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My little story...

Paris. It all started with my classical piano lessons and at home listening to my father’s voice as he sang Yves Montand, Jean Ferrat, Maxime Le Forestier, Bourvil… One day my piano teacher, who was passionate about jazz and pop music, introduced me to Rickie Lee Jones. Then and there, I knew that I had to sing.

As a child, I had always been rather independent child, very much used to keeping my own company, and I used to find an easy refuge in activities that required the use of creativity, like drawing and painting, feeling a little stifled by the rigidity of the conservatory. After ten years, I finally quit formal musical training, pushed by the desire to sing and create my own work. I then started to explore my own voice and write my first songs. My piano became then my best companion, always remembering the harmonies of Ravel and Debussy, which had fascinated me since my childhood.

I was really impressed by the depth of Sarah Vaughan’s voice and her marvellous vibrato, as well as by the organic relationship Tori Amos had with her piano, the endless creativity of Björk, or the link between music and painting foundin Joni Mitchell’s work…

Soon afterwards, I had the good fortune of meeting a great drummer, Pascal Rey, with whom I started sharing my music. He was one of the first to be allowed to listen to my songs and I was delighted to learn that he had been touched by my voice and my music. Pascal was at the time working with exceptional guitarist, Sylvain Luc, and so shortly afterwards, and unbeknown to me, Pascal got Sylvain’s manager to listen to my songs. The manager loved them and decided to show them to Sylvain, who said he was deeply touched by my voice and wanted to meet me. I will never forget that day when we were the four of us sitting at the terrace of the Café Etienne Marcel in Paris…Sylvain, Pascal, Alex and I ; I who didn’t know the reason of this mysterious and sudden meeting…

Sylvain Luc, one of the most talented and inventive guitarists I can think of, tells me at that point that he wants to produce my first album... Imagine my surprise, I who had always been very secretive about my songs! At the time, I was teaching Plastic Art at Mantes la Jolie… Of course I had already heard Sylvain play in concerts and we had met each other but he didn’t at the time realize who’s voice he was listening to. He found later on that this voice was mine! I have to admit that the fact that he had made this decision without knowing, made me very happy. Sylvain was really the person who encouraged and convinced me to leave everything and bet everything on my music, which is what I have done.

We recorded my first album Persona at the Studio of Meudon. Sylvain Luc on guitars and production, Pascal Rey on drums and percussions, Philippe Chayeb on bass and me, singing and playing the piano. Cyril Coutand was the sound engineer. These are moments of happiness I will never forget. This was followed up by a second album solo, Motus et Bouche Cousue.

One day I get a message on Myspace and I can hardly believe my eyes… the famous and great American pianist Bob James tells me that he has heard and loved my song Geste humain and adds that he wants to record it in their new album Quartette Humaine with David Sanborn. Also playing in that album are Steve Gadd and James Genus. We started exchanging messages and I decided to go and meet the band at Jazz à Vienne. I found myself surrounded by legendary artists who have made me dream and whom I was watching like we glaze at the stars. What an indescribable feeling to hear my song interpreted by such immense artists. The encounter was as special musically as it was on a human level. Geste humain being the bridge…

Then and there starts an enduring friendship. Bob James offers me to participate in a great project called Music for tomorrow which gathers great artists of many nationalities. The concert’s aim being to show support to Japan and its difficult task of rebuilding after the tragedy of Fukushima and the tsunami. I have had the privilege to participate in two of these concerts, one at the Blue Note in New York, and the other in Fukushima. It was a magic feeling to find myself performing next to legendary artists such as Bob James, Makoto Ozone, Sergio Mendes, John Scofield, Mike Stern, James Genus, Randy Brecker, Will Lee, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Bill Evans, Chuck Loeb, Janis Siegel, or Clarence Penn…

My musical and human adventure with Bob James has never stopped to grow. The same with David Sanborn, who requested that I send him more compositions, and who made me a great gift by covering two more of my songs in his last album Time and the River. Bob James and David Sanborn went on making my dreams come true as they've both played on several of my new songs.

Photo Morgan Roudaut

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