No MIDI, quantizing or Auto-Tune® was used in this production. Mastered with -0,3dB headroom at a dynamic range of 12.5 overall
The CD is a product of chance. I was working on new songs for my vast cover music repertoire and was adding some bossa nova tracks. I fell in love with the Brazilian beat and started experimenting with pop songs. I began to notice that songs like Imagine sounded very interesting when spiced up with the slow samba. After a few weeks I had already adapted 25 pop songs and so the idea of producing a CD was born. The initial idea was to make it a band project with a producer but it was hard to get everybody together in time, so I decided to do it on my own. However, I invited some very talented musicians who gave their invaluable contributions. Click on the songs below for details.
Fly Me To The Moon was the second song I recorded for this CD.
I added the rarely heard intro: "Poets often use many words..."
in order to pay tribute to Bart Howard's original composition.
In the "good old times" it was common to add an intro to a composition that
was musically apart from the rest of the song. Unfortunately in our "new civilized times"
where time is money those beautiful intros have forfeited.
Over the Rainbow
and As Time Goes By
are fine examples of modern song amputations. Just A Gigolo
is another one. Click on the three links to be surprised.
The sax was played by Achim Jankowski and the fabulous guitar work
was elaborated by Ralph Ehlers who are longtime friends and co-musicians.
Watch my little selfmade video clip of this timeless classic:
Jim Steinman, the lord of excess penned this incredible heartbreak power
ballad in 1983 for Bonnie Tyler. Numerous remakes and covers have been produced
since, but none is halfway instrumental focusing chiefly on piano and rhythm like this one.
The sax played by Achim replaces the lead singer in the intro and the angelic "turn around"
voice was lent by Nikka, my co-singer and duet partner.
In the early eighties I was a big fan of Jim Steinman and his Bat Out Of Hell album with
Meat Loaf but Total Eclipse Of The Heart was blasting the music world away in 1984 with
its unprecedented power and blown-up composition technique in a piano based slow song. Steinman went
where no pop music composer had gone before and created a masterpiece of dark love that not only
became a theme song for suicidal Emos but a huge worldwide mega-seller.
I opted for the wisely translated Spanish lyrics that are even more sinister than Steinman's original:
Eclipse total del amor!
Diana Ross once criticized Jim by asking: "Is everything horrifying and dark, don't you have anything
positive to say?" Steinman replied: "Well, I'm positive everything is horrifying and dark." *LOL*
I do not now whether there is a hit song on this CD but if I were to pick one
it'll be Stand By Me. And that is not completely but mostly due to Ralph's
fabulous guitar work. His solo is so delicate and though the rhythm guitar he lay underneath
may hardly be audible it adds substantially to the groovy bossa rhythm boldly "stolen"
from a free Youtube recording.
Ralph's guitar blends very well with my piano and Ben King would hopefully not dislike this adaption.
Why Dieter Bohlen? A German lalala-producer with a reputation for taking ideas
from others rather than inventing his own stuff. Well, the song is good and Bohlen's
former lead singer Thomas Anders beautifully reduced their first smash hit to the max by having
it jazzed up and inspiring me. Watch it here.
My version is a duet between the charming Nikka from Wiesbaden and me. Some effect sounds from the eighties were added
to pay tribute to the genius of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis from Flyte Time
and Roger Troutman† from Zapp.
The unofficial "unnational anthem" of the New World Order (NWO)
is not my favorite song but one has to acknowledge that
the cleverly written lyrics sound tempting even though they obviously dwell
on the idea of a one-world government with no room for God, religion,
countries or personal belongings.
However, democracy by definition is impossible without countries and even
religion with all its downsides is surely helpful in providing a moral glue
for society. Also there is more than one reason to doubt whether a one-world
government by taking away our belongings (and by banning cash) will bring
about a world order where there's no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of men.
But let's talk about the song:
There are so many cover versions out there that it was not easy to make Imagine shine
in a new light but the CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! project from Toronto gave the
creative input and Achim on sax and Ralph on guitar shone through again beautifully.
My musical idol and inspiration for at least a decade was Prince and having
When Doves Cry on this CD was not due to the Prince's eerie passing on the Queen's birthday but due to my veneration
for the Minneapolis born prodigy. This song was a huge hit in the mid-eighties and
when I found the original CHOIR!CHOIR!CHOIR! performance
with just an acoustic guitar accompaniment I was so moved that in just 3 days I finished
adding all the other instruments, my vocals plus the video below.
Click it and you'll be moved too!
Of course the end is fake since I was not in Toronto. Instead I cleverly edited the cheering crowd and put my final praise on top of it to make it sound real.
Peter Cetera is a high-pitched tenor and I am technically a bass-baritone,
so to sing one of his self-written ballads is impossible for me, but it is not
impossible to change the key and the rhythm which is what I did and I hope
you like it.
