The Title of this CD sums up just how I feel about making it - I never believed, in my wildest dreams, that I would ever produce a jazz album of my own compositions!
When I was 25 I was lucky enough to meet Jon Hendricks who liked my music and was happy to write some lyrics for me. This was a revelation to me, because I'd never taken myself seriously as a songwriter before. However, many years went by with me writing only very intermittently; I just learnt jazz piano, eventually forming my own band, Annamation, where I was joined by various fantastic musicians and played a lot of Gigs.
It wasn't until I met Rachel Sutton a few years ago and asked her to write some lyrics for me that my inspiration as a composer was rekindled and the seeds of an idea started to form in my mind about making a CD of my music. Encouraged by friends and musical colleagues, I approached musicians I knew, loved and had played with before and other who were recommended to me. Finally, I plucked up the courage to contact Liane Carroll, a heroine of mine whose career I have followed for about 15 years. And she liked the idea! I am now 70 and have just come out with my debut album!
I'd like to say what an incredible pleasure and privilege it has been to work with all of these outstanding musicians and what joy it has given me to be able to get all these world class performers together on one CD - I'm still reeling from the thrill of it all!
And finally, I need to say a huge thank you to John G Smith, who was so generous with his time, talent and commitment in arranging, producing and performing on this CD. He is such a pleasure to work with.
I hope you will enjoy this album as much as I've enjoyed making it.
released November 29, 2015
Susie Candlin is a classical violinist. She was the leader of the chamber orchestra The London Mozart Players and has played solo and chamber music all over the world, working with such people as Sir James Galway and Tasmin Little and performing at all the big London venues. She has played for Prince Edward at Buckingham Palace. Shealso happens to be Anna Mae’s cousin! (Violin on tracks 5,6)
Liane Carroll needs no introduction — she is simply one of our greatest jazz singers and pianists. She has made many recordings, including with her ensemble The Liane Carroll Trio, and performs regularly at Ronnie Scott’s. She has been awarded numerous prizes, including Best Vocalist and Best of Jazz at the BBC Jazz Awards. She has worked with artists ranging from Sir Paul McCartney to Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Liane Carroll appears courtesy
of Quietmoney Records. (Lead vocal on tracks 2,3,7,8,9,13,14 and piano on tracks 2,7,14)
Lesley Duke-Mackie sang for fun and gigged for several years whilst working as an SEN teacher and latterly as a gardener. She now writes children’s stories. Lesley met Anna-Mae at a jazz workshop thirty years ago; their musical connection and friendship has flourished, making collaboration on some of the tracks an immense delight for her.
Lance Ellington is a singer, songwriter and actor. He has worked with many artists including Sting, George Michael, Michael Jackson and Robbie Williams and appeared as the resident vocalist on Strictly Come Dancing. He has made many recordings including Lessons in Love and Aspects of Ellington. (Lead vocal on tracks 4,11)
Guitarist John Etheridge has made numerous albums, many of them solo, including Break Even in 2008 with Liane Carroll. Some of the big names he has worked with over the years include Soft Machine (75-78 and 2004 to present), Stephane Grappelli (76-81), Nigel Kennedy (93-present) and John Williams (2000-present), with whom
he played at the Carnegie Hall in 2013. He is always in huge demand both here and worldwide. (Guitar on tracks
Jane Milligan is a singer and actress. She’s known for the films The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004), The Unforgettable Spike Milligan (2010) and for being in the Olivier award-winning rock spectacular The Forbidden Planet and the international hit Mamma Mia! (Lead vocal on track 5)
Andy Panayi plays all the flutes and the saxophones and currently leads his own groups, both jazz and classical.
Andy has worked with many stars in the music business from Cleo Laine and Freddie Hubbard to Wynton Marsalis: the list goes on and on. He teaches at the London and Birmingham conservatories. Andy won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Young Jazz Musician Award in 1994 and has won many other awards. (Tenor Sax on tracks
Jon Hendricks is one of the great jazz singers and lyricists. Famous for his scat singing and for vocalese (which he helped to originate), he has been called the ‘Poet Laureate of Jazz’, the ’James Joyce of Jive’ and, by Al Jarreau, ‘the best jazz singer on the planet- maybe that’s ever been’. He toured the world with his legendary trio Lambert,
Hendricks and Ross, has recorded extensively, taught widely and been often seen on film and TV. (Lyrics for tracks 2,4)
Bassist Steve Pearce has worked with Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Elton John. He has been on numerous film soundtracks, including Paddington, TV shows such as the Royal Variety Show, and has made many recordings. (Bass Guitar on tracks 1,2,3,7,8,9,13)
Don Richardson has played double bass and bass guitar for a wide variety of artists including Jimmy Page, Paul Carrack, Jon Lord and Bryan Ferry. He has also appeared on Film and TV soundtracks including Philadelphia, Anna Karenina and Land Girls. (Bass Guitar on tracks 4,5,10,11,12; Upright Bass on track 6)
Drummer Paul Robinson spent 19 years touring world wide with Nina Simone. He has made recordings for Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Van Morrison. Hit records include Video Killed The Radio Star (The Buggies), I Would Walk 500 Miles (The Proclaimers) and They Don’t Know About Us (Tracy Ullman). He has played gigs
with Jan Hammer, Mose Allison and 1000s of others. (Drums on tracks 4,5,10,11,12)
Jeremy Shoham, saxophone, has led his own band Just East for 20 years playing a fusion of jazz and east European inspired melodies and before that was a side-man in Roland Perrin’s ground-breaking world jazz outfit Evidence. (Alto Sax on tracks 4,10,11; Soprano Sax on track 6)
John G Smith has worked as pianist and musical director to the stars, including Michael Buble, Elaine Paige, Darcey Bussell, Katherine Jenkins, Michel Legrand, Damon Albarn, and Ant and Dec, as well as for countless West End hits including Bombay Dreams, Les Miserables and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He has also been the producer and arranger on this CD! (All arrangements; Piano on tracks 1,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12,13)
Rachel Sutton is a singer, songwriter, lyricist and actress. She has toured the UK, Europe and the US in leading roles. She was most recently seen in the world premiere of Lansky: The Mob’s Money Man at the Southbank Centre.
Leading her own band, she performs an eclectic mix of music, including her own material, at some of
London’s top jazz clubs as well as venues throughout the UK and abroad. Rachel writes: ‘Not only is it a privilege to have written the lyrics to some of Anna Mae’s fabulous songs, but it is also
a privilege to be her friend. She introduced me to my darling husband, Roland, and because of this, we now have an incredible daughter, who was growing inside me when I sang on this album. Thank you Anna Mae’ x
(Lead vocal on tracks 10,11,12)
One of the top 10 drummers in the world, Ian Thomas has played drums for Sting, Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Seal and many more. (Drums on tracks 1,2,3,7,8,9,13)
Pat White regularly plays with the BBC Big Band, John Wilson Orchestra, Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra and plays lead trumpet with the Laurence Cottle Big Band. He has also worked with many other British and international jazz players such as Randy Brecker, Maceo Parker, Conte Candoli, Dick Oates, Bob Florence, Charlie Haden,
Kenny Wheeler and Stan Tracey. (Trumpet on tracks 1,2,7,8,13; Flugelhorn on track 14)
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