travelogue

a good song takes you far

––– CD-Release-concert: Foreclosure: saturday, April 14, 2018, 8.30 pm, Berlin Bar (Luzern) --|||-- concert: saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 pm, Rote Fabrik (Zürich) –––

the light is on

liner notes

it was in late 2010 when i played my first jazz gig at beijing’s legendary cd blues café. it featured coco rouzier, the gutsy and soulful songstress from washington d.c. who had travelled half of the world singing in five star hotels and on cruises. she not only proved to be a first rate jazz singer but also a resourceful entertainer who turned the joint into a boiling pot on that blessed sunday evening. what started out as a nonchalant classy jazz gig turned into a rambunctious party that lasted until the wee hours of the next morning. coco probably knew what she was in for when in the middle of her second set she called on the band to play hernandez’ hideaway, a tango. she had probably heard of the finnish affinity for that dance - as the joint was packed with the remainder of a choir from turku who fully lived up to its reputation. it was not before long that everybody was served severe shots of vodka that had lasting effects on the band as well as the crowd - but i knew then that someday we would record an album together…

while on tour with ‘big john’ zhang ling in summer 2014 we met again in the city of the north and decided that now was the time to put our plan into action. so we proceeded with the preparations over the course of a whole year: exchanging ideas, carefully selecting the songs we wanted to record, chatting and planning.

fortunately, my fab travelogue bandmates were game for our endeavor and we were finally to spend two industrious yet magical days of recording in october 2015. overseeing us and the music in the making was patrik schwitter, our never-tiring engineer and co-producer who meticulously put everything into its right place for the finished album you are now about to hear. (werner tian fischer)

grab your bags and start again

"Smack Dab In The Middle" drops the listener right in the middle of the action. Blinded by the spotlights of a train taking off, you get carried away by the unstoppable playing mood of the well-rehearsed sextet, driven by the relentless swing of the rhythm group which inspires the guitarist to a first stunning solo.

The christening gift of the brand new jazz branch of the West Swiss label PBR Records SA is the third album of Werner Fischer's Travelogue and the first with the superb singer Coco Rouzier (USA) on board.

Impressive how disciplined the musicians roll out their original compositions as well as the classics: Like a flock of fully trained racehorses, they gallop on, sheering out individually from time to time until their boisterous fervor is held back right on the beat by the strong hand of the bandleader, transferring their concentrated power to the stunned listener.

Following the kick-ass start, Randy Newman's gloomy ballad "Baltimore" introduces a quieter stretch. Rouzier’s wonderful melancholic timbre and the relaxed attitude of the train attendants transform the grim view of the lyrics into an experience you can’t get enough of.

Our gut-feeling after the first two songs is expressed in a compliment to the band by stormproof entertainer Coco on "Wait On Love": "The groove is just - wow – I mean it’s tight." We agree.

A skillful instrumental revealing Fischer's flirtation with Chinese culture is followed by the three-part "Transcendental Suite": A deeply felt version of the 70ies classic "Everything Must Change", followed by a brief free interlude which is dissolved by the soothing balm of "Step By Step" - a pleasant breathing exercise guided by Rouzier’s relaxed voice and accompanied by Fischer-Tian’s filigree Gibson. The suite ends with a respectful salute to the "thin white Duke" with the line "Say goodbye to ground control."

Getting off the Transamerican Express, we hop into the waiting Space Shuttle as the pilot takes us for a ride to exoplanet Kepler 452-b, stirring our hopes for a better world. We are welcomed by the bitter sweet "Rescue Me", a smooth bossa nova, spiced up by Jürg Wickihalder ravishingly blowing his heartache into the night.

Yet another retro flash hits us in space: After an intro resembling a slow-motion version of "Walking On The Moon“, the "Wrong Song" turns out to be a hypnotic reggae of the lasciviously intoxicated kind.

Planet earth comes within sight and we land in "A Summer's Tale" - the continuing story of a wonderfully timeless summer, an acapella version of "Summertime" merging seamlessly into the wistful late summer-tune "Summer's End". Expect to hear a silver moon rise above the deserted beach club behind Roberto Domeniconi’s enchanted piano.

