Unless your name is Diana Krall or Norah Jones, the chances of scoring a gold record for a jazz/pop album are rather remote. That makes Jill Barber's feat in achieving that for her 2008 Outside Music album Chances worthy of note.
It took over a decade, but Chances has just received a coveted gold sales certification from Music Canada. In a label press release, the Ontario-raised, Vancouver based singer/songwriter notes that "I'm beyond thrilled to receive the news that my record Chances has officially gone gold in Canada. Although the significance of this album is not measured in sales, it’s a reflection of the number of people for whom it holds a special place in their lives. It is also a testament to the creative vision that I, along with my producer Les Cooper always had for the album, which was to create a new collection of songs that embodied a sense of timelessness. I am honoured that it continues to resonate with so many people."
To record Chances, Barber enlisted producer and long-time collaborators Les Cooper and Drew Jurecka, and they set up shop at The Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. Their arrangements for an A-list backing band and a 10-piece string section were recorded live. Guest vocals by the Good Lovelies and The Sojourners and an appearance by Ron Sexsmith are featured on the album.
Along with ongoing word of mouth, the success of the album can in part be attributed to its exposure on television. Its songs have been heard on Orange Is The New Black, The L Word, and Riverdale, as well as in a Dodge Journey campaign. The video for the title track (below) has 745K YouTube views.
Barber has released seven solo albums, the most recent being 2018's Metaphora. Her duet record with brother Matthew Barber, The Family Album, won a Juno award for Contemporary Roots Album of the year in 2017.
She has occasionally recorded in French, and her efforts have been earned her a sizeable following in Quebec now. She has six concerts in the province this month. Dates here:
March 13 - Théâtre Télébec - Salle Félix Leclerc – Val D’Or, QC
March 14 – Theatre des Eskers – Armos, QC
March 15 – Theatre du Cuivre – Royun-Norands. QC
March 21 – Theatre L’Etoile – Brossard, QC
March 22 – Valspec (Salle Albert-Dumouchel) – Salaberry de Valleyfield. QC
March 23 - Impérial Bell– Quebec City