songs are incredibly personal, with lyrics that have something to
say, and although rooted in her jazz heritage, Coral incorporates
such a mélange of sounds on her first original recording
that it makes it difficult to pigeonhole her to a particular musical
by longtime collaborator Charles Papasoff, whom Coral met when she
was 16 and has worked with ever since, and recorded in Montreals
Studio Frisson, My Favorite Distraction is in every way Corals
project and demonstrates her completeness as an artist. Coral wrote
the lyrics, composed the music, participated in the arrangements
and played both piano and guitar on the album. Although taking the
leap to recording her own material came with some trepidation, she
wholly embraced the process. Its definitely the most
challenging thing Ive done, she claims, which is saying
something when you consider that she has performed at the Montreal
Jazz Festival, recorded a Jazz Box special for Musique Plus, and
is a top-flight player on the Quebec Sr. beach volleyball tour.
People hearing me as a singer-songwriter is a lot more terrifying
than people hearing me as a jazz singer.
association with Papasoff and his understanding of her needs as
an artist was both a comfortable and reassuring element in the studio.
Charles did a wonderful job of letting me find the styles
and the colours that I wanted for the songs, Coral states.
Neither of us had done anything like this project before so
it was very much new territory and every day we were learning. We
didnt want to limit ourselves, and Im not sure we would
have known how to.
her first album, the 2002 Juno-nominated collection of jazz standards
entitled The Path Of Least Resistance that was also recorded by
Papasoff and completed in essentially a couple of weeks, the recording
process for My Favorite Distraction ran from May-September 2003,
including six-weeks of pre-production and nearly two months recording
time. Many of the songs that would eventually appear on the album
were drafted during the pre-production sessions, allowing for greater
input from the musicians she worked with on the album.
with a core group comprised of respected Montreal musicians Gilbert
Fredette on drums, Remy Malo on bass guitar, and Guy Kaye on guitar,
the songs were recorded digitally through an analog board, to give
the final outcome as organic a feel as possible, Coral
explains, and rather than treat individual tracks as a part of the
project, they approached every song as its own entity, using the
vocal and melodies to link the pieces.
worked on each song in respect to its nature and didnt necessarily
focus on the continuity of the entire thing. Charles allowed me
the room, the time and the space to really choose what I wanted
for each song. Im very easily influenced by the people I work
with and he knows that so he really tried to give me the opportunity
to get what I wanted to out of each song.
the inevitable comparisons to other artists expanding the reach
of jazz-based music - Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Sade to name a few
are likely to be made, Coral is comfortable with the connection.
If Im going to be related to them, if Im going
to be brought into the pop world by association, and because the
musics accessible enough, then I will consider myself extremely
lucky. Its not something that you can anticipate with this
kind of album.
up around music and the industry, it is not surprising her path
has led Coral to this point. The daughter of well-known Quebec singer-songwriter-arranger
Karen Young, who, while best known for her jazz recordings, over
her career has increasingly incorporated a mélange of sounds
from around the globe, creating an diverse and constantly evolving
style of music. Coral drifted into music naturally, or as she puts
it, I always did it by interest and occasion. She began
singing occasionally with her mother in concert when she was only
11 years old, and was performing on her own by 16, but it would
be more than a decade after her initial taste of stage life before
she would see the inside of a recording studio for the first time.
mother didnt try and turn me into a star. In fact, she was
probably a little wary of it, Coral says. Instead, she took
her time and moved forward with pursuing her passion at a pace that
made sense for her. The added maturity borne of having been involved
in the business since such a young age brings an ageless beauty
to her work that is captured in the grooves of each track on My
I always wanted to do music for the enjoyment of it,
she explains. The last year has been incredibly enjoyable,
and also incredibly committed. Ive finally realized what I
have to gain from immersing myself in this. I look at this as a
crossroads, a beginning for me. Where I want to go is limitless
if Im given the opportunity.