Montclair resident Shane Faber – the go-to producer, engineer, and mixer for many of the 1990s recordings of such pioneering rappers as A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Biz Markie, and GRAMMY winners Digable Planets – has just released his debut solo album, Late Bloomer Baby Boomer. Faber wrote, produced, and engineered the album, and also sang and played guitar and drums on all of the songs.
“I came from a background that was rooted in precise melody, structure, and music theory, and the world of 90s rap was proudly anything but that,” says Faber, who earned multiple Recording Industry Association of America awards for his work on gold and platinum-selling hip hop albums. “I was inspired and impressed by the harmonic anarchy, irreverent approach, and what I call the accidental musicality of the rappers who hired me. It was a fascinating and fun education.”
A native of Florida, Faber earned a B.A. in Music from University of Miami. His classmates included Grammy winners Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorious. After college, Faber co-founded the new wave band Bad Sneakers, which performed 200+ nights per year in venues from Washington D.C. to NYC. In the late 80s, Faber embarked on his journey as a studio pro. He also became a songwriter with Warner-Chappell Music, and created a library of instrumental tracks that were used on SNL, In Living Color, Oprah, PBS, the NFL Network, MSNBC, A&E, Biography, Showtime, VH1, Trading Spaces, Bravo, and Nickelodeon.
Late Bloomer Baby Boomer seeks to capture the warm sound and tight craftsmanship of his favorite artists from the 70s, such as Steely Dan and Todd Rundgren. Along with Faber’s playing, the album also features performances from a variety of top studio musicians – including Johnny Neel, who toured with Dickie Betts and was a member of the Allman Brothers Band.
“The album, which was over 20 years in the making after lots of fits and starts, is full of big hooks, tasty solos, and sophisticated harmonic adventures,” says Faber, whose day job is service management as a technical architect, specializing in Servicenow software. “I invite grown-ups everywhere to kick back and enjoy these songs about life, love, and lessons learned, which are better late than never.”