After the heartfelt confession of the singer, that "Jazz Is Nothin’ But Soul", the grandiose album closes with a roguish Hammond organ on "Bringing it all back home". The light-hearted conclusion of a wonderfully enriching journey leaving us with lasting impressions and the wish to grab your bags and start again. (jan krohn)

tracks

lyrics

smack dab in the middle (rouzier)

smack dab in the middle
i don’t know what to do
i’ve got to figure it out
how to get back to you

time is the enemy
memory’s my friend
i gotta stick it out
until i see your face again

i wake up crying
feels like i’m dying
i gotta find my way back
back to the middle

i got your picture
hanging on the wall
to keep my heart from
a terrible fall

airline tickets
my bags are almost packed
don’t you fall in love
until i get back

i’m stuck in the middle
of a great love story
i gotta find my way back
back to the middle
yeah

well, i got your picture
hanging on the wall
to keep my heart from
a terrible fall

airline tickets
my bags are almost packed
don’t you fall in love
until i get back

i’m smack dab
i wake up crying
i gotta find my way back to the middle

smack dab in the middle
i gotta find my way back to the middle

baltimore (newman)

beat-up little seagull
on a marble stair
tryin' to find the ocean
lookin' everywhere

hard times in the city
in a hard town by the sea
ain't nowhere to run to
there ain't nothin' here for free

hooker on the corner
waitin' for a train
drunk lyin' on the sidewalk
sleepin' in the rain

and they hide their faces
and they hide their eyes
'cause the city's dyin'
and they don't know why

oh, baltimore
man, it's hard just to live
oh, baltimore
man, it's hard just to live, just to live

get my sister sandy
and my little brother ray
buy a big old wagon
gonna haul us all away

livin' in the country
where the mountain's high
never comin' back here
'til the day i die

wait on love (rouzier)

yesterday, we had that fight
and ever since then things ain’t been right
i said some things you felt were wrong
but it’s time to get real
i’ve got to be strong

i thought that love would be everything
thought by now, i’d be wearing your ring
what a fool i’d be to wait for you
the evidence is clear
you’ve given me the proof

why should i wait? yes, you did
why should i wait? and i’ve changed my mind
why should i wait? i’m not gonna wait on love
why should i wait?

my best friends said i’d become addicted to you
it didn’t matter what they said
there was nothing they could do
because there was no cure to rectify
the thought of you not being around in my life

cause deep down i had to walk away
start a brand new life, a brand new day
in my mind i know what’s right to do
but all my heart knows is that
i’m in love with you

why should i wait? yes, i am
why should i wait? i trusted you
why should i wait? and all your lies
why should i wait? i’m not gonna…

if there’s no love for me, then why should i wait?
you keep lying to me, so why should i wait?
you put everybody before me, so why should I wait?
my heart is heavy, it’s black and blue

i have no strength to walk away, it’s true
you changed your mind
you want more time
and wait for you i will not do
life is short and time is sweet
loving you is killing me
whoa lord, lord, lord

everything must change (ighner)

everything must change
nothing stays the same
everyone must change
no one stays the same

the young become the old
and mysteries do unfold
cause that's the way of time
nothing and no one goes unchanged

there are not many things in life
you can be sure of
except rain comes from the clouds
sun lights up the sky
and hummingbirds do fly

winter turns to spring
a wounded heart will heal
but never much too soon
yes, everything must change

the young become the old
and mysteries do unfold
cause that's the way of time
nothing and no one goes unchanged

there are not many things in life
you can be sure of
except rain comes from the clouds
sun lights up the sky
and music makes me cry

everything must change

step by step (fischer - krohn)

breathe in, breathe out, don't act too proud
breathe out, breathe in, know where you've been
free your mind, try to be kind 
let go of hatred and of evil thoughts

change unchanged remains the same
if you don't move, complain in vain
free your soul, then watch it stroll
be whole, complete, and say goodbye to ground control

rescue me (rouzier)

i don’t touch the sheets
on the other side of my bed
i don’t disturb the pillows
where you used to lay your head

i don’t laugh anymore
i can’t even cry
some mornings i get up
some i don’t even try

i’m still making coffee for two
i leave the key in that spot for you
i go to our corner café
and i wait… and i wait

