Recorded directly to two-track digital tape on October 5th (#3,6,12), 28th (2,5,7,11) and 29th (#1,8,13), and November 25th (#4,9,10) at Gimmick Studio (Yerres - France).
A sip of your touch… the touch of Chet, the elegant master of music and silences.
When he died I was very sad and felt a loss, but it also made me take my bearings, like a sailor mapping his route...
I wrote the title A SIP OF YOUR TOUCH - almost an anagram of Chet's favourite piece THE TOUCH OF YOUR LIPS - by slightly modifying the harmonic canvas of this standard; I also changed the tempo - which ceased to be a ballad and became a waltz - and composed a new melody, conceived like one of the phrases that Chet used to sing scat. AKITA VIEW is another souvenir, a memory I share with Mickey (Michel Graillier). During Chet's fi rst Japanese tour in 1986, we were snowed in for a few days in Akita after a storm; it was a little town where the concert promoter had a very nice jazz club called The Cat's Walk, and we had some fabulous times there. The theme of this piece, which is quite classical harmonically, is constructed over a rather simple, naive oriental phrase. PIANTRANESE is a forest of magnificent chestnut-trees in Tufo in the Abruzzo region; that was my father's village, and there I discovered a love for the earth; I had my first emotions there, my first gangs of friends, all of them rebels who sang and had guitars for weapons.
That's where the bass played like a guitar comes from, and the folk harmonies. LEAVING is because we often played it with Chet, because it's Beirach's composition, and because of Dave and his playing, which is physical and lyrical at the same time. I also wanted Art Farmer to be on this; he's one of the first great American soloists I played with in Italy when I was much younger.
I REMEMBER YOU - LOVER MAN. It was Art who followed Chet into the historic Gerry Mulligan group. Rachel's DO YOU FEEL WHAT I FEEL is there for her voice, the beautiful melody and the lyrics. I was in Enrico Pieranunzi's quartet the first time I met Chet in Italy .
CHET: I love the dialogue we have here. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU is yet another lucky-mascot theme. I've always liked re-harmonising themes that are standards. I had some great fun with the double stops on my bass on BUT NOT FOR ME.
I'M OLD FASHIONED. I'm very attached to my arrangement of this, and I still play it today. Six years after this recording Joe Henderson played it, to my great delight, on a record by Kitty Margolis, a singer from California I'd heard and liked.
FOR ALL WE KNOW is one of my favourite standards, for the melody and for the lyrics. Frank Sinatra's certainly in my mind here, and especially Billie Holiday.
After years of musical adventures that have introduced me to worlds as different as contemporary music, traditional music and films, for me A Sip of Your Touch remains a kind of marker; it's there to remind me that freshness and sincerity are just as precious as pertinence and depth; and that telling a story, somehow, is always about telling your own story
- Riccardo Del Fra (www.riccardodelfra.net/version%20US/new%20jazoo.htm)