Acclaimed British jazz pianist, arranger, composer and record producer Janette Mason is heading to Fife this weekend to showcase her new project and album, Red Alert.
She will perform at Rothes Halls in Glenrothes tomorrow (Friday) as one of three Scottish dates this week to coincide with the release of her new CD.
A mainstay of the British Jazz scene for over a decade, Janette is one of the world’s finest jazz composers. She toured extensively throughout the 90s with Oasis, Seal, Pulp and Robert Wyatt and can be heard on the soundtrack to the recent Disney release, Cars 3.
She has also spent years on camera as musical director for Jonathan Ross and Antoine De Caunnes and has proven to be a consummate musician and a standout talent in Jazz, Pop, Indie, Rock and World Music.
Her skills as a composer can be heard in countless television adverts and programmes from Sex and the City, The Drew Carey Show and Come Dine With Me to feature films like Ruby Blue (2008 MEDB Films) starring Bob Hoskins, The Calling (MEDB Films) starring Brenda Blethyn, Susannah York, Amanda Donohoe, Corin Redgrave and Rita Tushingham, as well as the acclaimed Documentary Film Paris Was A Woman by Greta Schiller.
Her latest project, Red Alert, is inspired by her passionate belief that jazz needs to constantly evolve to attract a younger, more diverse audience.
Janette’s vision is brought to life by the explosive combination of Chris Morris on drums and Tom Mason on bass and is a direct musical response to political and social challenges – hence the name Red Alert.
Her powerful and rhythmic approach to the piano is subtly fused with synthesizers to create a musical journey that is as engaging as it is thought provoking.
She revealed what audiences can expect from the show: “Red Alert is a modern jazz trio,” she said.
“I have combined piano and synthesizers for this particular CD/Tour and drawn on all my influences, (from Dave Brubeck to David Bowie and Herbie Hancock to Goldfrapp).
“I’ve tried to keep the music accessible so you can expect modern beats with interesting time scapes, jazz harmonies and soaring melodies.
‘‘I have a great trio in the form of Tom Mason on bass and Chris Morris on drums/percussion, together they have really brought the music to life.
“You can expect an invigorating night of contemporary jazz and it’s best to leave your pre-conceptions about what jazz is at the door because I like to push those boundaries.”
Janette has been performing for 30 years, since she was 18 and was brought up in a very musical family.
“My mother was a jazz pianist and organist and played in the big bands of the 1950s, my father was a drummer,” she said.
“We had a living room full of musical instruments and my brother and I would spend hours just playing and making things up, he’s a drum teacher and performer now.
“One of my earliest memories is of watching the Oscar Peterson Show and saying that that was what I wanted to do.
“I was originally taught by my mother and then went on to do my grades but the pull of jazz was very strong so I went to study at the Guildhall School of Music.
“I always wanted to be a composer rather than a performer, having the trio has combined those two things and is a great outlet for my compositions. It’s a fantastic creative discipline to keep finding new ways to writing interesting and inventive music for a small combination of instruments.”
She added: “I am really looking forward to coming up to Scotland and having the opportunity to present my music to a new audience.”
Janette will perform tonight (Thursday) at The Jazz Bar in Edinburgh at 7.30pm, at Rothes Halls tomorrow (Friday) at 9pm and at The Blue Arrow in Glasgow on Saturday at 7pm for a one off special double bill with Horse.