Jamie Fraser
More than just a church organist...a total musician.

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Audio samples

All material entirely written by Jamie Fraser except the lyrics to "Loving Friends", which are co-written by Mary Panacci.

"Nowhere in my experience have I ever encountered a jazz ballad whose lyrics are centered around soccer. If you became a fan of a professional soccer player after he/she scored the winning goal in stoppage time after a scoreless ninety minutes, this song is for you. I have no clue when exactly I wrote the music for this one, but it was written while I was going to Humber College in the late 1980s, probably around 1987. The first set of lyrics I wrote for it skimmed over the origin of the teddy bear in around 1902-03, but these lyrics didn't really work for me. Then came soccer and the perfect player and game to write lyrics about. However, I'm going to be a Carly Simon about the identity of this player (à la 'You're So Vain')...though I'm sure a few of you may have already guessed who she is."—Jamie
Music written in the mid- to late 1980s, probably circa 1987; lyrics written May 2014
Backing track recorded June 2014; vocals and solo tracks recorded June 26, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, vocals, clarinet, guitar

"This song, whose melody was probably subconsciously inspired from the Bee Gees' early 1970s song 'Alive', came as a result of a riff I had come up with while fiddling around on my five-string bass guitar. This song is a sort of secularized commentary on how we as a society should help the needy--and not just when prompted to by charitable organizations or the impending arrival of Christmas either. Where do we want to end up after we die, in heaven because we do certain things to help these people, or in hell because we don't? Initially the lyrics weren't intended to echo Matthew 25:31-46, but as I turned more and more to that passage for ideas of how we can help the needy, I decided to let the lyrics evolve in the direction they were going."—Jamie
Music written July 2013; lyrics written spring 2014
Backing track recorded June 9, 2014; vocal and solo tracks recorded June 25, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, vocals, flute

"The reason the title is spelled out has to do with the rhyming scheme of each verse: the L verse rhymes on 'ell', the O verse on 'oh' and so on. The song talks about how we can make the world a better place by loving and caring about each other, and by turning to our Creator—referred to here with the blanket, multidenominational term 'the One'—for help in situations where we don't have all the answers."—Jamie
Written and recorded mid-February 2015
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, vocals, trumpet, guitar

"The tune has something of a Celtic rock flavor, tripling the melody with the fiddle, the bagpipes (minus the drone) and the penny whistle, and adds the didgeridoo for a multi-stylistic flavor."—Jamie
Written summer 2015 • Recorded September 23-25, 2015
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, clarinet, trumpet, didgeridoo in E (embouchure adjusted to bend pitch up to F)

"This song came out of my personal experiences as a victim of childhood bullying and harassment, which unfortunately occurred long before schools started adopting anti-bullying policies. The line 'some like me have even ended up dying' recalls tragic cases such as Amanda Todd. Bullying should never be accepted anywhere."—Jamie
Written late April-early May 1998
Basic backing track recorded circa May 1998 and reworked August 13, 2014; vocals recorded August 14, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, vocals

"This recording is...from the Reaching For the Stars sessions. In it the narrator notices things are getting serious in his relationship with his girlfriend, and he wants to take the relationship to the next level."—Jamie
Written in 2000
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, lead and backup vocals

Written circa 1985 • Music by Jamie Fraser • Lyrics by Jamie Fraser and Mary Panacci
"Written while I was at Humber, this song could be about any two dear friends, but I've always considered it to be specifically about Mary and me, as I consider her such a dear friend."—Jamie
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, vocals
Mary Panacci: Vocals
Piano intro recorded at Robert Boulanger's home in Chesterville, Ontario, 1985 or 1986
Original backing track recorded between Robert Boulanger's home, 1985 or 1986, and Jamie's private studio, summer 1989 to spring 1990
Vocal tracks recorded at Mary's private studio, Toronto, Ontario, November 18, 1989 • Recording engineer: Anthony Panacci
New backing track recorded and vocal tracks synchronized at Jamie's private studio, May 27-29, 2014

"This song grew in September 2007 out of the G-A-G-A-G motif so prominent in the melody. At the time I was in the middle of an experiment to see how far I could take the idea of building songs around a motif. The song went through three or four different bridges, including one incorporating the chord riff of the Gipsy Kings' song 'Moorea' (C Em Gm D E♭ Cm D/F# D), before I settled on the current one. From day one I wanted the lyrics to be about the idea that we as a global people should take our cultural, religious, and philosophical differences and run with them, forming a global 'army of light' to fight against the very concept of war, rather than have some of us fight each other over those differences. Part of the reason the lyrics took so long to write is that I wanted them to alliterate on G where the G notes appear in the above-mentioned motif—and if you're going to write a killer musical hook, you need a killer lyric hook to go along with it."—Jamie
Music written September 2007; lyrics written May 2014)
Backing track recorded June 2014; vocal tracks recorded June 25, 2014
Jamie Fraser--Keyboards, lead and backing vocals

