Maria to Sheeba
"Jane was born to wander," swears Rolling Stone. "It's what she does best." On the album Maria, meandering Jane sings jazz, a liberating form that fits her perfectly. Over the course of three days, Siberry recorded 30 hours of rhythmic jams improvised around "shapes," then spent three months adding vocal tracks. The resultant songs of lambs, butterflies and yes, sex, include the 20-minute suite "Oh My My," the minimalist ballad "Goodbye Sweet Pumpkinhead" and "Begat Begat," a scat/chant so unfettered Siberry almost seems to be speaking in tongues. "See the Child" is a nursery rhyme with bebop cadences which matches Siberry's aim of creating music with "enough space in it so you can walk in and look around. Like a Dutch painting."
Shortly after releasing Maria, Jane sang and wrote the lyrics to Nigel Kennedy's "Innig" on his recording KAFKA. Both works seemed to be the start of a new sort of wandering -- one that would take Siberry to her very own space.
On May 17, 1996, Siberry started her own label: Sheeba Records. Based in Toronto, Sheeba's primary purpose is to distribute "all things Siberry," including recordings, books, and video.
The Sheeba label is home to some remarkably intimate glimpses of Siberry's life and work. On Teenager, Jane shares some of her earliest musical efforts and family memories; on the New York Trilogy, the energy and fascination that is live Siberry transforms your stereo system into a concert hall ringing with wonder and laughter. And on the latest Sheeba release, Hush, Siberry's voice takes multi-layered flight on songs that are not her own -- and yet become surely, sweetly hers.
If you've followed the journey thus far, you know there's no predicting it. Stay tuned to the Sheeba site and this site for news of the next album, book, or mechanical pencil.