Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Can you believe how quickly 2yrs can pass?
During that time, I have been busy i.e Changing locations again.
Within changing locations, changing computers, software and working on
my new CD, which by the way is finally finished. I had to at least say something
to justify my absence.
The best way to share some of what's been going on with me, is to have you go to my website.
So, if you would like to check it out, just click on the link below and you will be brought up to
I do hope all is well.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
I had already sold my house in Studio City, (Los Angeles) California and did my last concert in the USA, which took place at a club called Dante's on Riverside Drive, in the silverlake district(Burbank) To my surprise, people like Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn and Carmen McCrae came out to say farewell. Because Carmen and Sass were already dear friends of mine, I wasn't so surprised but Tony Bennett, I had never met until that night. Tony Bennett was the icing on my Bon Voyage Cake. However, they were there amongst so many others to wish me farewell. It was incredible. I had made up my mind to leave the states for good, never wanted to look back. Away from the politics of the American Music Business and the overt racism. I needed to be where people really appreciated me and my art.
As well known as I had become, as a composer and singer, I couldn't get a record deal in the States. I didn't fit the profile, so I left. I went to Tokyo, Japan to record my first Album on the Alfa Record Label entitled" Little Dreamer". It was and still remains a beautiful album and still sought after. One might say, it is an underground hit. Some have been known to pay over $40.00 a copy, (when one could find it, that is). When I returned to the states from Japan, I got constant airplay on the #1 Jazz Station KKGO, for years. Funny thing is , the music isn't really Jazz. Still, no American distributor would handle my product. So, I left the USA once again, more disenchanted than before. But, that's another story which I assure you, will be shared at another time.
A few weeks after my Bon Voyage Party took place, I received a call from a Gentleman named Gigi Campi. He was calling from Italy. He proceeded to introduce himself and get on with the reasons he was calling. He began by telling me, he had searched high and low for me and that I proved to be very difficult to find. He continued on by complimenting me on a song I had composed and sang on an Album entitled "Body Heat. Produced by Quincy Jones.
The song he was referring to is entitled "Everything Must Change"which has become a modern day Classic. This song was the first Gold album for me and Quincy. Over the years I have recieved (Four Gold and Four Platinum Albums) for this song.
Mr. Campi told me he wanted to say something first before getting into the other reasons for his call. And that was, his wife for over forty years, had recently passed and my song was her favorite song. He went on to say that it had also become his families favorite as well. It appeared that they found some solice in it, that helped them cope with the passing of their dear one.
I didn't really know what to say. It was a very delicate moment. What he said next, really blew me away. He said that I had become a part of their family and that my lyric had been etched on his wifes tombstone. He promised to take me to the gravesite and show me when I arrived in Italy. I was deeply touched. I didn't know it then but Gigi was a very famous producer of legendary Big Bands.
He went on to say that there was a project underway that he had started some years ago. It was based on Pope John Paul ll's poetry which he wrote when he was a young Priest in Poland. This project was going to be called One World, One Peace. The music being written for the Pope's poems was done by two very famous Italian writers. The arrangers were Lalo Schiffrin, the composer of the Mission Impossible theme and Francey Bolland.
The famous Sarah Vaughn and I were going to be featured together as vocalists in this unprecedented undertaking. Sarah was one of my most adored singers ever. To work with her in this venue was a dream never dreamnt. I was surrounded by greatness. What a Gig!!
Gigi said he would send me the music and contracts. I received the package in the mail shortly afterwards. Things were now underway. What a coincidence or was it? I was ready to move to Europe not knowing exactly where and then the Pope's project happens.
I packed my bags, got a one way ticket on a plane bound for Nice France, then on to San Remo Italy where I would meet Gigi Campi. We would then go to Milano, then on to Rome.
Friday, February 03, 2006
THE SILK HANDKERCHIEF
It was beautiful that time of year in Paris. The end of summer, just before autumn set in.
The weather couldn't have been more beautiful. Paris is so wonderful, during any season, day or night. My preference however,was during the night. I took a train from Lisbon Portugal to Paris France. I arrived at night. I gathered my bags, found my way to the exit and stepped off the train, breathed in the night air lit up a cigarette and looked around. What I was to see next, took my breath away. It was Notre Dame, at night, lit up in all of it's historical splendor. I had never been to Paris before. After staring at Notre Dame for a long while, I said to myself" This is where I will live." And so I did, for two years. My living quarters at the time was very near to the Arch Du' Triumph, on a quaint little street named Rue Marbeuf. I had only been in Paris for a few weeks then, After spending two or three months in Portugal & Lucern Switzlerland. I was now sure where I would live, Paris!!! I disappeared into the night, with my leather gold emboised monogramed luggage in tow. I contacted the wife of a musician acquaintance, named Michel Colombier. I had become aware of Michel's work in the States. He was an awesome musician, composer and arranger. His wife, Yael occupied a quaint old house which they had bought and refurbished in a wonderful part of Paris. I stayed there for a few nights before finding my little place on Rue Marbeuf, just a few steps from the Champs-Elysee. The funny thing about Michel and Yaels' house was, it had been a famous Brothel at one time in the past, for years. Some of the old clientel not knowing it had changed ownership, still rang the door bell asking for the Madame who had lived there. As I walked here and there in Paris I was overwhelmed by the shear volume of architectural beauty. Everywhere I looked, art was all around me. For that reason alone, I felt I was home. I walked from one end of the Champs- Elysee to the other, many times. All of these images whirled about in my head as I walked. Hitlers occupation of France during WW ll. The French Resistance, the intrigue of that time in history played itself out in my mind, none stop.
I was the proverbial kid in a candy store. One of the other pleasures I thoroughly enjoyed was being able to wear my finest clothing on a daily basis. I wore my silk ascots whenever felt like it. The fashion capital of the world was right up my alley.
I also took great pleasure stopping at one of many bistros and outdoor cafes', having a coffee or some wine, watching the French World go by.