"Over the first four years after my dad died in November 2010 I worked sporadically on an elegy tune for him. The intro begins with a piano ostinato on D-A-D-D-E-A-D ('Dad dead') that is later sometimes used by the strings. It was one of my Cayenne Spice gigs that motivated me to finish the tune, as it was originally scheduled for the anniversary of his death. Right from day one I wanted the trumpet to be the primary lead instrument in the tune, as Dad used to play the trumpet in dance bands in his younger years, including in an ensemble called the Winnipeg Grenadiers. I also wanted to score the piece only for instruments that he owned, bought for us or helped me buy, and for this recording I played only those specific instruments...Fun fact: the gig at which I debuted this piece was originally scheduled for November 27, 2014, which would have been the fourth anniversary of Dad's death. It then got moved to December 4, the fourth anniversary of his funeral."—Jamie
Jamie Fraser: Trumpet (1940 Holton Collegiate), clarinet (1977 Bundy student model), Baldwin piano, B&S Grange acoustic guitar, keyboards (Roland JX-8P, Technics SX-KN1600).
Backing track recorded October 21-24 and 29-30, 2014; trumpet and clarinet tracks recorded November 26, 2014.

"I still have the original 'sketch' recording of the main theme of this tune, dated April 23, 2000. To me the music suggests paddling down a quiet lake in the early evening, or taking in the view from the top of a large hill. Even the notation of the sustained E♭'s in the string part visually resembles a thrown rock skipping across a pond—it, too, is going somewhere. So I felt 'Horizons' to be a logical title—and that's good, because I'm not usually all that great at coming up with titles for instrumental tunes."—Jamie
Written April-June 2000
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards

"This instrumental came about in the wake of my discovery of the New Age artist Yanni. In the 1990s my dad would sometimes come down to the basement to watch a hockey game and do his exercises at the same time. In between periods he would flip through the channels to see if there was anything else interesting. One evening [September 13, 1997] he stumbled across what I would later learn was Yanni's 'Live at the Acropolis'. He thought I might be interested because he mistook violinist Shardad Rohani for a clean-shaven Jean-Luc Ponty. Anyway, I watched the show with him. At one point Yanni played his song 'Nostalgia', which uses quintuplet-note lines and single string chords for each beat. I thought. 'I can write a song like that.' And 'Moonstream' is the result. It may use the same rhythmic and orchestrational gimmick as 'Nostalgia', but the melody is completely different. This production was recorded around 2000, in the same sessions that saw the production of my promo kit CD Reaching for the Stars."—Jamie
Written fall 1997
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards

"After I got my first batch of professional audio equipment in October 1989, this is one of the first songs I wrote and partially recorded. However, the lyrics ended up remaining incomplete for years, and I wasn't exactly satisfied with the backing track as I had recorded it back then. In May 2014 I finally bit the bullet and hammered out a complete set of lyrics, which maintained the theme I'd had from day one: the narrator in the song admonishes an acquaintance of his for driving too fast—and driving drunk. The song makes references to R.I.D.E., an anti-drunk driving campaign called Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere; and to the LCBO, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario."—Jamie
Music and various drafts of the lyrics written circa 1989; lyrics completed May 26-28, 2014
Backing track recording begun in 1989; completed May-June 2014; vocal tracks recorded June 27, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, lead and backing vocals, pitch-shifting effects

"The makers of the Intel chip were the inspiration behind this one. The first four notes of the ostinato were borrowed right from their little audio logo, which I always felt to be incomplete by itself. C-F-C-G, in my mind, always wanted to resolve to A. So I made it resolve—and the rest is history."—Jamie
Written in 2000; backing track recorded May-June 2014; clarinet overdubs recorded June 23, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, clarinet

"This tune arose at a time when I was playing in a blues band and developing an interest in the new age artist Yanni, many of whose tunes are in 7/8. I designed the guitar part to be a no-brainer to play, although it's a bit advanced for me to play on the guitar, as I'm just an advanced beginner at the instrument. 'Blues in 7/8' may not be a 'traditional' blues in the sense of, say, John Lee Hooker or Jeff Healey, but many jazz tunes that use a blues chord progression have the word 'blues' in their titles even though they could hardly be considered blues tunes in that sense either."—Jamie
Written in 1998; recorded May-June 2014; guitar solo recorded June 24, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, guitar solo

"I wrote this one in the summer of 1988, while I was living in Toronto. My brother was engaged at the time, but there was some uncertainty as to whether I was going to be able to get home [to Ottawa] for his wedding. I ended up becoming one of the ushers at the wedding, but I had already jotted down some ideas for a song that became this one. In it the narrator praises a bride and groom on their wedding day."—Jamie
Written circa 1988; lyrics slightly revised May 26, 2014
Original backing track recorded August 1988; new backing track recorded May 31-June 2, 2014
Vocals recorded June 23, 2014
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, lead and backup vocals

"[This] was inspired by the Antonio Carlos Jobim tune 'Double Rainbow' (aka 'Chovendo na rosiera'), mainly in the area of the use of odd meters. When I finished the arrangement, it reminded me of Lee Morgan's jazz tune 'The Sidewinder' in that it suggested the idea of people moving around in cars or on foot in a busy city (which I suspect is what led 'The Sidewinder' to be used in a car ad)."—Jamie
Written May 2015; recorded May 25-30, 2015
Jamie Fraser: Keyboards, scat solo, synth solo via Android-based "Plasma Sound" app with a patch called "Plains of Canada"

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