Jeff Pike – Memories of Life and Times…
Jeff Pike – Memories of Life and Times…
Produced and arranged by Gino Vannelli. A sophisticated late-night jazz album of newly arranged classic compositions by Gino Vannelli, sung by Jeff Pike.
“This will be an album of special songs to spend a quiet evening with, sipping tea or reflecting, or sitting with a friend or lover. As close to audio art as we can get.“
– Gino Vannelli
I am honored to have the rare opportunity of a lifetime for an independent career musician such as myself which I would like to share with you. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to study voice, production, and songwriting under the excellent guidance of world-renowned vocalist, entertainer, producer and composer, Gino Vannelli. During the summer of 2017, I approached Gino with an offer to produce my vocals for my next project. He countered my proposal with a more compelling proposition that far surpassed my expectations and dreams. The opportunity to record new versions and sophisticated, easy listening jazz arrangements of Gino Vannelli classics in a project to be produced, arranged and recorded by Gino and his band. The chance to expand the legacy of Gino Vannelli’s music and to keep this kind of music alive is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a lifelong dream come true. The only hitch is at this time I do not have a major recording label behind me, so I am looking for outside angel investors and private donations to help offset the cost of this high profile recording project. I encourage you to take the time to read all of the details about the project and hopefully consider joining our team so that we can make this unique and beautiful record a reality.
Ross, Gino and Joe Vannelli back in the day – The 1970’s
A SHORT OVERVIEW
For my summer of 2017 vocal masterclass, I decided to record one of Gino’s compositions, ‘Father and Son’, taken from his 1975 critically acclaimed album, ‘Storm at Sunup.’ Before our session, Gino contacted me stating that since the song was composed when he was 23, he felt compelled to rework some of the lyrics and the arrangement. The purpose was to bring the song up to date with where he stands today as an artist and as a man.
After our completed sessions, Gino related to me that there are songs in his back catalog he wishes to revisit and re-record himself, much in the same way we recorded ‘Father and Son.’ Unfortunately, his schedule has consistently not allowed him the luxury to pursue the project. After reflecting upon our work together in the masterclasses he went on to say that he now feels that he would be completely creatively satisfied if he were to produce me singing the new arrangements of these very special songs. Each song will contain some slight lyric changes and a new, sophisticated, easy listening jazz arrangement by Gino. The instrumentation will consist mainly of piano, bass, vocals, saxophone, harmonica, strings, woodwinds, guitar, and some backing vocals. Gino, himself, and musicians from Gino’s band, will perform the material and I will sing the lead vocal with the recording taking place at Gino’s private studio.
The project is multi-faceted with many benefits to the listener, jazz music lover, Gino, his musical legacy, and me. My massive hurdle at this point is coming up with the necessary funding. I am not associated with a major record label, leaving me responsible to find financial backing.
All the money raised will go exclusively to cover the cost of the recording, production, mastering of 12 songs and the compensation of Gino and his musicians. My company, Jeff Pike Music, will pick up the manufacturing, marketing/promotion, and distribution costs.
Below is my entire story complete with songs and videos. I believe it is a compelling story and I feel that you will also. After reading, watching and listening, I do hope you will decide to join me on this beautiful journey. Let’s do this thing together.
Thank you for your time and your belief in me
THE COMPLETE STORY
Music has been my world and my passion for as long as I can remember. My parents can tell you stories of me giving performances long before I started school. Stage time that is way too far back for me even to recall. In fact, somewhere my Mom has a reel to reel recording of me singing Harry Belafonte songs quite well when I was two years old.
Me and my little brother Pat performing in our backyard sometime in the very early 70’s or late 60’s
Music has been and remains the driving force of my passion, spirit, life path and career. It has given me countless blessings, as well as many heartaches and sacrifices, and yet, she is the mistress to whom I always return. Throughout my life, I have been profoundly influenced by numerous artists from different genres. There are, however, a very select few whose artistic work and life path I hold far above the rest and to whom I am fiercely loyal. Gino Vannelli tops that list, and he has done so since I first heard his music in 1975. The artistic, vocal, musical production and sophisticated compositional brilliance of his music have moved me in a way like no other artists work ever has.
