Making a record is no small task. From starting with ideas in your head, composing rough drafts, tracking the parts in the studio, to post-production editing and mixing, cutting an album requires long evenings that turn into mornings and a lot of sleepless nights. In a studio setting where time is crunched and egos are competing for their thread to shine bright in the tapestry, it’s nice to have level-headed characters around to keep the vibe on the positive side.

“When there’s a certain vibe in the room it helps people freely put out what they want,” comments multi-instrumentalist, producer, and composer Adam Turchin who recently dropped his 12-track labyrinth of an album, Manifest Destiny. Released back in April via Ropeadope, Turchin’s debut album requires numerous listens as it contains more easter eggs than a Marvel Comic Universe motion picture.

What strikes you first upon meeting Turchin is his ability to look you in the eye and make you feel completely at ease. This was certainly what this writer experienced as the two of us were slated to meet on a sunny afternoon over tacos at the foot of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (because what else is there to do in LA except tacos?). As soon as I stepped out of my car, Turchin approached me and greeted me. I knew what he looked like from having written a previous post about him, how he knew what I would look like — who knows? Whatever it was that led Turchin to greet me with daps is probably the same innate quality that led him to that chance encounter with our generation’s most prolific producer at the saxophone section of Sam Ash Hollywood in Sunset Blvd.

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In a narrative that reads like a VH1 Behind The Music episode, Turchin recalls the first time meeting Terrace Martin and how the self-professed saxophone nerd used his love for vintage horns to spark a lifelong friendship with the famed producer. The pair’s shared love for Selmer saxophones made in France between the 1950’s and ’60s eventually led to a fruitful collaboration that recently culminated into Turchin being credited as Creative Assistant for Martin’s forthcoming Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 record as well as the latter lending his vocoder chops in the former’s debut effort.

Turchin and I chopped it up for over an hour about his backstory, his first encounter with Martin, as well as the details behind his debut record. Check the convo below.

Revive: Seems like you and Terrace have a really close relationship. How did the two of you meet?

Adam Turchin: So I moved to LA seven years ago and realized it was very expensive and I didn’t have any money at all so I needed to get a job and I was like, “What am I going to do?” So I ended getting a job at Sam Ash. I looked all over the place, I went to Guitar Center, Mesa Boogie, Carvin, Peavey, Valdez Guitar.

R: That’s on that little strip down Sunset right?

AT: Yeah. Seven years ago there were a lot more stores. I went to about 12 different music stores like, “Are you hiring?!” They all replied saying “No.” Finally got to Sam Ash and they told me they weren’t hiring. As I was leaving, they came up to me and asked, “Do you happen to know anything about saxophones?” I was like, “I have a Bachelor’s Degree in saxophone. What up?”

So they hired me the next day. They saw that I knew so much about saxophones and vintage horns that it became my job to build them a sax section. So they shipped all these saxophones from Sam Ash New York. So we had all these crazy vintage Selmers and high-end saxophones.

One day — about two or three weeks into the job — this guy comes into the store. He’s wearing this leather jacket, his chains, and kind of had an attitude going on. I’m all like, “Hey how can I help you?”

He’s all, “Nah, nah. No help.”

I ask if he’s a saxophonist and he replies, “I don’t play anything.”

I tell him that there are thirty saxes in the room and his eye cannot stop staring at the 1939 Selmer Super Balanced Action Gold Plate highly engraved horn that has no price tag on it, but I know it’s $25,000 and you know exactly what it is.

And the moment I said that, he’s said, “Oh shit! You’re a real horn guy. What up? My name’s Terrace. What’s your name?” He gives me a high-five, I told him my name. I had no idea who he was and what the magnitude of the name was. I guess in LA everyone is always trying to get you, try to get your connection, steal his vibe or whatever. I didn’t know who he was but I love saxophones and he loves saxophones. So then and there he asked me to come to the studio.

R: For real?! Just then and there after geeking over saxophones?

AT: Yes! we talked for five minutes about saxophones. I saw his eye going to Selmer Super Balanced Action like no one else. When I said what I said, he was so floored and taken aback he was literally like, “Who are you? What do you do? Come to the studio, let’s chill and let’s hang out.” So I come to the spot later that night and it’s just me, Terrace, and the guitarist Marlon Williams. They were working on music for Snoop Dogg and I’m like, “What did I just get myself into? What just happened?”

That was the first night and we had cool vibes and the second night he asked me to go a different studio, so I went to another studio. For the first year he basically just took me to all these different studio sessions. Slowly, we became better and better friends.



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