Testimonials & Reviews
I have worked on a number of projects with Michael over the last several years and have found his work to be truly world class. As an engineer and as a co-collaborator he offers the best in all of his endeavors. Michael's ears are very fine tuned and his technical know-how is of the highest level in the business of making audio into art.
I highly recommend him for any project that requires complete professionalism.
Jack Douglas - producer for John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Slash, Alice Cooper, The Trews
I've worked with MJ for many years and have come to rely on his considerable experience in all areas of recording. It is great to have an engineer who has been through the analog years yet is completely at home in the digital world. Basically he makes things sound great and that is what it's all about. I rely on his judgement in all areas of the recording process and he has worked miracles on solos and vocals I thought were unusable. He is a warm and calming presence in the studio.
I believe Michael is at the top of his game.
Marc Jordan - singer/songwriter (Rod Stewart, Cher, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross, Chicago)
Michael Jack made our last record a real joy, his professionalism and expertise was instrumental in us making our best record to date.
We can't wait to work with him again!
Dala - Best vocal group 2010 Canadian Folk Music Awards
Once again you've outdone yourself. We are so incredibly proud of the songs we produced together at Phase One. I can't think of another engineer who could
have helped us produce the product we did under those time restrictions. On top of being easy to work with, your are insightful, patient, hardworking and insanely talented.
It's been an honour to work with you on these past two Cd's. You are the template of what professionalism in the music industry should look like.
Drew Clementino Aguiar - Return For Refund
Michael is a well-rounded professional in every sense of the word. He holds his work to the highest standard, and his attention to detail is manifest
in his exceptional finished products of the highest quality. With his many years of experience he has become extremely streamlined with his use of time,
giving the client maximum value for theirs. As if that wasn't enough, he's an enthusiastic and patient part of a studio team who selflessly respects the
creative process of the artist. He's also open to suggesting helpful ideas and tricks he's gleaned working with legends in the business,
which is always an added bonus to having Michael working on your session.
This endorsement will likely sound much like any other you'd hear regarding Michael Jack, he's just that good at what he does."
Aaron Garner - singer/songwriter
I've had the pleasure of working with Michael a number of times; he co-produced and engineered my solo album, and mixed several other albums I either produced or played on. He is great to work with and I have recommended him to many people. Michael is incredibly detail-oriented, efficient and organized, and has a very calm, stable demeanour that is always appreciated in the studio! He taught me about "digital hygiene" which is the term he uses to refer to the management of digital files, editing and making sure important data is never lost. Again, always appreciated. You always feel like you're in good hands with Michael. I like how he offers opinions when appropriate, but knows when to be silent. When he does have input, it's very thoughtful and creative. Lastly, I have always appreciated how quickly he can use the gear at his disposal to follow whatever creative whims arise from the artist. There is no time wasted, and as a result, creativity is unhindered.
All of these things make Michael a joy to work with.
Peter Murray - producer/session musician/singer/songwriter
I first met Michael Jack when he mixed one my songs for Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm's platinum selling debut CD. He knocked that mix out of park. I called on Michael again to mix Canada's new arrival Stephanie Bosh and he did what I knew he'd do...make it sound like it belongs!
Michael walked us through the process and made sure the end result was dead on target. This is why I call on Michael Jack.
Bobby Cameron - producer/songwriter (Jully Black, Canadian Idol, Long John Baldry)
Michael's attention to detail, musicality, and ability to communicate with artists, producers and clients are coupled with a world-class knowledge of recording and mixing techniques, both current and classic. He is a consummate professional who will enhance any project he is involved in regardless of genre.
Michael Kerwin - General Manager Frontier Sound & Light
Michael Jack is a real pro. I've had the privilege of working with MJ on several projects and he always delivers above and beyond. Recording, editing, mixing,
comping - he can do it all and most importantly, is a real pleasure to work with.
Chris Bilton - producer/arranger/songwriter
Since 1999 Michael Jack has engineered four CD projects of mine and he remains my personal engineer of choice. Michael has proven reliable, knowledgeable and he is a true professional. He is armed with the latest technical knowledge, a musician’s ear and a calm disposition. This allows the artists and musicians the peace of mind to be concerned only with their own artistic creativity, resulting in a positive studio experience.
Wayne Buttery - singer/songwriter
Michael Jack is one of my favorite recording engineers. Having him at the wheel assures that my productions will be world class.
He’s a great technician with great musical ears and a cool guy to work with.
JK Gulley - producer/arranger/songwriter
Michael Jack worked with me for fifteen years as a recording engineer.
During that time, Michael was never less than a complete professional both
in his dealings with clients and his recording expertise.
Barry Lubotta - owner of Phase One Recording Studios
Reviews of a record produced and engineered by Michael Jack.
"The new album 'Flirting With The Queen' by Spaceport Union is the most innovative and creative musical release in Canada I have ever heard.
I am confident that we will see this album on the 2013 Polaris Award short list."
