weehawken, N.J., and I mixed it at my studio, West End Sound.  The whole process was a blast from beginning to end.

Ai Kuwabara is an awesome, 25 year old, Japanese pianist and writer from Japan.  She had the A-list rhythm section of Steve Gadd and Will Lee to play with.  We recorded at Sear Sound and I mixed it at my studio.  My long time friend, Kiyoshi Itoh, produced.  It was a very inspiring, musical experience.  Ai has been playing keyboards since she was four years old, and has reached a level of sophistication well beyond her years.  You’ll be hearing more from her.

I am now mixing a new Krishna Das album that I recorded at Avatar Studios last week.  We were nominated for a Grammy 2 years ago.  We’re expecting to win one next year!

I just made a major change at West End Sound.  I now have the latest in UAD technology, including the Apollo Twin and an Octo Satellite.  They work beautifully with the full-blown 27 inch Imac.  I am now running Pro Tools 12, and loving the new setup.  I have all the UAD plugins, and they are awesome!

Contact me with any ‘fun’ projects.

Photos

 

 

The CenacleAerosmithPlaneAir Studios - London