“Fire & Ice” was uploaded on our Bandcamp page today, marking the initial public release of our 2nd album. Further announcements will follow for physical releases (CD and Vinyl), as well as a broader presence of these 13 songs on most of the leading streaming platforms.
It is a well-polished album resulting from the past three years recording and production efforts, both in Mauritius and in England. At the heart of this international partnership one finds the very talented saxophonist, flautist and multi-instrumentalist Paul Booth. Having shared the stage with us during tours with Matt Bianco (2005) and then Basia (2008 to 2015), as well as with Dominique with Incognito (2016 historical concert in Mauritius), his role as producer of the album made so much sense. Being equally familiar with latin jazz, bossa nova, acid jazz and sophistipop, Paul was the perfect choice to deliver the sound we were aiming for.
Moreover, in April 2020, like most artists in the UK, touring was stopped due to the global lockdown. Which also meant that many musicians we had worked with in the past, were now free for (home) studio work. First and foremost, the early songs were recorded with “partners in crime” from the Basia team: Kevin Robinson on trumpet, Giorgio Serci on guitars (for the 1st Single “Fire & Ice”), Mark Parnell on drums and Andres Lafone on bass. Then, our Incognito friends were brought on board, starting with Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick on vocals and Richard Bull on guitars, as well as Randy Hope Taylor on Bass or Graham Harvey superbly arranging the vocal harmonies for “I hear a melody”. Our voices were recorded last in our home studio in Curepipe, Mauritius.
Gradually the recording line-up was extended to other collaborators suggested by Paul Booth. First and foremost, the power horns of his band (Trypl) co-founders: Ryan Quigley and Trevor Mires. The superb drumming of Frank Tantoh (Amy Winehouse) can also be heard on some key songs from the album, like the current 2nd single: “Gravity”. Additional musicians who are regulars with key British bands who have influenced us are Tim Cansfield on guitar (Swing out Sister) and Luke Harris on drums (The Brand-New Heavies). But at the end of this musical treat, you will discover a stand-out track and future single: “Butterflies in June”. Written by our beloved compatriot “Bluey” with Incognito, this is a song that perfectly showcases the combination of our complementary vocal ranges: powerful singing by Dominique and effortless harmonies by the twins, Annick and Véronique.
We wanted this recording to offer a string of special songs. One could argue that all are worthy of potential release as singles. But at the end of the day, what we tried to demonstrate with this album, is our development as songwriters. This is the reason why three solo songs, written by each one of us, are special moments on the album gradual progression from a silky Side A to a funkier Side B. First, you will relish in the Neo-Soul vibes of “I wish you well”. Then, your breath will be taken away by the raw Jazz of “Impossible love”. Finally, “Cloud 9” will take you to some over-worldly dreamy dimensions, prior to an up-tempo ending of three songs. “Je ne sais quoi” is the perfect finale to define who we, The Clarisse Sisters, are. Influenced by the best in British and American music but offering a feminine Latin touch (French or Brazilian) that is unmissable. The best of both worlds beckons!