"ALL MY LIFE, A Musical Tribute to Woody Allen"
jazz&people, the first French fan funding platform for jazz music, invites you to contribute to pianist Laurent Courthaliac’s new album dedicated to Woody Allen’s cinema.
We are all aware of Woody Allen’s love for jazz… It shapes his movies, it punctuates his comedies and illustrates his dramas, it sticks to his photography like it sticks to New York, the movie director’s home town.
For the past fifteen years Laurent Courthaliac, an active jazz pianist on the scene, has been performing music from Woody Allen’s movies. These songs are everywhere in Mr Courthaliac’s repertoire and in the director’s films, one of the very few film-makers to tap into the tradition of the Great American Songbook to complement his pictures with music.
These timeless songs, composed by George Gershwin, Cole Porter or Irving Berlin, have been studied and absorbed by Laurent Courthaliac with the same passion and accuracy that he manifests towards extending his culture as a cinema lover, rooted in pre-war Hollywood era. Laurent performs these songs every day like others would play their scales.
Hence this album, conceived as a tribute to the movie director, to his musical background, to his love for songs and standards, which are so much at the core of his work.
Two movies for one recording:
Symbolically, Laurent Courthaliac drew his inspiration from the soundtrack of two of Woody Allen most acclaimed movies—iconic of his ties with music—between New York and Paris:
Manhattan (1979), a declaration of love to New York’s magic atmosphere, a movie that is bound to Gershwin’s music which adds some of its unique sense of drama to some of the most evocative sequences in the film... New York City, the birthplace of be-bop, the language of Modern Jazz, which Laurent Courthaliac studied and mastered next to legendary figures such as pianist Barry Harris. It is also where Laurent has developed many musical affinities and friendships that manifest throughout this recording.
Everyone Says 'I Love You' (1996), Woody Allen’s only Musical, a tribute from the director to a unique genre in American culture that heavily contributed to the jazz standard repertoire. In this movie, which takes place in Paris and whose title derives from a song by the Marx Brothers, Laurent Courthaliac discovered the delightful All My Life that gave this album its title.
Laurent Courthaliac is without a doubt “the” most accomplished scholar among French musicians regarding the language of be-bop, the foundation of all modern jazz. As one can read in magazine Telerama, “Laurent Courthaliac has assimilated be-bop, he possesses its (difficule) language and all of its demanding musicality.”
Indeed, there are not many musicians that devote themselves to such a difficult art form, which requires both a very sophisticated harmonic language and a merciless sense of swing. “Barloyd,” his nickname in the jazz world, is among these rare experts.
In 2008, the pianist appeared on Brewin’ the Blues (Plus Loin Music), recorded as a duo with singer Elisabeth Kontomanou, in which he displays not only his beautiful knowledge of the American Songbook, but also his talents as an accompanist worthy of his idols, pianists Tommy Flanagan and Hank Jones. More recently, he released a tribute album to baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, muse of beboppers, featuring the legendary Ron Carter on bass.
“Laurent Courthaliac knows how to instill poetry and beauty into the jazz tradition, which he masters to perfection.” — Yaron Herman
“Laurent is one of the rare pianists who absorbed bebop language and uses it as foundation to develop his pianistic expression. Therefore follows a style where all phrases make sense and posses their own eloquence.” — Jacky Terrasson
After having released two albums in a trio format and one album of standards with Elizabeth Kontomanou, Laurent Courthaliac envisioned this recording in a more orchestral shape. He placed his piano at the center of an eight-piece orchestra, an ideal configuration to combine precise arrangements with the soloists’ inspiration, in order to bring to each chart the swing and the energy of improvisation.
Relying on an impressive line-up of bebop musicians from Paris and New York, Laurent Courthaliac remodels the story of his love for cinema, setting up a musical scene for well-known and overlooked melodies.
Narrating once again his love for Bud Powell and Duke Ellington, Laurent Courthaliac’s piano stands out of these subtly orchestrated sceneries with both assertiveness and elegance.
Listen to He Loves and She Loves (by George Gershwin):
1. He Loves and She Loves (Gershwin)
2. Just You, Just Me (Jesse Greer)
3. All My Life (Sam H. Stept)
4. Strike Up the Band (Gershwin)
5. But Not For Me (Gershwin)
6. You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me (Fain)
7. Looking at You (Cole Porter)
8. Everyone Says I Love You (Marx Bros)
9. I’ve Got a Crush on You (Gershwin)
10. Embraceable You (Gershwin)
Fabien Mary (trumpet)
Bastien Ballaz (trombone)
Dmitry Baevsky (alto sax)
David Sauzay (tenor sax)
Xavier Richardeau (baritone sax)
Laurent Courthaliac (piano)
Clovis Nicolas (bass)
Pete van Nostrand (drums)
Arranged by Laurent Courthaliac, orchestrated by Jon Boutelier
Recorded at Studio de Meudon in April 2015.
Produced by Laurent Courthaliac.
Executive producer: Jenny Augustyn
Follow Laurent Courthaliac on Facebook.