I am also very busy making music and today I have the pleasure to present a new album I recorded with my fellow musicians from the DannyJazz Quartet.
Four years ago we released our first album as a trio and since 2017 we play with a drummer as a quartet plus a singer. The result of this reorientation is an album with 13 originals, all written by our saxophonist and bandleader Daniel Gaggioli. All the lyrics have been written by Mandana, our singer.
The album is called “Sunday” and refers to a line in the song “Only Time For Us”:
Sunday morning in bed, nothing to get up for Blue sky and sun, only time for us
The start of this album goes back to February 2017 when we played very successfully a new program of originals from Daniel Gaggioli. This was also the first performance with our drummer Nicolas Baechler. Some weeks later we had Mandana showing up in our rehearsal room (which is, as quite common in Switzerland, a bunker built for a nuclear war with extra massive doors where no noise goes through and you can rehearse during the night without bothering anyone). She liked the songs and promised to write lyrics to Daniel’s melodies and four months later we went on stage as a quintet. These concerts with Mandana have all been very successful and people loved the songs and Mandana’s singing and that’s where we started to think to make an album.
In January and February of this year we went into the recording studio. We booked again the Splendorstudio in Bern. Big thanks to Sandro Hässler and Martin Kissling for their support during the recording sessions.
A brand new album comes from vocalist, composer and educator Olivia Foschi. It is titled “Fleeting Windows” and the main inspiration of this album comes from her twin boys who were born in 2015. Olivia Foschi was born in San Francisco, grew up in Italy and lives in New York. The excellent line-up of this album features
Olivia Foschi – voice
Gil Goldstein – accordion/piano/Rhodes
Billy Test – piano/Rhodes
Alex Sipiagin – trumpet/flugelhorn
Daniel Dickinson – bass clarinet/flute/tenor sax/alto sax
Joseph Doubleday – vibraphone
Yotam Silberstein – guitar
Marco Panascia – bass
Ulysses Owens Jr. – drums/percussion
The album was produced by Ulysses Owens Jr. and the official release date was August 24, 2018.
Olivia says that “I wanted to make a record dedicated to my sons that would somehow capture the myriad of emotions we went through in these past few years”. The songs were either written for them, inspired by them, or integral tunes within their daily routine.
The album starts with an original from Olivia called “Due To Wake Up Soon”. The song has a nice steady pulse but also a lot of space for the soloists and captures that feeling of easiness in the morning before the daily routine starts.
The second tune “Stay As Sweet As You Are” is the first highlight of the album. Gil Goldstein arranged it in musette-style and Olivia sings this old song with her clean and clear voice fresher than ever.
The album continues with “Firefly”, composed by Kenny Barron and the late Chris White Jr. Olivia included this song in her repertoire after performing it with Chris and the John Ehlis Ensemble. We hear great solos by Alex Sipiagin and Yotam Silberstein. Alex Sipiagin arranged this song in in 7/4 that goes back to 4/4 on the bridge which opened the song rhythmically for Olivia to add some Konnakol (art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South Indian Carnatic music).
“Dreams Come True” is another original by Olivia Foschi, the beautiful arrangement is by Gil Goldstein. A breezy song that modulates between major and minor keys.
“Dienda”, the 5th song on the album is a composition by Kenny Kirkland, known from Branford Marsalis or Sting. This song was included as Olivia’s farewell to Brooklyn. She said: “Sting’s lyrics to “Dienda” reminded me of my decision to leave Brooklyn for a more rural environment as I entered this new ‘season’ in my life as a mother.” In balladesque style, this is one of the softest songs on the album.
The next tune “Pitter Patter” is another favorite of mine. You can here a mother talking to her boys who seem to have too much energy, I really like that catchy phrase “Pitter-patter, what’s the matter, please, don’t fight”. The song gets more open during the solos. This is one of the nice characteristics of this album: catchy melodic phrases alternate with open and very dynamic solo parts.
“Quiet Now” comes next and Olivia explains: “We listen to a lot of Bill Evans in our home, especially when the going gets rough, and his take on Zeitlin’s “Quiet Now” instantly gives me space to breathe within all the chaos. Gil randomly offered to arrange it for the record, so I penned lyrics to it and all of a sudden it was on the track list.” Very tastefully sung and featuring Gil Goldstein and Alex Sipiagin as soloists. Just released and already a classic.
“Look for the Silver Lining” from Jerome Kern starts with Olivia tapping on the kitchen table while singing it to her boys. The song features Joseph Doubleday on vibraphone and an incredible Yotam Silberstein on guitar. The excellent and very rhythmic arrangement is by Billy Test.
The next song “Tiny Toes” is composed and arranged by Olivia Foschi, again very rhythmically, an up-tempo, be-bop style song. Very jazzy, featuring Ulysses Owens Jr. on drums.
“My Life” is the second song composed by Chris White Jr. on this album. Olivia had once a hard time relating to the song and Chris walked her through the song’s underlying intention and phrasing and since then she understood its true meaning. We hear only piano, bass and Olivia singing beautifully.
“Looking Up”, the homage to New York by Michel Petrucciani, closes the album. This song is another highlight for me. The guitar determines the easy Latin-groove and the bass clarinet gives the song it’s special touch.
The eleven songs on the album have all been carefully arranged and show Olivia’s passion for great melodies, open space and rhythmic accentuation. Olivia has a clear and full voice, discreet and present, a real pleasure to listen. The album has also a distinct and unique atmosphere, it’s own spirit, like a total work of art.
There is also a nice video available with some more information about this album: