Deborah's joy in songwriting and vocal interpretation come through in the album; poignant in places, groovy and joyful in others. Deborah is first and foremost a lyricist and melody maker. Her raw songs combined with almost visionary arrangements from AgnesQ, executed by superb musicians, including the distinctive guitar of "Burning Bobby B", Robin Banerjee, Amy Winehouse's ex guitarist, makes for a very unique album.
Kim Berry and Tom Armstrong go way back! Kim's style is rocky and retro, and Tom himself has produced a number of albums. Deborah started writing and recording with them too many years ago to count. Together they wrote and recorded Freakshow, ShoeShine Boy and Sun Or Moon, but the songs remained in the hard drive of Kim's computer, until Deborah, feeling that they deserved to be heard, decided to reprise them on the album, with Kim's permission and the Soul Session treatment.
AgnesQ took some simple raw songs from my iphone sent to her on whatsapp, and put her vision and imagination to them, but kept their structure and integrity. I am forever grateful she never tries to make me something I'm not. Two songs that are super evocative are Jellyfish Conquistador and Never Belonged. Agnes is an acclaimed operatic vocalist, vocal coach and conductor in her own right, and the director of Soul Sessions.
Dennis Quillicot with his solid, funky bass flooding the groove, also plays trombone and is a sound engineer. His easy, relaxed demeanour and willingness to help is what makes us all so relaxed!
Leo Wong is a sound engineer, owner of Espresso studios, and fab guitarist. Listen to his funky guitar on Shoeshine Boy! I just love it.
Troy Katarahaja played on my first album, Inspired, and on Unmarked and JellyFish Conquistador here, with his cool soul style. He is now studying music full time in the UK, and left before the album was complete.
Robin Banerjee... what can I say? this guitar genius plays on five songs on the album, including the title song, Magician. His style is distinct. A song is the sum of its musical parts and Robin lives by this. In his consummate professionalism, his feedback, and his treatment of the songs, it's always about the sound.
Boy Capilli is an iconic trumpet player who can turn his brass to any style. We are so grateful for his musicality, calm and contribution to Magician. Here him in full cheeky form on Crumbs!
Joel Senase played on Inspired and on Jellyfish Conquistador and Unmarked. Joel is high energy, unique and sizzling sax. Despite his busy schedule, Joel sometimes stops by at live gigs and jams with us!
Dennis Buan Villaneuva plays his funky sax on Shoeshine Boy, Pay the price and Crumbs.
Angela Daphne Villaneuva plays angelic, divine, emotive flute on most of the songs. Her flute is the show stealer and I am glad of it! Daphne is rapidly making her mark in Hong Kong and is much sought after for musical theatre, classical shows and as a music teacher.
Edgar Caole, our drummer, keeps us on beat! He is a singer, guitarist and solo act in his own right.