A great songwriter with west coast roots ….
Bill Gable is an American singer-songwriter best known for his distinctive solo albums, “There Were Signs” and “This Perfect Day.” A sophisticated and accomplished songwriter, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, his projects straddle the boundaries between pop, jazz and world music, resulting in a highly personal and evocative body of work. His newest album, “No Straight Lines,” is scheduled for release in April 2015.
Bill Gable’s music has always defied easy categorization. He grew up studying classical piano and cello, has a degree in literature, has travelled widely, and has worked with musicians and studied music from around the world – all of which contribute to his singular style. Singled out for his “superb lyrical imagery” (Billboard) and “exotic grasp of world music” (MAC Report), “it’s the attention to musical detail and the perfect capture of mood with music that make Gable a remarkable artist.” (Jazz Link)
Bill Gable broke onto the scene in 1989 with his album “There Were Signs,” released worldwide by Private Music/BMG (and re-released worldwide by Sony Records in 2013). The album, co-produced with Rob Mounsey (Steely Dan, Paul Simon), blends jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban influences in a colorful musical landscape. Featuring Gable on vocals, guitars, synthesizers and sanfona, the rhythm sections include renowned pop drummers Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Crowded House) and Jeff Porcaro (Toto, Steely Dan), percussion legends Airto Moreira, Luis Conte (Madonna, Eric Clapton) and Manolo Badrena (Weather Report), with Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby), Mark Egan (Pat Metheny Group) and Octavio Bailly (Tamba Trio, Bossa Rio) on basses. Incomparable jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff (Gil Evans, Blood, Sweat and Tears) adds his distinctive sound on several songs. With elegant arrangements by Mounsey offset by Gable’s rawer rootsiness, the album creates a sound aptly described as “unlike anything on the radio today” (Mac Report), as true now as it was in 1989.
With his follow-up 2003 release “This Perfect Day,” co-produced with Roscoe Beck (Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warnes), Gable edged further into jazz and more complicated song structures. The album featured a highly diverse array of songwriting and production styles, with Gable on vocals, guitars and keyboards; Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) on bass, Tom Brechtlein (Rickie Lee Jones, Leonard Cohen) on drums; Luis Conte (Madonna, Eric Clapton) and Alex Acuna (Weather Report, U2) on percussion; Bob Sheppard (Steely Dan, Lyle Mays) on flute; and Dino Saluzzi on bandoneon. An intentionally extravagant and ambitious project that drew from wildly diverse influences ranging from Elvin Jones to Debussy to Patato y Totico, it featured distinctive arrangements by Stephen Barber (Joe Zawinul, David Byrne) and Bill Ginn (Leonard Cohen, Carole King) and a wide range of eclectic elements and musical styles.
The newly completed “No Straight Lines” is Gable’s finest album yet. Many years in the making, large portions of many compositions were written during travels to Spain, Portugal and Morocco and draw from musical and literary sources from that region. The album features Gable on vocals, guitars and cello; Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby) on basses; Larry Goldings (John Mayer, Curtis Stigers) on piano; Greg Ellis (Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussein) and Joey Heredia (Stevie Wonder, Sergio Mendes) on percussion; Ethan Margolis (Inés Bacán, El Lebrijano) on flamenco guitar, cajon and palmas; and Manuel Gutierrez (Duquende, Louis Winsberg) on flamenco footwork. With evocative uses of oud, ney and zurna throughout, the album is counter-balanced by two gorgeous string quartet arrangements by the Argentinians Jorge del Barrio (Dianne Reeves, Sheryl Crow) and Eduardo del Barrio (Caldera, Stan Getz). Last but not least, the project features background vocals by Motown legend Leon Ware and others.
In addition to his lengthy solo career – which has also included well over 2,500 live performances – Gable has composed and performed with the Yellowjackets on 3 Grammy-nominated recordings, composed songs for artists as diverse as Chicago and the De Barges and written lyrics for artists ranging from Branford Marsalis to Toninho Horta. His songs have been covered by artists in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Korea. Beyond his work in records, Bill has composed music for numerous film and live theater projects.
Steely Dan’s Walter Becker has described Gable as “first and foremost a great songwriter” with a “marvelous ability to combine exotic musical elements and seemingly disparate influences into a uniquely seasoned and tasty succotash.” But ultimately, it all comes down to the songs, highly articulate and personal. “Every song tells a story, vividly told, coming as a surprise each time.” (Washington Times) Bill Gable has “an uncompromising moral consciousness, coupled with a bard’s sensitivity.” (Jazziz Magazine) Bill Gable elevates the craft of songwriting to a higher plane, and each of his albums takes us on a distinct musical journey to a place all his own.
No Straight Lines
Bill Gable Music 2015
Tracks: A Million Miles Away, I Threw Your Heart, Where You Find It, Sustenance, Came So Close, Born To Love You, When The Tide Rolls In, No Straight Lines, Road of Pain, End Of The Day & All Are One.
Musicians on the No Straight Lines album: Bill Gable, Steve Rodby, Larry Goldings, Greg Ellis, Maggie Parkins, Leon Ware, Kai Narezo, Erhan Margolis, Arturo Solar, Joey Heredia, Jimmy Haslip, Judd Miller, Alfredo Caceres, Julie Christensen, Linda Tavani, Makeda, Michael North, Dmitris Mahlis, Chris Bleth, Eclipse Quartet (Sarah Thornblade, Sara Parkins, Alma Lisa Fernandez and Maggie Parkins), Jorge del Barrio, Eduardo del Barrio & Carole Rowley.
This Perfect Day
The Tracks are: Center Of My Universe, There Isn´t A Thing, Why It Kills Us To Compromise, Never Put Down Your Horn, A Fisherman´s Life, Why The Caged Bird Sings, Eyes Of A Child, My Ballerina & Out This Open Window.
Musicians on the There Were Signs album: Bill Gable, Steve Rodby, Tom Brechtlein, Roscoe Beck, Luis Conte, Mark Hatch, Judd Miller, Casey Scheuerell, Heitor Pereira, Lenny Castro, Joe Meyer, Alex Acuna, Orestes Vilato, Joel Derouin, Suzie Katayama, Jim Self, Jim Lang, Tollak Ollestad, Dino Saluzzi, Sandro Albert, Bob Sheppard, Carol Robbins, Rob Lockhart, Jon Clarke, Bill Ginn & Larry Steelman.
Shovel Of Dirt (Unreleased)
Bill Gable Music 1993
Tracks: Sister Maria, Mud, Tornado Alley & Row Of Empties.
Musicians on the Shovel Of Dirt (Unreleased) album: Bill Gable and others.
There Were Signs
Private Music 1989
The Tracks are: Go Ahead And Run, Who Becomes The Slave, All The Posters Come Down, The 3 Levels Of Nigeria, Cape Horn, High Trapeze, There Were Signs, Letting The Jungle In & Leaving Venice To The Rain.
Musicians on the There Were Signs album: Bill Gable, Rob Mounsey, Jerry Marotta, Jeff Porcaro, Jimmy Haslip, Manolo Badrena, Luis Conte, Airto Moreira, Sally Dworski, Eliza Gilkyson, Marilyn Scott, Jim Lang, Octavio Bailly, Lew Soloff, Gabriela Molinari, Airto Moreira, Lloyd Moffit, Nelson Faria, Dani Minnick, Casey Scheuerell, Mark Egan, Pino Marrone & David Nadien.