It was actually one of the hardest tracks to produce for this album because of
the tricky rhythmic syncopation with a lot of stop and goes. It took 3 weeks to
Singer/songwriter, magician and brilliant entertainer Jerry Canizales from Costa Rica
was my preferred lead singer for the former latin hit by Roberto Carlos and
his brother Erasmo who are living legends in Latin-America with a stockpile of hits
and beautiful songs in their ever-growing catalogue.
Jerry has become a great friend of mine even before I started working on this CD.
I first saw and heard him at Frankfurt Maritim Hotel singing his heart out and
entertaining people with his unique style that is not contrived but part of his great personality.
My original idea to have a genuine Brazilian bossa musician on all tracks went awry but for
Cama Y Mesa, my first recording, I was able to "lure" Brazilian guitarist Ivan
Santos. Ivan is a prolific singer/songwriter who in 2005 won a Grammy in Los Angeles
for best Brazilian song in Portuguese language. He lives and performs in the Frankfurt
area and made his contribution by lending his guitar skills. You can see and hear Ivan
in all major hotel bars, performing night after night, living his dream of being a
successful full-time musician.
I have never heard a cover of Cama Y Mesa and though I am sure there are several I guess
my accentuated bossa beat adds a new twist and with Ivan's guitar and Jerry's fine vocals it has
become a new potential latin hit... reloaded.
I love this song. I mean, I really love this version because few people have
dared to downsize one of the world's biggest dance hits and make it a ballad,
adding a Brazilian rhythm.
Brazil is a huge country with 200+ million people and I am sure someone has
"bossafied" this song before but being German I have given it my perfectionist
touch and changed it with minute attention to detail. Especially with the left-hand
piano pattern in the beginning and end playing the original bass line.
I have never been a huge Michael Jackson fan (song no. 6 gives you a clue as to why)
but Billie Jean is a masterpiece and he wrote it. Props to his undisputed genius!
Mandy was probably the first song I was able to play on the piano and sing to it.
Since then I have performed it countless times and I have even released it on all
my previous CDs. However, this time I have recorded it as an instrumental with a
driving bossa nova beat underneath.
The CD title from Bossa with Love is an allusion to my love for Bossa and Russia,
using the lemma from the old James Bond movie even though there is no Russian
song on this record. However, Russian cover art model Жанна has given a sexy
contribution by lending her impeccable legs to my CD layout.
I have always been interested in the sensual side of life and so I guess it was fair to add
two sensuous pictures to my latest production. Even more so with this sensuous music
and my amicable connection to Russia and Ms. Arzili
I have played and arranged all the instruments on this one.
As you can see from the dates this song was the one that gave me the most headache.
I sang it 4x in different moods and occasions and I changed the saxophone
almost a dozen times until I was satisfied. The metrics were enhanced or reduced
throughout the mixing process and the dynamics broadened from an initial DR 10
to an optimal range of 13.
The original is a Viennese Waltz blues(!) and turning it to a 4-beat bossa was a
tough struggle to begin with. I even tried to sing it the Joe Cocker way which failed
until I finally found my own style.
Gary Moore's song is an unacknowledged replica of a 1945 French chanson that became famous as the jazz classic Autumn Leaves
by the late great Nat King Cole et al. The verses follow the Circle of
Fifths, a harmonic sequence that is based on the mathematical phenomenon
known as the Golden Ratio
which is a physical constant in nature often being referred to as the "Divine Proportion".
The famous instrumental part between the verse and the chorus is probably widely
responsible for the huge international success of this sixties track by
Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.
However, here the emphasis is on the verse, chorus and the bossa beat.
The middle part is colorized and adorned solely by Ralph's guitar and my piano.
The original brass section was left out to give the song a slightly different sound after perceived 1000+ covers of this classic.
In 1995, I personally met composer Armando Manzanero in Montevideo the day after his spectacular Cena Show
and spent an unforgettable afternoon with the Mexican genius and his wife. In a bar in the historic district of the Uruguayan capital
I sang the famous tango Uno for him that subsequently he incorporated in Luis Miguel's
next album Romances, making me proud of having contributed a petty fact to the career of Latin-America's Frank Sinatra.
I once went thru a similar situation described in the song (huele a peligro = smells like danger)
and so I could always relate to Manzanero's vivid description of secret love and I included it for the sake of adding
a bonus track to the CD without bossa, in fact no rhythm at all.
I have played and arranged all the instruments on this one.
This is a remix of Jerry's great performance with a few tweaks here and there but
mainly to showcase my son's
amazing wording skills in his mother tongue. At the time of recording he is 19 and has a great musical talent but for now he is focusing
on rap music which is how I started too.