Have A Little Paris On Me
eight years in Paris was a life changing experience. I threw myself
into the culture and embraced all that Parisian life had to offer.
I made lifelong friends, learned new skills and was exposed to
the kinds of situations that would never present themselves to
the typical American tourist. I came back home with a deep abiding
love and respect for French life, its culture and its people.
am a singer and I express myself best through song. I put together
a group of songs that would share my experiences with the listener.
I tried to create my own 'mini-musical' that followed the arc
of my discoveries, joys, sorrows and rebirth. I had so many songs
to choose from; so many of which illuminated the funny, the ironic,
the poignant and sometimes, the French bombastic point of view.
A few are original, rarely sung jewels. They each help tell my
story. It's Paris through my eyes and heart.
me tell that story is a group of collaborators whose own passions
for music and all things French matches, if not, exceeds my own.
I may have come up with the idea for this CD but I certainly didn't
snap my fingers and "voila" it just came into being.
I had the inordinately good fortune of working with some immensely
first met David Andrews Rogers
when he was conducting the First National Tour of Hal Prince's
award-winning version of Show Boat . He is co-executive producer,
arranger, musical director, pianist, hand-holder, coach, jack-of-all-trades
and a dear friend! Whenever I faltered or would have self doubts,
David was always there for me with a ready smile and strong words
of encouragement. The making of this CD was made so much easier
because of him. I cannot thank him enough. Did I mention that
he also looks absolutely divine in a tux?
Trueblood was my very first vocal coach upon my arrival in
New York City. He patiently taught me the difference between singing
cabaret in New York as opposed to singing cabaret in France. His
ear for phrasing and finding new nuances in lyrics created a fierce
desire in me to "tell the story". Paul helped me put
together and was musical director of my very first one-woman show
"You Don't Know Paree!" which was nominated for a MAC
Award. He also composed my semi-autobiographical signature song
had the marvelous experience of working with Peter
Matz before he passed away in August, 2002. He had a long
and successful career as an accompanist, music arranger, conductor
and composer. He worked with Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Carmen
MacRae, Rosemary Clooney, Nancy LaMott, Barbara Cook just to name
a few. I found out from working with him, that he was a wonderful,
lovely, warm human being and, quite honestly, I am still pinching
myself in response to his decision to work with me on this project.
He will be sorely missed. I hope I make him proud.
met Shelly Markham at the
Eugene O'Neil Cabaret Symposium in Connecticut. We spent many
an hour walking along the beach discussing life, music and how
we would love to work with each other some day. That day finally
arrived when Shelly graciously stepped in to be my musical director/pianist
for a series of performances I did in Los Angeles. Shelly had
a hand in helping me to discover new material, reinterpreting
old material and having tons of fun in the process. He is soigné
from the top of his nose to the tip of his toes.
first "met" Daryl Kojak through my ears! I heard the
arrangements he had done for Stephanie Pope on her CD "Now's
The Time To Fall In Love" and I was smitten! He is an absolute
marvel to work with! I admire him for so many things: his passion
for music, his diverse approach to a piece using various styles
and nuances, his knowledge of hands-on production in a studio,
his willingness and patience to listen to all of my ideas, no
matter how "out there" they might be and his generosity
with sharing his knowledge with a neophyte such as myself. I count
myself fortunate indeed, for having had the good sense to listen
with my ears and follow my instincts to such a treasure!
seems I have known Gene Davis
all of my life. But no, it's only been 14 years! He had come to
Paris to film one of his myriad documentary projects and we have
been dear friends ever since. Here is a man who can sing the lyrics
to almost every song ever written by the Giants of the Standard
Song. His personal album collection numbers in the thousands.
He is the only person I know who has all the albums Marilyn Monroe
ever recorded (who knew?) not to mention Ella, Carmen, Billy,
Barbra, Tony, Frank, Eydie, Sarah and the list goes on and on!
He knows his way around phrasing a lyric too. He brought the history
of song along with his expertise as a writer, producer and passionate
aficionado of the sung word to this project.
would like to give special thanks to my father, Oscar Decoudreaux,
who made it possible for me to finish it!