Gino Vannelli working in the studio during our 2016 masterclass
In the summer of 2012, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend vocal and songwriting masterclasses given by Gino Vannelli. I returned in 2016 and 2017 to take part in his vocal and production masterclasses. These classes fueled an astounding experience of education and growth over a short period of time for me. The likes of which I have never experienced. For the 2016 and 2017 vocal masterclasses, I chose to record two of Gino’s songs. Through our work on these two songs and a significant amount of extracurricular conversation a beautiful thing happened. We became friends, and I earned his peer respect as a vocalist. A dream within a dream for me which brings us to the founding elements of how this project has come to be.
Working with Gino Vannelli – Vocal Master Class, 2012
The song I chose to work on with Gino during the 2016 Vocal Masterclasses was his composition, ‘Wayward Lover’ from his 2003 CD Release, ‘Canto.’ My performance was impressive enough for Gino to inform me that I inspired him to re-record the song himself for his next CD.
For my 2017 visit, I decided to record another one of Gino’s compositions, ‘Father and Son’, taken from his 1975 critically acclaimed album, ‘Storm at Sunup.’ Before our session, Gino contacted me stating that since the song was composed when he was 23, he felt compelled to rework some of the lyrics and the arrangement. The purpose is to bring the song up to date with where he stands today as an artist and as a man. My performance of ‘Father and Son,’ with the new lyric adaption also captured his ear and his curiosity when I asked him if he would be interested and available to produce my next project.
After a brief discussion, we both realized we were almost entirely on the same page, and I was more than pleasantly surprised when he eagerly agreed to produce the vocals for my next album. My original idea was to do a CD and vinyl record of my favorite Gino Vannelli material in much the same style we had been doing the Masterclass sessions, which was merely acoustic piano, stand-up bass, and very light percussion. However, after some discussion, Gino had another idea which quickly took the project to another level.
Gino and I at lunch in Troutdale, Oregon, 2012
“This will be an album of songs to spend a quiet evening with, sipping tea or reflecting, or sitting with a friend or lover. As close to audio art as we can get.” – Gino Vannelli
Gino related to me that there are songs in his back catalog he wishes to revisit and re-record himself, much in the same way we recorded ‘Father and Son.’ Unfortunately, his schedule has consistently not allowed him the luxury to pursue the project. Gino went on to explain that his idea is to bring some of his older material lyrically and musically up to date to where he currently is on his journey as an artist. Each song will contain some slight lyric changes and a new, sophisticated, easy listening jazz arrangement by Gino. The instrumentation will consist mainly of piano, bass, vocals, saxophone, harmonica, strings, woodwinds, and guitar. Gino, himself, and musicians from Gino’s band, will perform the material. The recording will take place at Gino’s private studio.
In essence, this is a unique and new Gino Vannelli album. Complete with updated lyrics and musical arrangements of some of his older material, performed by members of his band and produced by Gino. The difference is that I have the responsibility of the lead vocal. What an extreme honor for me to be able to say that Gino has 100% confidence in my ability to meet his high expectations!
Me and Gino post-show in Atlanta in January of 2013. An extraordinary evening for me because I was instrumental in acquiring the venue for Gino. It was his first Atlanta appearance since 1995.
After our conversations, Gino concluded that he would obtain just as much personal satisfaction from producing me singing these new arrangements of his older songs as he would if he sang them himself. It was a surprising comfort when we realized how we are both at different personal and professional crossroads in our lives and that this project would help us turn a much-needed page for both of our journeys. It will also provide the listening audience newly arranged versions of classic Gino Vannelli nostalgic songs that have stood the test of time, all hand-picked and rewritten and arranged by Gino himself.
A lot of people are asking me why I am choosing to record Gino Vannelli songs as opposed to my original songs. Having the opportunity to record these songs with Gino, songs that I grew up with, songs that are etched in the stone of the building blocks of my musical soul is a blessing and a gift that I cannot begin to describe. It is a rare opportunity which is extraordinarily paramount to me at this time in my life.
Most importantly, like so many others I firmly believe in the brilliance of Gino Vannelli as a musician, composer and arranger and the importance of his work to be expanded on and carried forward. This project is perfect for that.
