In March 2015, I went to Belgium to make my first album as a leader. I wrote some new material and arranged some standards too. I had always had the idea of recording in Studio Crescendo in Genk, as I had several CDs from there, all of which I liked the sound of. I had also heard great things about Pino Guarraci – the studio owner and engineer. I thought it would be great to play with some of my favourite players from Belgium and Holland, so I called Philippe Aerts, Hans van Oosterhout and Jean Paul Estiévenart. I was happy they all wanted to do it, and I had a great time recording it!
The first time I played with Alice Zawadzki many years ago I just knew we had to work together. It felt natural and easy; she has a beautiful voice and great ears. ‘Lela’ represents exactly what we like to play, with a varied setlist from Handel to Nina Simone.