“Paradise” contains 11 original songs written by Tan Ping, a singer/songwriter in the San Francisco Bay Area. Like a cool breeze on a hot summer day, Tan Ping’s songs and lyrics soothe and refresh, with their upbeat, light-hearted yet spirited messages. Through these songs, she shares her compassion and love for life with people near and far, explores relationships with self, family and Mother Nature, and offers caring thoughts for those who could use encouragement.
Accompanied by award winning musicians, “Paradise” is authentic and catchy, seasoned with spices of Jazz, R&B and Fusion, and served up with Tan’s sincere, folk-like expression. Finding the right artists for this project was a challenge, because of the nature of her songs. She was lucky enough to come across Open Path Music, where she met Scott Sorkin (co-producer of the CD, and a fantastic guitarist and arranger) and Lee Ray (recording engineer).
Scott and Tan worked very closely throughout every process – from selecting musicians to making arrangements and editing! Through Scott, she met John R. Burr, two-time Grammy Winner and the pianist of Alison Brown’s Quartet. As someone who composes on the piano, Tan had dreamt of finding a pianist just like John! As with her own creations, when Tan heard John’s piano pieces, the words simply appeared in her head. Thanks to John’s assistance, she was given the wonderful song “If I Do Not Return” to compose, the last title she wrote for “Paradise”
The other musicians, including Dan Robbins (bass), Paul Van Wageningen (drums), Kristen Strom (Sax/flute) and Michael Spiro (Percussionist, five-time Grammy nominee) added wonderful spices and enhancements to the flavor of the CD. The title track, “Paradise”, was written during the production process, in honor of the remarkable feeling it was to be among these awesome musicians! For the post-production, she brought in Gary Mankin (Mix) and Ken Lee (Master), both hidden jewels of the Fog City, who knew how to keep a common thread throughout the CD, while still recognizing the special meaning behind each song.
During rehearsals and the recordings, Tan would explain what inspired her to write the songs and how the arrangements might develop along with the lyrics. The musicians sincerely responded to the content of those songs through their common passion for music, contributing amazing input and unique vitality to the CD… and bringing out the best in her. As she was recording her voice, she would lock into the mood of the songs by going back to the state of being when she wrote them. The gentle voice she uses in her Jazz style comes from her years of voice training, while the freedom of phrasing of some of Tan’s pop songs are the influence of Jazz improvisation.
Tan Ping’s life as a long-time musician and singer have given her the knowledge and understanding of exactly what she was looking for in the creation of “Paradise”. The experience and confidence of being a professional musician in Taiwan led Tan to not only refuse compromises in the quality of this new CD, but also to keep the music as real as possible by leaving the spontaneity in the mix. “Paradise” is the best of what Tan Ping has in to offer, and is a treat for the soul that can be enjoyed again and again. “This world is what we make it, sing the Paradise in your heart!”