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Janette Mason

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Biography of Janette Mason

ALIEN LEFT HAND-THE BRILLIANT NEW CD FROM JANETTE MASON
NOMINATED FOR A PARLIAMENTARY JAZZ AWARD IN THE BEST CD CATEGORY


“an album fizzing with fresh ideas and delights, an exhilarating musical journey .. with brilliantly original writing and inspired playing ..”
Helen Mayhew

"At last a follow up to Janette Mason's sparkling debut as leader. Alien Left Hand .... was well worth the wait..
Production **** Performance****
BBC Music Magazine

"Every track from the rhythmic ‘NY Cab Ride’ and restless ‘4 Wheel Drive’ to the brooding ‘Mae’s Song’ has a terrific hook but it’s the way Mason switches tempo and moods that makes ALH great fun." Diva Magazine

In 2005, a Guardian critic commented on how few artists who cut their teeth in the studio, on the road, and backing the stars, are able to take that “vast experience, ability to play in many genres, listening skills, and (in some cases) one-touch virtuosity”, go it alone and make it work. He was referring to British pianist, composer, producer and arranger, Janette Mason, who did just that. Mason, whose successes include TV and film scores for the award-winning Ruby Blue, Sex and the City, and the forthcoming film The Calling starring Brenda Blethyn, as well as performer, arranger and Musical Director with, amongst others, Oasis, Pulp, Robert Wyatt, Ian Shaw, and Lea DeLaria, released a “triumphant” debut, Din and Tonic and “unleashed something special”.

Alien Left Hand is the dynamic follow up to that highly acclaimed debut solo. So, it is with little wonder that it packs a mighty punch and puts Mason up there with the best of them. Her solo projects give her free reign to do what she likes, with no holds barred - and this is no exception.

As expected from Mason, it’s an album of flair and genuine unpredictability. Tempo is key; crescendos, catchy hooks and driving swing are balanced with delicate ballads. On Alien Left Hand, Mason is joined by Dudley Phillips on bass, Josh Giunta on drums, Julian Siegel on sax, Tom Arthurs on trumpet, and Lea DeLaria on vocals.

Six of the eight tracks are original compositions, including the title track, Alien Left Hand Syndrome named after an unusual neurological disorder in which one hand seems to have a mind of its own so that the track is driven by a repetitive left hand theme. Other tracks include 4 Wheel Drive, a ‘Bartok meets Funk’ composition in which Mason’s classical roots shine through and in which she playfully messes around with time signatures. NY Cab Ride is a driving swing composition inspired by a cab ride in the Big Apple on Christmas day over which Siegel, Arthurs and DeLaria all perform great solos. The Blues Walked Out features Janette on her beloved Hammond organ, which is in fact Janette’s first instrument. Mason’s mother had been a Hammond player, and a huge influence, and is to whom she wrote the exquisite ballad, Mae’s Song after her death in 2003.

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