Bonjour de Paris ...
Things are a blur! I looked at the previous entry I wrote from May and read about our Hommage à Ella Fitzgerald concert at Sunside Jazz Club on April, 25th. Yesterday we were asked to do an encore performance of the repertoire from that concert at Sunside on July 14th. (Yes that is Bastille Day!) Leslie is singing on a late afternoon concert in Le Mans that afternoon, her train gets back to Paris at 8:30 pm. We start our first set at 9:30 pm. What could go wrong!
Yesterday we spent nine hours in the studio making our first recording since we moved to Europe. We actually recorded nine tracks in about six hours, a number of them were first takes. The studio was very good. I had the choice of a Steinway or Fazioli piano for the session. The first trio record I made in L.A. in 1998 was on a Fazioli so I was drawn to that instrument, but the Steinway had a gorgeous sound and played really well so I ultimately chose it. The engineer was also very good. I was always impressed with the guys that engineered our sessions in L.A. They never did anything to slow down the work, and they anticipated what we wanted to do next and were prepared for it. The engineer we worked with here in Paris was of that same caliber. This was a great source of worry for me and one of the reasons why I hesitated to record since we left California. I was so grateful that the stars aligned and we were able to get an open date at that studio that worked with the schedules of four musicians who are regularly in and out of town. It took many phone calls to get it done, but we did it. http://studio-de-meudon.com/en/
Leslie trying out the Steinway in the studio.
Mourad listens to a playback of a take.
Peter clearly toward the end of a nine hour session.
Clément engineered the session and kept things moving.
So during the time that we were recording Leslie was also trying to get her travel schedule worked out so that we could accept that July 14th date at the Sunside Jazz club. How is that for multi-tasking? We were able to book the same guys that were on the recording session for that Sunside date as well. http://www.sunset-sunside.com
Since Bastille Day is, shall we say, very festive, in Paris, it will be interesting getting home after that gig. We can walk home if we have to, but after the day that Leslie will have had, doing two concerts in two different towns, I suspect she won't be thrilled about that prospect.
Regarding the new recording, we have some decisions to make in choosing which tracks to use, the artwork, etc. We won't actually manufacture any CD's till the fall because there is just too much to do in order to make that happen. But we do plan to mix and master the tracks in L.A. and have them available on download cards for our concerts in the U.S. this August. For this record we went in a different direction from what we have done in the past. I am not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with the changes in our lives since we moved to Europe. Or perhaps it is simply the natural progression of looking for new music to explore having had our fill of the music that we have been performing for many years. Of course I am curious to get your responses after you have a chance to listen! So feel free to contact me with any thoughts you may have.
At the end of June we were in London to visit a friend of ours. We spent a day running around to the usual sites two of which included the London Bridge and Borough Market. That was just a few days before the attacks that occurred in those locations. Leslie reminded me that she was in the Charlie Hebdo neighborhood the day before that attack, we were on the Champs-Élysées the night before a knife attack on a policeman that happened there, and she was near Notre Dame the day a policeman shot and killed a man who had attacked another officer with a knife. I am thinking that one of us should buy a lottery ticket or just to be safe, no one that we know should actually spend any time with us.
Our Aug. 2nd "Laguna Beach Live" concert is sold out. We are very grateful to you all for making that happen for us.
We hope to set up some opportunities to hang with friends, and not be working! In the past we have had some luck meeting at the bar in the Hotel Laguna. So I'll let you know if and when we can make that happen.
Please tell anyone you know in Cleveland that we will be working at The Bop Stop on August 3rd. Tickets are available at http://www.themusicsettlement.org/calendar/2017/08/03/leslie-lewis-quartet-with-special-guest-jack-schantz-bop-stop
Tickets for the "Jazz At The Merc" concert in Temecula on August 17th are available at https://tickets.temeculatheater.org/eventperformances.asp?evt=244.
Please check our website for our July dates. We have the usual jazz club gigs in and around Paris including Chez Papa Jazz Club as well as Le Speakeasy and Monteverdi. While you are on our website please sign up for our weekly email blast to learn where you can hear us.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
Please if you have any comments feel free to contact me at <email@example.com>. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. This email also appears on our website where you may comment as well. http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/