"I love producing CD's for artists in any genre, but naturally I'm busiest with jazz.
I formed a label called Timely Manor to release many of the recordings below but as retail disappeared so did any logical reason to bother with an indie label. Most of these recordings are on iTunes so I hope you will check them out. While I have directed many music videos over the years, I also think the term 'director' is better suited to what I do with an artist when making a recording. I direct them to a sound, help pick and sequence songs but when it comes to producing I think the artists and engineer have more to do with that.
I've lost count of how many recordings I've either produced, directed or executive-produced, but I found it easy to pick ten favourites!”
Having been in charge of the stings for over a dozen award shows and television programs including: The Gemini Awards, The NHL Awards and The CMW Awards, Jaymz continues to act as MD for Mark Breslin's New Years Eve Comedy Extravaganza at Massey Hall after almost a decade of shows. In the past Bee usually employed as many members of his Royal Jelly Orchestra as possible for shows but has recently started offering a 2-4 piece ensemble for shows to attract those with a smaller budget. Over the years, Jaymz has worked on many videos with award-winning director Joel Goldberg and recently enlisted the help of Jason J. Brown for some projects. Both are renowned for creating meaningful films, from small to big budget!
Jaymz has been directing music videos, live concerts and the occasional TV ad for decades and is always up for a challenge. Currently knee deep in video projects with Dave Howard on various songs from Bonzai Suzuki, Bee is still available for a free consultation if a producer/director/shooter/editor is required for your project.
Marieve Herington "Blossoming"
Marieve was still a teen - literally blossoming - when she asked me to produce her debut CD which is a tribute to the great singer/pianist Blossom Dearie. She was hyper organized and has since become one of my closest friends, despite the fact that she lives in Hollywood now. I love her sense of humour but also love her serious take on "Lies Of Handsome Men" as much as her tongue in check "Rhode Island Is Famous For You".
Serafin "2am At The Torch Cafe"
I used the same basic template for Serafin's CD as I did for Marieve. We took more time with overdubs and vocals and I'm glad we did because some of the tracks like "Everybody Hurts" and "My Funny Valentine" could not have sounded as good off the floor. Serafin has gone on to make more recordings and has become a terrific songwriter. I'm just lucky to have been there for his first jazz effort...I still listen to this CD a lot.
Babes In Jazzland "Babes In Jazzland"
While working at JAZZ.FM91 in the early days, I wanted to do a project that featured the most talented young girls in jazz. My BFF, Geneveive Marentette was only too happy to help out. We started checking out various universities and put together an all female band that would back up five terrific singers. Women are now having an easier time in jazz but there are still veteran players who think saying "wow - you play like an old man" is a compliment to a young girl! Every singer has gone on to do big things and I still see these musicians listed all around town playing with various bands. My fave track is "Don't Fear The Reaper" that features Sophia Perlman, Marieve and guitar by Christine Bougie. Haunting...and destined for a movie sound track one day!
Royal Jelly Orchestra "Toronto Launch Pad"
The process was a ton of fun but also a ton of work. We recorded twelve songs in one day, had a couple days of overdubs and mixed in a few days. A fun experiment but in hindsight I wish I saved more money for recording or at least had a few rehearsals with the band. They came through fine - but it was a pretty crazy 12 hours for them! My favourite thing that came out of this was the track by Alex Pangman, "Dead Drunk Blues" that she ended up pressing on vinyl with proceeds going to The New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund, post-Katrina.
Royal Jelly Orchestra "Seriously Happy"
This RJO CD was a much easier process because I had a real budget and some killer charts. The band was larger than usual and the songs were all favourite tunes that expressed joy. The concept, band, singers and studio were all top notch. My only regret is that the executive producer (who paid for it) insisted in taking off a great version of "Put On A Happy Face" by Jef Vegas and even worse - she insisted on going back to my master masterer, George Graves to have him add tons of compression. The CD sounds fine but my first mastered version still sounds better to me! "When You're Smiling", sung by Julie Michels, with chart by Ross Wooldridge seemed to be a favourite at radio.
Various Artists "New Standards: Vol. 1"
Speaking of executive producer, I picked over a dozen of my favourite local jazz tracks, all instrumental and all composed by people who live in the GTA and put out a CD for JAZZ.FM91 to raise money for them. I love the Kurt Swinghammer design and was proud to see how many of these songs became hits in the jazz scene. "Ladybug Waltz" by Heillig Manouever is still played regularly across the country and I still think "Violet" by Robi Botos is one of the most romantic songs ever written!
Various Artists "One Lucky Piano"
If I was asked to pick just one favourite CD of all I ever produced (other than Bonzai Suzuki which I co-produced with Dave Howard) I would have to say it's this one. I spent about four grand of my own money to get it done, then donated the CD to JAZZ.FM91 to help with their fund raising efforts. The CD features many of Canada's best-loved pianists all playing one song on the famous Yamaha piano that used to live at The Montreal Bistro. I could never pick a favourite track...Michael Kaeshammer and Adam Makowicz are particularly astonishing but I love every single track on this CD. I only wish VOL. 2 would've been released as I had another dozen tracks in the can. Maybe one day...
Adam Makowicz "Indigo Bliss"
When Adam came in to record on "One Lucky Piano" the engineer (James Paul at Rogue Studio) and I were dumbfounded. We'd never seen anyone play like him and offered a free weekend to make a CD. Adam is huge in Europe and also quite famous in NYC...he had just moved to Toronto and was thrilled to take us up on the offer. The result is a perfect piano performance that is bound to make you smarter and make your plants grow taller!
Robert Scott "Pianoptic"
Before Robert wrote the hit song "Hollywood" for Michael Buble, he was playing solo piano in a hotel martini bar and wasn't exactly living in mink and gin. I offered to pay to make a CD for him and Robert Lowrey of "Robert Lowrey's Piano Experts" was willing to help by allowing us into his showroom after hours to record on a $250,000 Bossendorfer Imperial grand piano. It was super easy to do this project and the icing on the cake was the original painting by Denise LaFrance. Classic!
David Statham "Everybody's Talkin"
David worked at GM for way over ten years...and after splitting he sold his car to finance his debut solo CD. Statham has been featured on some big band CD's but this was something to feature his voice with a small ensemble. We met in New Orleans and over breakfast came up with the plan. I enlisted some of my favourite musicians (all Order of Canada recipients by the way) and recording this was a piece of cake because when you have a rhythm section of Joe Sealy (who did arrangements too), Dave Young and Terry Clarke - there isn't much to worry about. Guido Basso, Peter Appleyard, Jane Bunnett and Randy Bachman all made special appearances on this CD. I love the guy's voice and think this CD will be popular for a long, long time.