Pianist /arranger Janette Mason writes about D’Ranged, her third studio album, and the D’Ranged Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign:
My forthcoming album D’Ranged is a collaboration with some of the UK’s finest jazz singers and musicians.
I have spent the last year and a half as resident Musical Director at Hideaway in Streatham, where I have had the opportunity to work on a diverse range of shows with an eclectic group of musicians. This has given me the inspiration to put this project together.
CONCEPT AND BACKGROUND
– The concept behind D’Ranged is to take classic soul, jazz and pop tunes and give them a brand new jazz sensibility.
– I have assembled an outstanding group of musicians and singers who might not otherwise cross paths to execute my vision.
– I have arrangements of Bowie, Prince, Bacharach, Bee Gees and Rodgers and Hart ready to go, and I am working on some new arrangements of songs from the 60s to present day. They will be reharmonised, re-orchestrated and given a brand new personality.
– The production quality on this album is very important to me, so I am working alongside my long term colleague, engineer and producer Andrew Tulloch and we are booked into an amazing studio, Assault and Battery 2, home of legendary producers Flood (U2) and Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys).
– We have been meticulously planning every stage of the process, as we want to produce something that is not only musically brilliant but also sonically beautiful. I’m very lucky to have worked with some legendary musicians.
– Claire Martin OBE and I have collaborated many times over the years and I contributed an arrangement to her CD Too Darn Hot. For D’Ranged I am writing a cello quartet arrangement of the Bee Gees How Deep is Your Love plus the classic Rodgers and Hart tune Blue Moon in a way you’ve never heard it before.
– I had the pleasure of working with an emerging young American jazz vocalist earlier this year, Tatiana LadyMay Mayfield, she has such a mature voice and an incredible understanding of the jazz idiom, so I wanted to bring her to the attention of the UK listeners.
– David McAlmont and I have been working on the Wall 2 Wall series of concerts for Hideaway, where we re-work the music of a particular artist. We hit it off straight away and we have such diverse backgrounds that really compliment each other musically. He will be singing David Bowie’s Lady Grinning Soul and Prince’s When Doves Cry.
– Vula Malinga is a fearless singer and I have chosen Burt Bacharach’s all time classic Say A Little Prayer for her to let rip on.
– Gwyneth Herbert, a singer that I first worked with when she was very young, who has developed into such a unique artist will be singing a classic 60s hit.
– Special guests musicians include Tony Remy on guitar, Courtney Pine on sax and Karen Street on accordion plus there will be a five-piece horn section, percussion and the kitchen sink thrown in for good measure.
– I have two incredible rhythm sections, the winning combination of, in my opinion one of the best electric players in the country, Yolanda Charles with Westley Joseph on Drums and the brilliant acoustic bassist Sam Burgess with the incredibly musical drummer Jack Pollitt.
PIANIST/ ORGANIST / COMPOSER/ ARRANGER / PRODUCER…
I will be producing and playing piano and keyboards with a sprinkling of Hammond organ, the first instrument that I learnt and showing off my piano playing on a couple of instrumental arrangements, including David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes.
My mother was a jazz organist and pianist and played in the Gracie Cole Big Band in the 50s. I grew up with no living room furniture but we had a set of vibes, grand piano, Hammond organ and drum kit and the strains of Oscar Peterson and Sergio Mendes in the background.
I have had a varied career from touring with top pop acts Pulp and Oasis to writing music for film and TV. Being a jazz artist and composer has always been central to my work.
I have gained a strong reputation as an arranger through my association with Ian Shaw; I contributed five arrangements to his Joni Mitchell album, Drawn To All Things and American jazz vocalist Lea DeLaria. Her 2008 release The Live Smoke Sessions that I arranged and produced, reached the Grammy Ballot. I set up a record company, Fireball Records, to put out my work. My first Trio album, Din and Tonic, garnered great reviews and the second, Alien Left Hand, was nominated in the best CD category in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2010.
THE INDIEGOGO CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN
For this new recording I decided to use a crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, to finance it. Given the complexity of the project and my high standards as a producer I didn’t want to scrimp on putting this together. I am also keen to engage fans/supporters at an early stage in the project, so that they can feel that they have truly been a part of making this collaboration happen.
Via Indiegogo, I am offering everything from signed CD’s, a Jazz workshop, a unique arrangement, and piano lessons to VIP Tickets for the CD launch in March. All contributions go towards recording, mixing, mastering and postproduction.