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Track List: listen
Opening Theme - 2’03
What A Wonderful World - 4’02
Here’S That Rainy Day / Here’S That Sunny Day - 4’35
The White Cliffs Of Dover - 3’04
It Could Happen To You / It Happened To Us - 3’03
Blue Evening - 3’21
I Had The Craziest Dream - 2’50
When You Are Smiling - 4’35
The Next Time I Love - 2’16
We Love That Thing - 2’52
Then I’Ll Be Tired Of You - 3’59
As Time Goes By / Time Gone By - 6’16
Looking For Laura / Closing Theme - 3’06
Guillaume de Chassy - piano
Daniel Yvinec - bass
Dean Anderson, Shirley Alexander, Andy Bey, Henry Bramble, Esther Finkelstein, Sharon Finkelstein, Milt Hoffman, Michael Leonhart, David Linx, Ilya Lushtak, Pats W. Rose, L. J. Twair - voices
The premise of this extraordinary document is original and simple: In September 2004, pianist Guillame de Chassy and bassist Daniel Yvinec traveled to Manhattan where they recorded ordinary people on the street singing their favorite standards and commenting on why these songs had such personal significance. Afterwards, de Chassy and Yvinec took these recordings back to the studio, where they added piano & bass accompaniment as well as vocals from Andy Bey, Ilya Lushtak & Michael Leonhart among others.
The overall “narrator” of the Wonderful World project is Milt Hoffman, an octogenarian, ex-columnist of Westchester County’s Journal News. With his gruff, Humphrey Bogart-like commentary, Hoffman sets the tone of this work. “The one thing I love about these songs is that you can hear every word and they’re sentimental,” he says. “That was the period… people were sentimental… they had great respect for each other… I’m glad I lived in that era… I just loved that time.”
Save for the instrumental, “When You’re Smiling,” de Chassy, and Yvinec provide the perfect support for this one-of-a-kind assemblage of voices. In addition, to here’s the incredible baritone of Andy Bey booming on the riveting renditions of the Burke/Van Heusen gem, “It Could Happen to You,” and Jerry Herman’s “The Next Time We Love.” Sunnyside recording artist Michael Leonhart, lends his Chet Baker-ish vocals to another Burke/Van Heusen, selection, “Here’s that Rainy Day/Here’s That Sunny Day,” which also features commentary from interviewees Sharon Finkelstein and L.J. Twair, and “Looking for Laura/Closing Theme,” which features a snippet of Leonhart’s xylophone. The Belgian-born, singer/songwriter David Linx delivers a passionate reading of the Louis Armstrong–associated classic, “What a Wonderful World,” while the Russian-born vocalist/guitarist Ilya Lushtak croons sweetly on the Warren/Gordon composition “I Had the Craziest Dreams.” Henry Bramble, Dean Anderson, and Pats W. Rose contribute some humorous dialogue on the eternal song “As Time Goes By,” which morphs in the Yvinec and de Chassy’s melodic extension, “Time Gone By.”
Guillaume and Daniel felt compelled to explore the power¬ful legacy of American“standards” that has been nourishing every jazz musician, whether American or European, for decades.
The adventure really began the day they decided not to just study this musical repertory on paper, but to actually make it real by living there, in the US. They conducted a musical investigation by chasing memories, where luck and chance encounters took them. Among anonymous passersby they met in the streets and who all sang a capella, it is worth not¬ing the presence of an 86 year old gentleman, named Milt Hoffman. He constitutes the thread of this album, with his memories and comments about this historic period. Nor can we fail to mention Pats W. Rose, who, in order to better illustrate his version of As Time Goes By, doesn’t hesitate to recite from memory the dialogue of Casablanca! And you’ll also hear better known musicians on both sides of the Atlantic (Andy Bey, David Linx, Michael Leonhart), who, for pure pleasure, played along with all their well known talent.
Guillaume de Chassy News