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“53rd Street” reflects techniques I have developed over many years in my attempts to embrace, capture and convey musical worlds which are close to my heart and relate to important events in my life. My interpretation is linked to the authenticity of this approach that mixes jazz, children’s songs, Yiddish themes and my own compositions. Why children songs? As an educator teaching very young children, I have learned from them the ability to handle mistakes and the meaning of action: “to do is to succeed”… A child is not an adult in the making but a fully fledged being, with an approach to life that adults would do well to emulate. These songs are a tribute to childhood; to those little improvisers who believe, rightly, they can do what they like and who always surprise me with their constant musical turnarounds. They are the ones who really taught me the art of surprise, of rupture and improvisation… Why jazz? Jazz is for me the music of rebirth, or real awakening to life. These are the standards that, as a 4-year-old, I used to listen to on the record player of my adoptive father, Max – “Uncle Music” who would definitely come into my life. After 4 years of darkness following the death of my father, jazz reassured me that life could be happy again. Through improvisation, jazz revealed to me that any man can reinvent himself by realizing dreams that beg to appear. To me, jazz means life and creation. Yiddish music has the same properties as blues and Portuguese Fado. It expresses pain and the hope of a better life. This is music from the heart, deeply authentic. It is also the music of my roots… To realize this project as a duo, Gary Peacock was the ideal partner – a musician whose skills in listening and understanding the proposals made to him are considerable. Most importantly, he constantly responds with his own input and brings about the unexpected, opening spaces into which we can rush, like new horizons towards which the duo ascends continuously. Robert Kaddouch


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