Note: This is the second and final installment of Ran’s thoughts on his July trip to Europe.
It was very nice meeting new and old friends this summer. I was hosted in Toucy by Louis Schneider, a French architect who is currently designing a hospital in Morocco. He has fabulous taste in food and wine and a heroic car driver.
In Brussels, I met Jean-Philippe Allard and Farida Bachir, who were responsible for many of the great Universal Jazz France recordings and have produced albums of Helen Merrill, Abbey Lincoln, Charlie Haden, Randy Weston, and Ornette Coleman. Of course you are all aware of my love of Abbey Lincoln, and a great many of Abbey’s recordings were created by Jean-Phillipe and Farida. While there, we recorded material for two albums, one dedicated to Chris Connor and the other to Claude Chabrol.
I also want to single out is Jesus Manuel Alvarez Fontaneda, who I first met when he came from Western Spain to hear a recital I did in Rome. What a listener he is — he travels all over Europe to support his musical interests. Suddenly I saw Jesus at the Paris concert I did with Sara Serpa.
Being in Paris was extremely exciting and the greatest joy was meeting old friends. I had the pleasure of seeing Yorgos Simeonidis, who flew up for the week from Athens, and Maritza, who is originally from Cuba and who had other business to attend to in Europe. I also met Phillipe Carles, who Jeanne Lee and I met for the first time in Paris in 1963.
The audience that Sara and I drew was not extremely large but there was so much soul and international diversity in it.