My love and passion for Jazz & Swing originated in very early days at the age of ten and this music has been playing a major part in my life ever since. I doubt many young boys fall in love with the stories sang by century talents such as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, or Dean Martin but for me, it was a whole new world of tunes, when I first got to listen to them thirty years ago.
This music was also my motivation to learn the percussions and to start working with my voice very early on. I would stand in my room, holding the remote control of my first stereo, picturing it to be a golden microphone while dreaming of standing on a beautiful stage, wearing a tuxedo and singing to a fabulous crowd. As I grew older, I also grew fonder of the lovely poems and stories expressed in many of these songs. I always enjoyed the fact that this particular music genre simply offered the perfect song and tale for any occasion and situation in life. I mean, where else can you find this?
With the years, I laid the foundation to become a private banker, my actual profession for soon twenty years now, but the passion for this music and music in general always acted as a faithful companion throughout the years. Singing regularly was not only a joy but also a necessity for me. I moved from Frankfurt to the Swiss mountains, then to Boston, and eventually to Zurich, my adopted home today. The great classics from the roaring 20’s onwards were always in my suitcase and they did not only fulfill me with joy but they also provided me with comfort and strength.
Producing a record of my own had been a dream for most part of my life, but it required age, courage, and resources. Only by 2014, I came around to produce my first album “The Essential”, a selection of fifteen classics from the “Great American Songbook” with the exception of one charming German song, which I partially chose to pay tribute to my roots.
All of this was only possible due to the contacts and friendships I had built over the years when singing live with wonderful musicians at special family gathering or other occasions. And it is thanks to my dear friend Peter Reiter-Schaub, that I was able to bring my first project to life in first place. He worked out the beautiful arrangements that impressed me in all these years and made sure to find the right musicians to bring my very own versions to life. Without his exceptional talent, none of this would have ever been possible.
End of 2016, I was able to release my second album “When the World was Young”, which mostly continued where I had left my listeners a couple of years earlier and contributed greatly to my dream – to make some of the most beautiful music ever written, just a tiny bit, my own. The album also went digital and it was nice for me to experience that some of my music even made it to various Jazz radio channels in Europe.
Then, by December 2018, I released my third record, “All or Nothing at All”, where my listeners where able to experience my continued passion for the American classics and my interpretations of an unparalleled chapter of music history. With twenty-one songs, it was, until recently, my most determined and largest project, also reaching the digital world with regular listeners from all over the world using YouTube, Spotify and all the others channels. This was a new experience to me and it was great to see how digitalization could enable a hobby to reach many.
After the almost traditional break of one year, I managed in end of 2019 to motivate my incredibly talented friend Peter and some of the finest musicians out there, to work together with me once again on my fourth studio production. This time around, it would demonstrate to be most ambitious, with almost 80 minutes in playing time and hardly fitting on a traditional CD record.
The theme and hence the cover song of the album “soliloquy” had been clear to me for a very long time. This magnificent musical story and orchestration from a show called “Carousal”, by Rodgers & Hammerstein, dating 1945, has been following me for thirty years now and with its length of almost eleven minutes, it surly belongs to the record pieces of its time and genre. Soliloquy, an old fashion synonym for monologue, is a beautiful story about pride, love, and responsibility that a young father figure feels for his son or daughter. Therefore, I can very much relate to this beautiful story and many of you will too.
Enjoy and thanks for listening!
Alexander M. Thoma, Zurich, December 2020