1. Less Mwa - An original song written by Rouhangeze and Michael with Mauritian creole lyrics. “I came up with the guitar idea which reminded Rou of Mauritian music.” says Michael. ”I suggested that she write the lyric in her Creole language, then I played a Mauritian Ravanne hand drum and a triangle, and the bass guitar. Then my friend Lyn Dobson played flute improvisations on this recording.”
2. Les Vacances au Bord de la Mer – “Holidays by the sea…” with an arrangement based on Stacey Kent’s fantastic recording of this popular French song.
3. Tick Tock - I first heard “Tick Tock” when Beverley Craven, who wrote the song, asked me to record her playing piano and singing this for an ‘unplugged’ album of her songs. Hearing Beverley perform the song brought a tear to my eye, and I realized how meaningful the lyrics would be for so many women. When I played this to Rouhangeze, the lyrics immediately resonated with her own situation… and when she finished recording this, she just couldn’t hold back the tears herself!!!
4. Joe Le Taxi - Rouhangeze heard my version of this Vanessa Paradis hit when we first met and liked it so much that it was the first song we recorded together. The acoustic guitar arrangement is reminiscent of the folk guitar styles of the 1960′s. John McKenzie plays bass while I play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, hand percussion and fingersnaps on this version.
5. Fever - Originally a smash hit for American singer Peggy Lee in 1958, this song has always been a big favourite for both of us.
6. Somebody Else’s Guy Acoustic Version - Rouhangeze asked me if I could play this song much more slowly than the Jocelyn Brown version to allow her more time to develop her vocal phrasings… It turned out very ‘bluesy’! Lyn Dobson plays flute on this recording.
7. There is no greater love - Rouhangeze loved the way Amy Winehouse sang this jazz standard, with lyrics that held lots of personal meaning for her so we recorded this as Rou’s tribute to Amy.
8. Gee baby, ain’t I good to you - I first heard this song performed by Jimmy Witherspoon and just loved the whole thing – lyrics, melody, swing feel… Rouhangeze sings this great and it was a pleasure for me to play the lightly amplified jazzy guitar accompaniment.
9. Natural Woman - The Carole King classic popularized by Aretha Franklin given a re-working with acoustic guitar accompaniment.
10. Walk On By - The Burt Bacharach/Dionne Warwick classic with an ‘unplugged’ acoustic guitar arrangement by Michael.
11. Closer (excerpt from Le Boom Vent Suite) - This is a ‘cover’ of part of a recording titled Le Boom Vent Suite by US soul singer Jill Scott. On our recording of this, I play acoustic and electric guitars and various hand percussion instruments, Lyn Dobson plays alto sax and John McKenzie plays bass guitar.
12. Night & Day - One of Cole Porter’s most beautiful songs. I play my 1940′s Epiphone Broadway acoustic guitar with its ‘floating’ DeArmond pickup through a custom-built Swart SpaceTone combo amplifier using the electronic tremolo setting. Lyn Dobson plays the sax, I overdubbed a shaker and John McKenzie plays the bass guitar. Rouhangeze was inspired by Bebel Gilberto’s version of this song, so we stick closely to Bebel’s version here.
13. Love is a Losing Game - Acoustic Mix - Amy Winehouse wrote this song which I originally recorded as an instrumental tribute to Amy. When Rouhangeze heard this, she immediately wanted to sing the song so we recorded this version.
14. Secret Love - This has been one of my favourite songs ever since I heard Doris Day sing this. Our acoustic version includes the plaintive sung introduction – which no-one else I know of has recorded!
15. Hymne a l’Amour - I play Jim Mullen’s jazz guitar arrangement of Edith Piaf’s famous song, accompanying Rouhangeze who sings this classic French chanson with intensity and passion!
16. Love Letter - I wrote this song many years ago with Steve Thompson who had previously written a hit song called “Hurry Home” by Wavelength. Rouhangeze fell in love with “Love Letter” as soon as she heard it, so we added this to our repertoire.
17. Over The Rainbow - Everybody loves this song, Judy Garland’s signature tune, which Rouhangeze makes her own – singing in her soulful style.
18. The Moment - A song I wrote many moons ago. Rou makes a great job of singing this!
19. (If I had) One Wish - I wrote these lyrics and melody together with Rouhangeze – with us both feeling the pain of recently ended relationships…
20. (Don’t think that) I’m Not Woman Enough - Rouhangeze sings this ‘ballsy’ version of a song I wrote with Winston Sela back in 1982 – sounding hot!
21. Every Little Bit Hurts - Rouhangeze sings this tribute to legendary Motown singer Brenda Holloway, a song that has been covered many times by discerning, soulful vocalists since it was first released in the early 60′s.
22. Somebody Else’s Guy – SaxJamMix - Here is the full, unedited mix of our tribute to Jocelyn Brown. After she has sung the song, this version features Rouhangeze having lots of fun trading ‘licks’ with sax player Lyn Dobson – building the tension all the way until the music finally stops after more than 7 minutes!
23. A Time For Love - I first heard this beautiful song by Shirley Horn when Jim Mullen insisted that I listen to it. I immediately loved the whole thing – the song and the slow Johnny Mandel arrangement – so we decided to record our own instrumental version. Rouhangeze loved this as soon as she heard it, so she sang this great vocal version!
24. When I Fall In Love - Originally recorded as an instrumental featuring jazz guitarist Jim Mullen, this song proved to be a perfect showcase for Rouhangeze’ soulful vocals! Just listen to her amazing empathy with, and interplay between, Jim’s guitar improvisations!
25. Visions - This is my tribute to ‘ the master’, Stevie Wonder, featuring Rouhangeze’s soulful vocals.
26. The Christmas Song - Our jazzy version of the Christmas Song made popular by Nat ‘King’ Cole.
27. After Noon - Rou shows off her bluesy vocal improvisations to great effect on this track!
28. My Way - Here’s a song that has been ‘done to death’ by so many singers since Sinatra that it is difficult not to get bored listening to this… We both thought the same thing about the song, until we heard Aretha Franklin sing it! Aretha pointed the way forward for us and inspired the version that you are about to hear…
29. Walk On By – Sax Mix - Rouhangeze sings this funky version of the well-known Bacharach-David song first popularized by Dionne Warwick. José Joyette plays the drums and John McKenzie plays the bass.
30. Love Letter – Sax Mix - Here’s the latest mix of a song I wrote with Steve Thompson many moons ago. Still a work in progress, I have added synthesised strings and Lyn Dobson plays tenor sax on this version. I played the guitars, Davi Lannes plays the bass, and Ndiaga ‘Issa’ Mbaye plays the drums.
31. Secret Love – Full Mix - I developed this arrangement several years ago with the help of jazz guitarist Jim Mullen who came up with the slightly modified chord sequence and played the jazzy guitar intro. Rou sings this beautifully!
32. Love Is A Losing Game - Written by Amy Winehouse, this is one of our favourite songs of Amy’s. When I met Rouhangeze this was one of the first recordings we made – first as an acoustic version, then as this full band arrangement that I developed!
33. Hymne a l’Amour - Here is the full band version of this classic Edith Piaf song.