Dean Gant, known professionally as “Sir Gant,” has been recognized for decades as a top industry Producer, Arranger, Keyboardist, and Composer. Now, with expanded horizons, it’s a new dawn for Sir Gant, the solo artist. With the release of his debut project on his own label, ELEGANT MEDIAWORKS; 2011 will see him emerge as a consummate artist in his own right.
Gant’s project, “The Journey” is a musical anthology that celebrates the genius he has lent to many top artists over the span of his career. His co-production and arrangement of Anita Baker’s Rapture LP, sold over 4 million copies and garnered 2 Grammys, including one for best R&B song, “Sweet Love”, which Gant arranged and on which he played the song’s memorable piano part. On her self-titled debut album,"Madonna, Gant ‘s signature synthesizer riffs defined "Lucky Star" & "Borderline"--both of which defined Madonna’s career. Peabo Bryson, Outkast, Earth, Wind & Fire and many others are among those on whose records he has performed, written, arranged or produced chart-topping Grammy Award winning hits. Spanning the full musical spectrum, and keeping it contemporary, Sir Gant’s string arrangements can even be heard on Yelawolf’s hip—hop hit, “Pop The Trunk”.
Sir Gant’s solo effort is as much a reflection of the journey of his life path as of his professional career path. He is well aware of the wide range of diverse styles on his CD and explains that it represents the breadth of his musical, personal and spiritual growth. It is a musical charting of his Journey in real life and real time. Innately, Gant is guided and influenced by a deep spiritual allegiance, hence his deference to “the Invisible Force” from which his musical inspiration comes.
Along this path, Gant has crafted a signature style in his compositions and on keyboards. His melodic and harmonic structures are underscored by driving rhythms that assimilate and stimulate a wide range of emotions. He continually challenges himself to reach greater musical complexities, created by intricate layering of simple and soulful elements. Somewhat resistant to being stifled by or restricted to the labels of any particular genre, Gant channels the music he is given into variations that defy confinement.
Throughout this project, he draws upon his classical training (he began studying piano at age 5); then propels himself into the soulful flow he developed as a session musician working with Curtis Mayfield, Jerry Butler, Bill Withers and Deniece Williams. He incorporates a bit of that funk he brought in his production and co-writing of “All Night Thing” with the Invisible Man’s Band. Gant was far ahead of his time when he established his reputation for signature synthesizer performances. Like those he showcased on Madonna’s debut project, “Lucky Star” years ago, The Journey upholds that distinction with jazzy 21st century tributes to fellow Chicago legends, Quincy Jones and Charles Stepney. His piano solo on “Les Blues” demonstrates a solid and masterful command of the keyboard, with dynamic colors and shades of a well-seasoned artist.
The producer in him steered his selection of immensely talented guest artists, respectfully pairing their prowess with his gift: Drummers, Omar Hakim, Steve Ferrone, and Ricky Lawson; guitarists, Al McKay and the legendary David T. Walker; saxophonist, Gerald Albright, trumpeter, Rahmlee; Dr. George Shaw on flugelhorn: bassists Marcus Miller and Nathan East; and percussionist Paulinho da Costa contributed their artistry to the intricate course of the Journey.
Gant takes special pride and dedication in his ability to produce new and developing talents. He has been a frequent guest lecturer at Georgia State University, sharing his vast experience and knowledge with aspiring producers and artists; among them, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. On the JOURNEY’s single, “I’m Gonna Miss You’, Gant features vocals by Marc Nelson, founding member of Boyz II Men and formerly of the group, AZ YET.
Cognizant of the unique challenges of producing oneself, Gant invited Neal Harrington Pogue, Grammy Award-winning engineer for his work with Outkast, to come on board The JOURNEY as co-producer.
So, whether you cruise with mainstream or smooth jazz; R&B, pop or world music, your JOURNEY with Sir Gant & The InVisible Force will surely navigate through sweetwaters, with songs that will stand the test of time.
released December 10, 2010
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