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Compositeur et Complice de Jean Jacques

  I w Hi Dana, Can you please introduce yourself ?

My name is Dana Countryman, I live near Seattle, Washington, in the United States. I am Jean-Jacques' most recent musical collaborator, and in fact, we are currently working on our second CD together. We plan to release it on Oglio Records, in the Spring of 2009.


2-     Tell us how you have known Jean Jacques


I was a fan of JJ's music, back when I was still a teenager, in high school. My friend Pat Farley and I heard his music first, on a local TV station. Curious, we called the station and found out from the sound man there, that the music we heard was by a Frenchman, Jean-Jacques Perrey. Soon, we had all four of JJ's Vanguard albums, and played them all the time, back in 1971.


3-     Tell us your first meeting


Many years later, I was doing research for another music article at the library, and came across Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 1. In it, there was a fantastic biography of JJ, (written by Jean-Jacques, himself). I had never known much about him, and had only seen the one photo of him, with Gershon Kingsley, that's on the back of THE IN SOUND FROM WAY OUT.
I purchased the book, and noticed at the end of the article, that Jean-Jacques gave out his address. (He doesn't live at that address, anymore).

I wrote him a fan letter, and soon recieved back a nice, two-page, handwritten letter from Jean-Jacques, as well as a signed photo of him, and a cassette of his rare French library music.
It was incredibly kind of him to go to that much trouble, and I was thrilled!


A couple of years later, I started a magazine (COOL AND STRANGE MUSIC MAGAZINE), and I did a special interview with Jean-Jacques, putting him on the cover of one of our first issues. This led to many other interviews with JJ, and eventually starting work on JJ's official biography. (This book will come out at a later date.)

While in Paris with Jean-Jacques in 2003, he kindly consented to play an Ondioline solo on a song I was working on, for a solo CD. Later, he suggested that we work on a whole CD together, and I was delighted and honored! (I forgot to mention that I was a professional musician for many years....)


4-     Tell us how this meeting and working with Jean Jacques has changed your life , what it gives to you everyday


To say that Jean-Jacques has changed my life, is a gross understatement. Over the last 14 years of our friendship, he has become a second father to me, and my best friend. During a typical week, we exchange many e-mails, and have a regular weekly chat, speaking though our computers, using Skype. It is fantastic to be able to compose new music with Jean-Jacques, and I find it easy to collaborate with him.

My wife and son, also love JJ like a member of our own family, and we have a family portrait of ourselves with JJ, and his wonderful daughter Patricia, proudly displayed in our home.


My biggest comment on how Jean-Jacques has changed my life, is to say that he has ENRICHED my life, -- not only with his delightful music, but with his cheerful and sincere personality. JJ is really a special person, filled with optimism and positive energy. Quite simply, he is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.
If an artists' music was ever relected by his own life, then JJ is a perfect example. Just like his music, he is playful, childlike and inventive. He is one of kind!


5-     Tell us what is your favourite title of Jean Jacques and Why


Without a doubt, my favorite Jean-Jacques title is "Country Rock Polka." It is, by far, the happiest piece of music I have ever heard, filled with joy and wreckless abandon. I have played it hundreds of times, and I never get tired of listening to it.

During the planning for our Seattle concert in 2006, I talked JJ into adding it to our show. It was a thrill to actually get to play "Country Rock Polka," live with my musical idol from my teenage years!


6- If you have an anecdote...


I have so many! But my favorite memory of Jean-Jacques has been working with him, in the studio. There was one particular studio moment, where JJ and I had been working on a section of music for several hours. It wasn't working, but suddenly we found a way to make the piece come together. It was a joyful moment, and we laughed, shook hands and congratulated each other! We have had many "happy accidents" in the studio, where we found a new sound, and it is always a thrill to share these moments with JJ.


7-     You can finish by some words to Jean Jacques


To my dear friend, Jean-Jacques, I just want to say that you are ONE IN A MILLION, mon cher ami! It is an honor to be best friends with you, and I know it is because we have mutual respect for one another.


My life is much richer, because of my friendship with you.
Because of you, I have gotten to travel to Paris twice, and to Switzerland, as well, to spend time with you. I have had the wonderful opportunity to not only record a CD with you, but to do shows together in Berlin, Norway, Seattle, San Francisco and Hollywood. Soon, we'll be doing shows in England and Japan together, as well as New York, Montreal and Toronto.
I would have never had these amazing experiences without you, mon ami, and I will never forget these times together, onstage.


Mostly, I'm grateful for our friendship, which has been one of the joys of my lifetime, along with my wonderful relationship with my wife, Tricia. Our friendship is a strong one, and you are truly an honored member of our family.


Thank you for just being you, and allowing me to be part of your life.

 Your Pal Forever,
- Dana