gail ann Dorsey
Gail Ann Dorsey is a top session bassist and vocalist with an eclectic and impressive career spanning 15 years. She has also received notoriety as an international solo recording artist with her critically acclaimed, 1988 WEA debut album 'The Corporate World', and her 1992 Island Records release, 'Rude Blue'.
A native of Philadelphia, Gail Ann discovered she had "a voice" at the age of 5, and began accompanying herself on a 6-string acoustic guitar that she received on her 9th birthday. Unable to afford music lessons, she taught herself to play by listening to and emulating her favorite songs and artists. By the age of 15, she had become a multi-instrumentalist, adding bass, drums, and clarinet to her list of musical abilities, as well as trying her hand at songwriting.
After a brief attempt at a degree in Live Action Film/Video from California Institute Of The Arts near Los Angeles, and almost two years in New York City chasing a recording contract, Gail Ann went to London, England in August of 1983.
It was in London where things finally began to take shape. Dorsey landed her first job as an instructor with The London Jazz Centre, a free music improvisation project run by the late British jazz drummer, John Stevens. The demand as a bassist and vocalist. She worked in various jazz trios and big band ensembles including such well-known British musicians as trombonist Annie Whitehead, and saxophonist Courtney Pine. She recalls one of her highlights as being the guest vocalist in the original lineup of the 33-piece Charlie Watts Big Band, drummer for The Rolling Stones.
John Stevens introduced Gail Ann to his son Richie Stevens, whose soul/funk band Well Red was signed to a major label. She was invited to play bass for Well Red, which increased her visibility on the pop music scene. She soon landed jobs playing for such artists as Boy George, Ann Pigalle, The Thrashing Doves, The Kane Gang, Donny Osmond, Julia Fordham, and Concrete Blonde.
By 1986, she was a strong presence on the London music scene, but she was still determined to fulfill her desire to be a solo recording artist. After a solo TV performance singing Bobby Womack's 'Stop On By' on the hit British music show 'The Tube'. Dorsey was suddenly bombarded with offers for her first recording contract. She signed with WEA Records in December 1987, and in 1988, released her first solo album titled, 'The Corporate World'. The album was produced by bass icon Nathan East of the platinum selling jazz quartet Fourplay, and included performances by Eric Clapton, Anne Dudley (Art Of Noise), Andy Gill (Gang Of Four), and drummer Steve Ferrone. For the next two years she concentrated on her solo career and toured England and Europe with her own band.
Gail Ann changed labels and recorded her second solo album for Island Records in 1992. When her relationship with Island did not turn out to be as productive as she hoped, she returned to the session world. She continued touring and performing with Gang Of Four, Maceo Parker & The J.B.'s, Sophie B. Hawkins, Bryan Ferry, Tears For Fears, The The, and The Indigo Girls.
After nearly 12 years in England, Gail Ann decided to return to New York in 1994; hoping to settle down and once again begin writing for another solo project. In 1995, Dorsey received a telephone call from David Bowie and agreed to temporarily suspend work on her music for a six-week tour as Bowie's bassist promoting his 'Outside' CD. What was meant to be six weeks turned into an almost six year position with the legendary Bowie, including the 1997 'Earthling' CD, live and recorded vocal duets, world tours, and countless other major media events.
During the last five years, Gail Ann Dorsey has also managed to find time to record and perform with Canadian artist Jane Siberry, fellow Philadelphian Jeffrey Gaines, Italian pop star Zucchero, and North African/French music heavy weights Rachid Taha, Faudel, and Khaled of '1,2,3 Soleils'. She has toured with Dar Williams, Joan Osborne, as well as a nine-month run with David Bowie on his "Heathen" tour. In addition, Gail has just completed her solo album "I Used to Be," and is on the road with David Bowie through Spring 2004.