i turn to the left
i turn to the right
i look straight ahead
no one familiar in my sight
i’m lost… rescue me
oh, i’m lost… rescue me

i still remember when you used to hold me
electricity
when you kissed my lips
magnetic energy

i turn to the left
i turn to the right
oh, i look around the room
i don’t see your face inside
i’m lost… rescue me
i’m so lost… rescue me
i’m hoping that you will take some time and remember me
my darling… don’t you forget about
don’t you forget about me
i need you
i want you, i need you to remember all the good times we had
come and get me, come and find me, don’t you want me back?
come and get me, come and find me, don’t you want?

wrong song (fischer - krohn)

it’s wrong, oh so wrong
wrong all along
whatever you do
it’s wrong, oh, so wrong
so wrong - wrong all the way
bringing me ganja late at night
and turning off the lights
it’s wrong, oh so wrong
so wrong

calling all hours                      
leaving too soon
using your powers
oh darling, to make me swoon
it’s so wrong, so wrong
ever so wrong
wrong, so wrong
whatever you do

listen to reason
don’t get me wrong
darling, believe me
i’m not leading you on
and let me say one thing
let me sing you this song
i love you for being
oh so wrong

summertime (gershwin - heyward)

summertime
and the livin' is easy
fish are jumpin'
and the cotton is high

your daddy's rich
and your mom, she’s good lookin'
so hush little baby
don't you cry

one of these mornings
you're gonna rise up singing
go ahead and spread your wings
and take to the sky

but until that morning
nothing can harm you
with daddy and mommy
standing by

summer ends (fischer - krohn)

summer ends
and living’s getting harder once again
cotton’s dry
and all the birds have flown away

summer ends
the wind is blowing leaves across the land
daddy’s poor
and your mama’s gone astray

don’t cry
hush, hush
don’t cry
all’s fine little baby
all’s fine

summer ends
the sea is lapping gently at the sand
the sun is low
a pale moon’s rising in the sky

 

jazz ain’t nothin’ but soul (mapp)

jazz is makin' do with 'taters and grits,
standin' up each time you get hit,
jazz ain't nothin' but soul!

jazz is livin' high off nickels and dimes,
telling folks 'bout what's on your mind,
jazz ain't nothin' but soul!

trumpets, cassettes, slide trombone,
rhythm, makin' love,
people wearin' fancy clothes,
it's the voice of my people!

for me, jazz is all the truth to be found,
never mind who's puttin' it down,
jazz ain't nothin' but soul!

musicians

coco rouzier – vocals
jürg wickihalder – tenor sax
werner tian fischer – guitar
roberto domeniconi – piano & hammond
fredi meli – double bass
gabriel schiltknecht – drums & percussion

credits

music arranged by werner tian fischer & travelogue

recorded october 6/7, 2015 @ gabriel recording, stalden
additional recording & mix @ patrikschwitter.com

recorded, mixed & mastered by patrik schwitter
photographs by ute schendel, andreas weber & fredi meli
artwork by kate isler & andreas weber

produced by werner tian fischer & patrik schwitter

executive producers: fredy bühler, udo fink, roland gysin, patrik halbeisen, dominik helbling, thomas hildbrand, jan krohn, peter rásonyi, philip robinson, andreas suter, lukas vogel, erich wigger, brigitte & beat züger fischer, theresa e. & remo j.

special thanks: mei tian & chantal tian fischer and all dear friends who supported this endeavor; jan krohn (lyrics), fridolin berger (proofreading), bruno z’graggen (consulting), jonas salvisberg (catering), michael giger (amps), john scofield (vovox cables), jeff jones - the jedi master from jazz at lincoln center, nyc (encouragement and blessings) & ‘big john’ zhang ling - our dear brother in beijing

‚travelogue‘ is endorsed by fuka-fonds der stadt luzern, kulturförderung des kanton luzern & schindler-stiftung ennenda

jürg wickihalder plays selmer saxophones
gabriel schiltknecht plays noble & cooley drums and michael paiste cymbals
werner tian fischer plays a gibson l5 wes montgomery & a martin 000-28 ec

PBR Jazz J300

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special Website: "The light is on"

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