Bill Gable is an American singer-songwriter best known for his distinctive solo albums, “There Were Signs,” “This Perfect Day” and "No Straight Lines." A sophisticated and accomplished songwriter, producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, his projects straddle the boundaries between pop, jazz and world music, resulting in a highly personal and evocative body of work.
Bill Gable’s music has always defied easy categorization. He grew up studying classical piano and cello, has a degree in literature, has travelled widely, and has worked with musicians and studied music from around the world – all of which contribute to his singular style. Singled out for his “superb lyrical imagery” (Billboard) and “exotic grasp of world music” (MAC Report), “it’s the attention to musical detail and the perfect capture of mood with music that make Gable a remarkable artist.” (Jazz Link)
“There Were Signs,” was released worldwide in 1989 by Private Music/BMG (and re-released worldwide by Sony Records in 2013). Co-produced with Rob Mounsey (Steely Dan, Paul Simon), the album blends jazz, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban influences in a colorful musical landscape. Featuring Gable on vocals, guitars, synthesizers and sanfona, the rhythm sections include renowned pop drummers Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Crowded House) and Jeff Porcaro (Toto, Steely Dan), percussion legends Airto Moreira, Luis Conte (Madonna, Eric Clapton) and Manolo Badrena (Weather Report), with Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby), Mark Egan (Pat Metheny Group) and Octavio Bailly (Tamba Trio, Bossa Rio) on basses. Incomparable jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff (Gil Evans, Blood, Sweat and Tears) adds his distinctive sound on several songs. With elegant arrangements by Mounsey offset by Gable’s rawer rootsiness, "There Were Signs" had a distinctive sound aptly described as “unlike anything on the radio today” (Mac Report) -- as true now as it was in 1989.
With his follow-up 2003 release “This Perfect Day,” co-produced with Roscoe Beck (Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warnes), Gable edged further into jazz and more complicated song structures. The album featured an exciting array of songwriting and production styles, with Gable on vocals, guitars and keyboards; Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) on bass, Tom Brechtlein (Rickie Lee Jones, Leonard Cohen) on drums; Luis Conte (Madonna, Eric Clapton) and Alex Acuna (Weather Report, U2) on percussion; Bob Sheppard (Steely Dan, Lyle Mays) on flute; and Dino Saluzzi on bandoneon. Drawing upon wildly diverse influences ranging from Elvin Jones to Debussy to Patato y Totico, it featured distinctive arrangements by Stephen Barber (Joe Zawinul, David Byrne) and Bill Ginn (Leonard Cohen, Carole King) and a wide range of eclectic elements and musical styles.
In 2015 Gable released “No Straight Lines,” an album written during travels to Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Engineered, produced and mixed by Gable, "No Straight Lines" features Gable on vocals, guitars and cello; Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny Group) and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby) on basses; Larry Goldings (John Mayer, Curtis Stigers) on piano; Greg Ellis (Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussein) and Joey Heredia (Stevie Wonder, Sergio Mendes) on percussion; Ethan Margolis (Inés Bacán, El Lebrijano) on flamenco guitar, cajon and palmas; and Manuel Gutierrez (Duquende, Louis Winsberg) on flamenco footwork. The album cross-pollinates oud, ney and zurna with two gorgeous string quartet arrangements by the Argentinians Jorge del Barrio (Dianne Reeves, Sheryl Crow) and Eduardo del Barrio (Caldera, Stan Getz), adding background vocals by Motown legend Leon Ware. "There is no telling what Gable will come up with from song to song, except that he will continue to be the exquisite troubadour that he is" (World Music Report)..."No Straight Lines is Gable's finest and most ambitious album yet, every single track a little gem" (Musik an Sich).
In addition to his lengthy solo career – which has also included well over 2,500 live performances – Gable has composed and performed with the Yellowjackets on 3 Grammy-nominated recordings, composed songs for artists as diverse as Chicago and the De Barges and written lyrics for artists ranging from Branford Marsalis to Toninho Horta. His songs have been covered by artists in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland and Korea. Beyond his work in records, Bill has composed music for numerous film and live theater projects.
Steely Dan’s Walter Becker once described Gable as “first and foremost a great songwriter” with a “marvelous ability to combine exotic musical elements and seemingly disparate influences into a uniquely seasoned and tasty succotash.” Ultimately, it all comes down to the songs, highly articulate and personal. “Every song tells a story, vividly told, coming as a surprise each time.” (Washington Times) Bill Gable has “an uncompromising moral consciousness, coupled with a bard’s sensitivity.” (Jazziz Magazine) Bill Gable elevates the craft of songwriting to a higher plane, and each of his albums takes us on a distinct musical journey to a place all his own.