Producer and recording artist Dean Grant brings a touch of 1950s-style class to the ears of music lovers.
“There are such great singers in the world, and the majority of them have wonderful voices, but let’s be honest, has there been an equal singer who lived his words more than Gilbert Bécaud did? I doubt that… I believe it’s no coincidence that Bécaud was from France.” – Dean Grant
For more than two years in the making, the album has been intentionally set up musically in relationship to the 1950s by using equipment and know-how from within that area. By producing this album, Dean Grant succeeded in bringing his musical jazz roots together with his French trail.
The album has been recorded in stages by over thirty people. Although consciously chosen to play live, intensive production took place afterwards, because Dean Grant wanted to prevent at all costs a live sound at the end as a result. The focus laid on a strong studio album in which solid samples reinforce the vintage recordings, delivering a powerful outcome with distorted edges. The use of brass, written and directed by Jasper Staps, is central to the entire album. Parts have been edited and cut, so airiness is guaranteed.
‘Nothing is as bad as a bigband that sounds like you’re cycling through the mud and not getting ahead!’ – Dean Grant
Friend, arranger and – by times his mentor – Bernard Arcadio – Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud and Henri Salvador amongst others – stood by his side along the production. His presence played an important role in keeping the focus on the authentic path. Together with his co-producer Jan van Eerd, the result is an album which honors the past and naturally has its place in the present day.
Dean Grant discovered France and its musical culture through the eyes of a young man in his early twenties. While living in the nearness of Avignon, he became a private student of Michel Cassez (also known as Gaston, a nickname that Claude François gave him when Cassez was his conductor), one of the last great singers of Les Compagnons de la Chanson.
While still being in his twenties, Dean Grant had already met a significant number of influencers. In this process he learned from the best like producer Mick Lanaro (Gilbert Bécaud, Johnny Hallyday), producer and arranger Jean-Yves d’Angelo (Julien Clerc, Patrick Bruel) conductor Michel Cassez (Claude François), auteur Pierre Grillet (Alain Souchon, Alain Bashung) and auteur Pierre Grosz (Dalida, Sacha Distel).
These experiences made such an impression on him, that after his music study it became impossible for him to turn his back to this rich culture; he drowned himself in knowledge about music from France, on such a level that it made him an expert on the subject over the years.
“I really like the overall sound,” I told the mastering engineer, “but don’t you think my voice is a bit loud?” After two seconds of silence, he answered with this all-encompassing sentence: “You are the first singer to ever ask for less vocals.” – Dean Grant