The story of “My Songbook” starts a long time ago, in 1979, and each song is a story in itself. That year, on the occasion of my first album with Chet Baker, I had written “Soft Journey” and “Fairy Flowers” for him, which were recorded in instrumental version. A few years later it occurred to me that it would be nice to put lyrics to the music. So i asked a skilled American singer and songwriter to write them, and she found evocative words to those tunes. That’s how “Soft Journey” and “Fairy Flowers” took form into what they are in this album – this is the first time ever that they’ve been recorded in vocal version. Other songs in “My Songbook” have different stories. The lyrics to “Night Bird” “My Heart in a Song” and “Coralie” for example, were written by native English singers who, after having listened to the instrumental versions, asked me if they could put the lyrics, which naturally I appreciated. Then there are a number of songs for which I wrote both music and lyrics – in English or in Italian – and another couple on which I put music on exquisitely virtuous poetry. Among these is “Premier Moment”, a poem as extraordinary as the poet who wrote it, the wonderful, unforgettable, Jacqueline Risset. Many songs, and consequently, many stories. However, I believe the most important one is the union between these songs and the voice of Simona Severini. It was our mutual friend Franco Fayenz who spoke to me about her a few years ago and introduced me to her first important album. When
I listened to it I had no doubts, there was everything in it: talent, intelligence, grace, those same qualities that allowed Simona to imbue my songs with her distinctive vocal personality. I am grateful to her and to all those musicians who eloquently contributed to the fulfilment of this project and collectively hug all of them. I’d particularly like to dedicate a special thought specifically to Franco Fayenz, for having sensed that “elective affinity“ between Simona and myself that has transformed my new musical adventure into a truly special experience.