Canadian jazz supergroup imaJJine sing a lover’s praises — and evoke the spirit of Joni Mitchell — in their new single and lyric video Your Voice.
The first single from award-winning producer, songwriter and author Keith (Keef) Whiting’s larger-than-life 37-member ensemble — and a preview of their forthcoming debut album Love Songs & Lullabies — Your Voice highlights the stellar sonic talents of Michael Stuart and Brittany Miranda while celebrating one of Canada’s greatest living songwriters.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Joni Mitchell,” Whiting says of the inspiration behind the composition. “ ‘I was trying to capture the nuances of her voice — like ’a wolf’s mournful howl on a Canadian night’ and ‘a loon’s plaintive calls as it rises in flight.’
“The song started out as random musings, evolved into a poem, and finally into a song. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear echoes of her work with Jaco Pastorius. But, ultimately, all you’ll find is a writer at a loss for words to describe her voice!”
Combining jazz, blues, gospel, and a little bit of R&B, imaJJine’s Love Songs & Lullabies is set to be the country’s most unique release heard in some time. From the enormously talented 13-year-old Rishita Barua to, now in his eighth decade, Guido Basso, the multi-generational who’s who of Canadian musicians features 37 musicians, singers, and composers across 18 compositions.
In addition to Stuart, Miranda, Barua and Basso, imaJJine also features multi-faceted creative collaboration from Lou Pomanti, Bill King, Russ Little, John Capek, Carlos Del Junco, Rich Brown, Bruce Cassidy, Donald Quan, Tom Szczesniak, Kobenna Harrison, Vito Reza, John Roby, Scott Alexander, Darcy Hepner, Kevin Barrett, Kieran Overs, John Johnson, Bob Cohen, John Alcorn, Gavin Hope, Jackie Richardson, Arlene Duncan, Alisha Oliver, Alex Samaris, Jeremy Tozer, Gabriella Rodgers, Tara Wink, Keith Whiting, Joe Sealy, Pat Sullivan, Jeremy Darby, Matt Snell, and Michael Jack. The production came together at Canterbury Music, Genesis Sound, and The Radio Room.
“The three elements of music are melody, harmony, and rhythm,” says Whiting. “imaJJine brings the best of all three together.”
Whiting and his legacy-building career would know. “I started as a drummer at age seven,” he recalls. With his first paid gig at age 12, he was off to the races, joining the band Rare Amber at age 15, before moving into engineering at Phillips Records, then production at Decca Records, and teaching the craft in Nigeria, where he also produced the critically acclaimed album, Blo Step 3.
Following a move to Canada in 1975, Whiting’s first production was Black Noise by FM, dubbed one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Top Progressive Rock Albums of All Time. More albums followed, including works with Marc Jordan, Ken Tobias, Aaron Davis, Doug Riley, Pat Labarbara, Dianne Heatherington, Danny Weis, Jackie Richardson, Professor Longhair, and many leading jazz Artists. He produced classical music albums with Andrew Davis, Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser, Canadian Brass, Bowkun Trio, and Valerie Tryon.