The King Minion Podcast
"Flirting with the Queen offers quite a bit in musical textures and genres. Ambient, progressive, commercial, and poppy, each song carries its own musical flavor,
and they all taste delightful. The album exudes professionalism, as the production, structure, and makeup of each song is top notch.
...The overall feel of the album as a whole comes off as complete and substantial."
Review of a record produced and engineered by Michael Jack.
"Scott Donnelly has got the chops. His music is The Sheepdogs meets Pat Travers. With heavy guitar crunch and a thick fat rhythm section
the sound is top notch, killer production."
Rob Mattice, That Rock Show 91.3FM
Review of the Spaceport Union record produced and engineered by Michael Jack.
It is easy to be cynical about music in the current age. Part of the problem lies with the parlous state of the mainstream, but a far greater problem lies with a
music buying public increasingly unwilling to give a chance to an unknown quantity. It is ironic because what we are now seeing is that in an age where everything is
available by hook or by crook, the preponderance of material seems to actually be putting people off from experimenting too widely. However cynicism and elitism
comes at a price, and that price is missing out on some truly mesmerising acts lurking in the depths of the underground. One such act is Spaceport Union,
a progressive band with a serious groove and an encyclopaedic knowledge of bands past and present, whose wonderful album ‘Flirting WithThe Queen’ draws upon
decades of magical music making to present a joyous, richly rewarding experience that is utterly irresistible.
The album opens subtly, ‘Simple Lack Of Motivation’ coming over like Pink Floyd covering Buffalo Springfield’s ‘For What It’s Worth’ before suddenly exploding into
a dizzyingly beautiful burst of gospel-powered organ and lush vocal harmonies that is part Spiritualized, part Steve Winwood. Adam Basterfield’s vocals are quietly
confident, recalling Pye Hastings and the song is the perfect introduction to the weirdly wonderful world of Spaceport Union. In contrast, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ places
Caroline Spence on lead vocals and takes Supertramp’s ‘Breakfast in America’ as its template, all funky keyboard and gleaming solos.
It’s brilliantly produced by Michael Jack who keeps things warm and funky, and the songs flow beautifully through funk and soul territory
whilst keeping its roots in the progressive realm with some stunning solos and extended instrumental breaks.
‘Minnow’ sees the band refusing to stand still, the music taking a turn for the darker,
as a subtly threatening synth line underpins an unconventional melody that recalls nothing so much as ‘The Wall’ at its most ambient before slipping into a deliciously seductive mood that sits comfortably between Massive Attack, Nina Simone and Miles Davis. It’s a testament to the band’s skill that it all flows so naturally that
despite the stylistic shifts nothing feels forced or out of place and it’s a pleasure to let the music simply lead you where it will. And lead you the music does,
through jazz-infused piano and art-house insanity, the song building to a dizzying climax that will leave you lying shattered on the floor.
After so epic a workout, the band change tack again for ‘Yer Battery’s Dying’, a mesmerising song that sounds like a clash between Radiohead and QOTSA,
applying the latter band’s sensual grooves to the former’s grungy, progressive template established on ‘OK Computer’. It’s a highlight of the album and
undoubtedly a brilliant live moment in the band’s set too. Another highlight is the lush, melodic ‘Block’, a pop song in the vein of Porcupine tree that makes
great use of subtle synth and warm acoustic guitar. ‘You’ opens with the rolling thunder of toms and a groovy bass before slipping into reverb-laden indie-guitar
territory in the vein of Arcade Fire, with a similarly addictive chorus. ‘Fuelled By Consequence’ is drawn from the heart of sun-drenched California, the jangly guitars
and Beach Boys-esque harmonies all hinting at a lots era of innocence and wonder.
Dispensing with the sunny pop music that fuels the central part of the album, ‘Veritas’ slithers into view on the back of rolling drums and lovelorn piano, the vocals
all breathy sighs and moans as the music shifts imperceptibly into a sinister minor key. It’s initially hard to explain exactly why the song evokes feelings of dread, but
there’s a tangible build-up of adrenalin as horror movie synths and distorted guitars make their appearance and the track cuts across the senses like a splash of cold
water after the gorgeous warmth of the preceding tracks. The album closes with ‘For Years’, a slight, acoustic lament that is part Radiohead, part Pink Floyd’s
‘Breathe’ and part Patti Page’s ‘Old Cape Cod’. It’s the perfect conclusion to the album and one that guarantees you’ll want to return as soon as possible
to the band’s rich sonic pastures.
On ‘Flirting With The Queen’, Spaceport union have drawn from a wide cross section of popular music past and present to deliver an album that is as rewardingly
inventive as it is timeless. Subtlety is the key, and Spaceport Union rarely rush to get anywhere, and each song is given ample room to breathe and grow with the
result that the album as a whole flows perfectly from start to finish. Quite simply ‘Flirting With The Queen’ is a triumph that will win the hearts and minds of all who hear
it and for progressive fans it is an absolute must.
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Michael Jack
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Michael Jack
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Michael Jack
Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Michael Jack