“Song And Dance Man”, the title track from Jason Collett’s sixth full-length album, finds the iconic singer-songwriter back at centre stage, with three-minutes-and-change and a story to sing. Featuring the bright production touch of Bahamas’ Afie Jurvanen, “Song And Dance Man” covers the trials and triumphs of the modern musician with poignant poetry:
If you can tweet something brilliant, you got a marketing plan
Song And Dance Man’s thirteen songs bear the wit and melody of classic Jason Collett: contemplative reflections on getting older, backed with an affinity for freewheeling 70s dance music. The album’s conspiring themes of love & loneliness, sun & shadows, are buoyed by its soaring sound. Each song rises into an easy, spacious groove, lead by Jason’s languid melodies and Afie’s sun-drunk bass.
“There’s a cool economy to Afie’s approach that lets the record breathe and allows it to say more with less, something I worked hard at hardly working at in writing the songs,” says Collett. “Keeping a light touch, keeping it short.”
Having spent the years since 2012’s Reckon finding himself further engaged in the growing success of his Basement Revue concert series – a cross-pollinating musical & literary mash-up of Canada’s premiere contemporary artists – the Toronto indie-troubadour describes this record as a liberating process distilled in a stretch of deep domestic reverie.
“I like writing songs and for the first time in my life I felt no rush to hustle them or myself out the door,” says Collett. “I let some dust settle, some weeds grow, putter about at home…”
The result is a dynamic addition to a strong body of work. Song And Dance Man may be Jason Collett’s finest effort yet – back in the spotlight, more comfortable than ever in the guise of entertainer:
You got to do what you can when you’re a Song And Dance Man.
Song And Dance Man was recorded in spring 2015 with long-time collaborators drummer/engineer Don Kerr (at his Rooster Studio), Christine Bougie on guitar & lap steel, Zeus’ Neil Quin on backing vocals, and Afie holding it down on the bass, sometimes two.
Jason Collett’s ninth annual Basement Revue kicks off on December 1 at The Dakota Tavern and will run for five consecutive Tuesdays. Curated and hosted by Collett and poet Damian Rogers, past Basement Revues have boasted an impressive roster featuring Feist, Michael Ondaatje, A Tribe Called Red, Joseph Boyden, Margaret Atwood, The Sadies, Anne Waldman, Daniel Lanois, Naomi Klein, Gord Downie, Rufus Wainwright, Marina Abromovic, Buck 65, Shad, Bahamas, Broken Social Scene, Andy Kim, Snowblink, AroarA, Linda Spalding, Ken Babstock, Sheila Heti, Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Dennis Lee, Hal Wilner, CA Conrad, Torquil Campbell (Stars), John K. Sampson (Weakerthans), K-OS and more.