Class Act Music Productions

 
Janice Finlay - A.B.H. CD
Written By: Janice Finlay

Story

The Houston Shuffle: Saxophonist Houston Pearson made a concert appearance in Winnipeg that I was able to attend thanks to a ticket from a friend.  It was a great concert – hard swinging, lyrical music and terrific playing.  I was so happy to hear some straight-ahead jazz played beautifully that I was inspired to write this tune, which I then named after Houston Pearson.  Coincidentally, both Quincy Davis and Jodi Proznick have had the opportunity to appear in concert with Houston Pearson within the past few years.

This is the most downloaded track from the CD and was included in the Fall 2012 JAZZIZ Magazine sampler disc!


Janice Finlay - A.B.H. CD
Written By: Janice Finlay

Story

Anywhere But Here:  This samba was written on a winter day in Winnipeg, Canada, when the wind chill (air temperature combined with affect of the wind) was -50 C.  No that is not a typo – it really was minus fifty degrees Celsius. I was working on another composition at the time, and was sidetracked into writing this piece.  Sambas always remind me of tropical places, and so I felt transported by the music.  Until I went outside, that is.

Janice Finlay - A.B.H. CD
Written By: W. Dixon and R. Henderson; Arr. J. Finlay

Story

Bye Bye Blackbird: It is always a challenge to treat a classic jazz tune in a new way while still maintaining the essence of the piece.  I enjoyed the process and am happy with the outcome.  Hope you like it too!

Janice Finlay = A.B.H. CD
Writtten By: Janice Finlay

Story

When I Go Away: This is a composition I wrote while I was a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  I came across it a while ago and decided that it was worth including in my repertoire.  The title stems from the fact that I had to be away from everyone I cared about in Winnipeg in order to do my jazz performance degree.  While I have no regrets about that choice, there is a bittersweet tone to the piece because I always found it so painful to leave when it was time to return to school after a visit home.

I would like to acknowledge Larry Roy's contribution to the arrangement, as well as Don Thompson's creative suggestions.

Janice Finlay = A.B.H. CD
Written By: Janice Finlay

Story

The Pillaging Pug: I am the guardian of Satchmo, a black pug who is my first pet. When Satchmo arrived in early September 2001, I had a difficult time finding food that he liked to eat; he seemed to have allergies and not do too well on most food.  So I kept switching him to different foods, and he kept being sick.  One night I had let him out into the yard to do his last run of the evening, and when I went to let him in, I heard snuffling in the garden (he is black, it was night – the only way to find him was by listening). Well, darned if he wasn’t eating every tomato he could find – green, rotten, ripe…whatever.  So it was not the food making him sick….it was his penchant for tomatoes and his pillaging ways!  I think you can hear him sneaking stealthily towards his target if you listen for it!

Also, I should acknowledge Jordy McIntyre's great contribution to the arrangement of this piece!

Janice Finlay A.B.H. CD
Written By: Janice Finlay

Story

Good Neighbours (Make Great Fences): I don’t know why this is the title for the tune, but it is of course a play on the phrase, “good fences make great neighbours”.  I do think the title is true though, as I have had really wonderful neighbours for over a decade, and in a sense I do think they act as “fences” that help to keep out unwelcome visitors like loneliness and a sense of isolation.

Janice Finlay - A.B.H. CD
Words and Music by: Janice Finlay; Piano Arrangement by Don Thompson

Story

Remember Me: More and more people are experiencing the heartbreaking loss that is wrought by Alzheimer’s Disease, and unfortunately my life has been touched too. The introduction is meant to be a little sardonic, since each birthday celebrated also brings closer the possible arrival of this disease. This piece was written following a visit with a beloved relative who was at the time in the early-to-mid stages of the disease. I chose the title because it seemed during the visit one of my roles was to help this relative remember who they had been – in a sense to help them remember themselves (“me”) - but also because I think most of us would like to leave the world knowing we have loved well, touching the lives of others in a significant way and knowing we will not be forgotten by the people who love us.  Erin Propp does a fabulous job on the vocals, and special thanks go to Don Thompson who spent a great deal of time and creative energy adding many beautiful touches to the tune, including the hopeful last chord. 

Lyrics

Remember Me

 

VERSE:

I was your mother and your confidante,

I dried your tears upon my knee.

And when I’m gone,

remember me;

I’m always there when you think about me.

 

VERSE:

I was your sister and I loved you so,

we shared so many things.

Now my thoughts are jumbled,

faces, names, confuse me;

please remember me.

 

BRIDGE:

And so the cycle goes,

and no one ever knows,

who we’ll love, when we’ll leave,

hearts we’ll touch in ways unseen.

And as I fade away,

and just my smile remains,

in little ones, you’ll see my eyes, you’ll hear my laugh,

you’ll realize,

that –

 

VERSE:

now that I’m gone, you do remember me.

You hold me in your heart.

All the love we shared

has made the journey worth it.

Please remember me.

 

Please remember me.

Janice Finlay A.B.H. CD
Written By: Janice Finlay

Story

Song for Selim: This is written in honour of my great-grandfather Selim Joseph, from whom it seems I may have inherited at least some of my musical abilities.  I was intrigued by the fact that he married outside his Jewsih religion, but chose to continue practicing it on his own.  The harmonic flavor of this piece brings to mind many of the Jewish melodies I have heard over the years and the meditative quality of it suits the solitary religious pursuits of Selim.

Janice Finlay - A.B.H. CD
Written By: Janice Finlay

Story

A Harbinger of Swing to Come – Movements I and II: This piece is an adaptation of a big band composition that was commissioned by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra for their 10th anniversary. 

Movement I:  At the time I was writing the piece, I was experimenting with multi-meter rhythms; if you were to read the score you would see that every bar at the start of the piece has a different time signature.  If you listen very carefully you can also hear that Quincy is playing the melody in his introduction to the piece.  In order to make the transition to the swinging melody in the middle, I had to bring out my math skills!

Movement I and II are connected by a short solo sax cadenza.

Movement II: One of my favourite jazz composers is ex-pat Canadian, Kenny Wheeler, who also happens to be a close friend of Don Thompson’s.  In this piece I tried to capture the flavour of Kenny’s gorgeous composition Gentle Piece, which I adore.  The piece begins and ends with a reference to this, in the middle giving way to an energetic samba which just seemed to naturally grow out of the initial melody.