Finding the musicians!

An album is only as good as the players who play on it.  Way back in 1997 I attended a jazz vocal workshop at the Banff Center for the Arts.  It was facilitated by jazz legends Sheila Jordan (once married to Charlie Parker) and Jay Clayton.  Even though it was 15 years ago, I still remember one important piece of advice they offered.  Always play with the best musicians possible and pay them well! I have followed this advice to the best of my ability throughout my career.

For this album, I hired Andy Dacoulis on guitar, Gilbert Joanis on bass, John Sadowy on piano (and to my surprise he could also sing, play percussion and had a stellar radio voice for the announcer in “Little Blue Car”) and Rich Irwin on drums.  These are truly some of the greatest musicians in Montreal.   They are so much fun, so professional,  totally dedicated to the project, and they can play music in ANY style.  This was one of the most important factors in hiring the band, as this album includes a wide variety of styles including jazz, blues, blue-grass, cajun, pop, classical, klezmer and calypso.  The other bonus was Andy, John and Rich had just come back from touring with Nikki Yanofsky, so the band was in great shape and swinging!

In order to get the best performance possible from my band, I had to be extremely clear and focused in my vision and how I was going to relay that vision.  I spent many hours going through the music, figuring out the arrangements, choosing the songs, contemplating the energy and emotion I wanted to evoke for each song, and meditating on the heart of the project.  When we got together to rehearse, my vision was clear, yet there was still lots of room for the band to contribute musically.  In the end it was a real collaboration, and they added musical ideas that elevated the songs to new heights.  Thank-you Andy, John, Rich and Gil!!! 

 

Jennifer xo

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