“These are songs I have waited many years to record. They seem to belong together and come from adventures in love, lessons in loss and a million miles of gratitude for life itself. The earliest work is ‘Strong Women Cry’ 1985. Most were written between 1993 and 1997. ‘Come To Me’, ‘Life Will Win’ & ‘Miss You Bad’ were written between 1999 and 2006.‘Perfect Miracle’ was written in 2006 and is dedicated to the memory of Herbert Koch, my dear friend and the manager of Krokodil Cafe Mainz.
There are other songs still to record and many more to write. I feel blessed to belong to the infinite family of songwriters on earth.
Love and Blue Skies!”
“This album has been a long time coming. On December 10th 2010 Jan and her musicians were setting up for a four day session in my studio. She wanted it analogue, so I was on my knees poking inside the tape machine’s belly trying to resuscitate channel 16.
Eventually, the old motor started to roll, the red light came on and Jan struck up. I was utterly un-prepared for what happened next: “Strong Women Cry” and there was I, tears welling, a cynical old engineer who’d thought he’d heard it all before. Jan had lost her mother days before the session. She rang me in a quandary. Perhaps she should cancel the recording? I suggested it would be a great way to honour her and we went ahead.
It was clear that we were capturing a real performance and a unique emotional moment in time. The analogue was certainly worth it. The live performances were focused and true. After Christmas a host of talented musician friends rocked up with gifts a-plenty. Jan tried replacing some vocals but there was no point. Twelve of these thirteen tracks are the original first live takes. Nothing could replace her authentic, angry, sad originals. It has been a delicate journey editing the musical treats but we have finally arrived at a collection of beautiful songs, played live and embellished with love.
I can now hold this CD in my hand, savour the sweet moment of delivery and enjoy!”
Philip Bagenal – Eastcote Studios London 2014.
SOME OF THE MUSICIANS AND SINGERS ON ‘FREEDOM’S DAUGHTER’:
Liam Genockey – drums: born in Dublin Ireland, Liam is a long-established and versatile drummer of free jazz, fusion, folk rock and beyond. He was one of the founding members of 1970s Afro Prog band Zzebra and has played with Psychic Warrior, Steeleye Span, Trevor Watts Drum Orchestra, John Martyn, Annie Whitehead, Paul Brady and many more. Liam lives in Hastings, makes his own drum rods, wears a plaited beard and is a poached eggs on toast man.
Jennifer Maidman – bass & electric guitar: from London, singer, musician, engineer, producer and multi instrumentalist, Jennifer has played with a host of British greats including Joan Armatrading, The Proclaimers, Shakespear’s Sister,Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison and many more. She can be heard on hundreds of top recordings. Jennifer co-wrote songs with Boy George, Sam Brown and Ian Dury. Her film work includes ‘All the Little Animals’ starring John Hurt, and a host of avant garde cinematic treats. She is also an actress, a trained humanistic counsellor, holds a rally racing car licence and resides in little ol’ Kent.
Alastair Gavin – keys: composer, arranger and keyboardist. Alastair is currently assistant musical director for ‘Mamma Mia!’ at the Novello Theatre in the West End. He plays piano for Mari Wilson, Barb Jungr and Sarah Jane Morris, has produced albums for Red Box, Carol Grimes and Sarah Jane Morris, and toured with the Michael Nyman Band and the John Harle Band. He also composes for theatre and works include music for ‘Cinders’ at the Royal Court (dir Danny Boyle), the East End Theatre Group and various nationwide productions. He composes for film and TV and for Chappell’s Recorded Music Library. Alastair rides everywhere on a cool bike and likes Weetabix.
John Cartwright – Hammond organ: drums, bass, keyboards, songwriter and producer. John has worked for forty years with his musical partner Jaki Whitren and their band Court of Miracles. John has played with Ben E King, Joe Tex, Little Richard, Jimmy Ruffin and Patti LaBelle. He was a founder member of the Jess Roden Band recording five albums for Island records. Currently writing film scores and playing Hammond Organ with Charlie Miller and The Soul Agents. He’s a gorgeous ‘Groove Wizard’ with the hair and beard to match and has the same breakfast every morning. Honey on toast and yogurt!
Jaki Whitren – vocals: british singer- songwriter and multi instrumentalist best knownfor her 1973 debut album ‘Raw But Tender’ and the radio hit ‘Give Her the Day’. Jaki signed a record deal at eighteen years with Columbia Records. She teamed up with music partner John Cartwright, abandoning folk for funk, and released a collection of tremendous jazz-soul-funk albums including ‘Rythmn Hymn’ and ‘International Times’,calling on the services of Steve Gadd, Marcus Miller, Dr John, Will Lee and arranger Claire Fischer. This led to twenty years on the road with their family band Court of Miracles. Jaki more recently recorded her second solo album ‘Isis Unveiled’. Jaki made my dream come true by singing on this album. A treasured gift! Jaki and John live in paradise in the south of France.