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Imagine yourself in an intimate nightclub, perhaps in Rio or off the coast of Spain. Somewhere warm. The far wall opens to a wooden dock on the sea. The tables are candlelit, and couples talk quietly enough to hear the clinking of glasses and silverware. The lights dim once, there are a few bars of instrumental introduction, and then the singer gently brings the microphone to her lips. She begins to sing about a time and place we wish the world were. She sings about a love triangle. She sings about an old movie, about a town in New Jersey, about coffee, about love.

I met Jacqueline in 1997 when she appeared as a guest vocalist at the Renaissance Hotel. Then in 2000, after my wife and I had returned from New York, we ran into each other at a concert at the Vorstadt Café. I asked Jacqueline if she would like to get together and take a look at a few of my originals; and thus our 24-year long collaboration began.

There are singers who have gifted voices or who can sing well, but not all of them can sing the song. Jacqueline is one of these few.  She has the knack of making music which is vocally challenging sound easy and natural. And the songs presented here often go beyond the vocal range of a pop song, a bossa nova, or a tune out of the American Songbook—all of which are prototypes of the material featured on this album. It has been a privilege to work with her and an honor that she has chosen to bring my songs to life with her special voice.

We continued to meet intermittently without a gig or band in mind. Then in 2002 I suggested to Alegre Correa that I write lyrics to a few of his tunes, and we arranged a recording session with Jacqueline singing, Alegre on drums, and Raphael Preuschl on acoustic bass. That became the first of the three sessions that comprise this CD.

Jacqueline had a throat illness at the time and decided to re-record the vocals, which she did in 2004. Then in 2011 we decided to use the recordings as a basis for an album. We needed more material, so we went into the studio in January 2012 with the same quartet concept, this time with Cuban percussionist Eldis LaRosa, Werner Feldgrill on electric bass, and Thomas Kugi as guest soloist and Rainer Gradischnig on auxiliary percussion.

Afterwards, Jacqueline and I did a few concerts and recording projects, but it wasn’t until 2020 that she decided it was time to remix what we had done previously and finally produce the album. She figured we would need one more song, but I talked her into three. And then she talked me into four. This time we got Brazilian drummer Fernando Paiva and Jacqueline’s regular bassist, Harry Putz, and added a string quartet.

The music presented here is a compilation spanning 20 years; the songs themselves cover a period from 1978-2017. John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet once defined jazz as a balance of art and entertainment. If that’s what we have here, I am pleased. If you the listener can listen to the music both for its message and its mood, we will have been successful. Perhaps it is a swan song, a nod to the past, to a time when things were simpler, when perhaps we felt things deeper, when music revealed the secrets of the heart.