A career as an independent musician requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment. At 56 years of age, I can look back and say that I have achieved quite a lot of which I am proud. I am honored to have made multitudes of people happy with my music. Over 40 years of live performing I have led people to sing, laugh and cry with my music and touched the souls of many. I have the respect of my peers, friends, and fans across the nation. I have left a mark. I am very fortunate. Yet there has always been something missing, quite a lot, actually; a chance and longing to seriously challenge myself personally and professionally through music, breaking out of the confinements of where my life has been by exploring and expanding my creative soul in ways I have yet to touch. This opportunity is very personal, allowing me to leave behind recorded work that would reveal the depths of my authenticity and speak for itself. The chance to put an end to a never-ending longing to record music that would be of the highest musical quality and integrity. A work I could be forever proud of and give to the world with open arms. A legacy. I never knew what that opportunity would look like – until now.
Me and Gino at his studio in Oregon – August 2017
Putting aside the groundbreaking, intricate and timeless music Gino Vannelli has composed over the past 44 years, his recording and production quality has set the highest standards in the industry ever since his second release, ‘Powerful People’ way back in 1974. Nobody’s records sounded that good. Although Gino purposely walked away from the Pop Star limelight many years ago, to this day, he continues to evolve, record, and tour the world very successfully on his terms. Through it all, he still strives for and achieves the highest standards of excellence in his compositions, arrangements, performances, and recordings.
I need to raise $70,000 to cover the cost of rehearsal, recording, production, mastering of 12 songs and the compensation of Gino and his musicians. My company, Jeff Pike Music, will pick up the manufacturing, marketing/promotion, and distribution costs.
Make no doubt about it. I cannot achieve this goal without financial backing. “Memories of Life and Times” is a once in a lifetime chance for me to be part of a beautiful and unique project. A project that can be yours also. It can be ours.
You might have to be in the music industry to fully understand the recording, producing, engineering and mastering process of high profile and top of the line quality albums and the cost involved. It can be a laborious, detailed, and costly process. Much more so than the vast majority of the consumer public ever realize, especially when the talent involved is a legendary and respected artist such as Gino Vannelli. Unfortunately, not having an association with a record label the responsibility for all costs falls upon my company.
To provide you a comparison, Gino’s 1981 top-selling album, ‘Nightwalker,’ which spawned his top 10 hit, ‘Living Inside Myself,’ cost a whopping $850,000 just to record.
Throughout his career, Gino Vannelli has deservedly earned the utmost respect and admiration of many of the finest and most accomplished composers, vocalists, musicians, conductors, orchestras, entertainers and recording engineers in the world. To have Gino’s friendship and commitment to this project, to have the opportunity which lies before me is beyond anything I could have ever dreamed imaginable.
For many reasons, this is the most important project of my entire life. A much larger dream for me than I can effectively communicate to you. No matter what happens, just to have had this opportunity fills me with gratitude and confidence, but without funding, this project will remain a dream. Thank you for your consideration in helping to bring this beautiful recording and dream to fruition. Thank you for helping me make the music of my heart, to preserve and carry on classical jazz and the timeless compositions of Gino Vannelli.
My piano is my endless song
The CDs and limited-edition vinyl albums will come complete with a full booklet containing lyrics, credits, pictures, and the names of the people who donate money and time to the project.
The market for CD’s has declined as more people turn to streaming services and YouTube. But there are still those out there who want to hear high-quality music delivered in a beautiful sounding and well-designed package. The good news here is that I am “old school” and Gino Vannelli has exceptionally high audio, visual and musical standards with projects he is emotionally and directly involved in such as this one. “Memories of Life and Times” is the project of a lifetime for me and one that is very important to Gino. Anything less than our absolute best will be unacceptable.
As for visually documenting our journey, we are blessed and very fortunate to be working with multi-Grammy Award Winning Photographer and Videographer, Mil Cannon. Mil will oversee capturing visual images of the recording session as well as doing the photos for the CD/Album and promotion. We are also discussing the possibility of creating a video documentary.
Regardless of what the future holds with this dream, I can safely say that I am surrounded by the best of the best and believe that the final product is one that everyone will find exceptionally beautiful and well worth the money spent.