Two initials, akin to the sun and the moon, two magical circles, where all the lights shine within. Light of day, light of night, of the swing and blues, of this jazz that Olaf Olsen has made an everlasting repertoire, from the heart, with his baritone voice graced of a thousand nuances, a palette of emotions.
Born in Germany, he first studied singing and classical music. He cultivated his passion for the great storytellers of the 50s, Anita O’Day, Peggy Lee, Shirley Horn as well as Johnny Hartman, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett. Finding within the melodies and rhythms of these crooners and jazz divas, the source of a long-lost dream.
Hollywood’s golden age: a memory that lives inside him. Indulging in his bittersweet intonations the way you would a Ginger Champagne, or another one of his cocktails of which only he holds the secret.
Without nostalgia, Olaf Olsen knows how to conjugate Slim Aaron’s vision in the present, as a true charmer he knows how to juggle with his idols’ notes wrapping the romance of the fifties with the softest caress. His “lovely afternoons” make the LA palm trees bloom while riding a Cadillac Eldorado, his “Long Goodbye” is a traveling rhythm of the Mittel Europa to the new world. Wherever we find ourselves, with him, every song is a journey, An invitation to celebrate life, like a beautiful escape, at the wheel of a convertible.
It’s Anne Ducros that first opened the doors of the Duc des Lombards for him, where he started out, before meeting some of New York jazz legends,Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, and Annie Ross. With these women, this self-taught epicurean found his voice, with a cosmopolitan, singular, and radiant ease.
With Olaf Olsen, the jazz of the cellars is emancipated, leaving the marked paths, diverging on the wild side. What did he flee to revive, intact, this joy? With the complicity of Pierre Christophe, his pianist with whom all the arrangements were shaped, The tracks such as Sentimental Journey, The Thing We did Last Summer, You Turned the tables on me, shed light on this desire for happiness, turquoise, pink and gold. The palette of an inspired collector.
The twelve tracks in the repertoire of his first album « Sentimental Journey » alternate between joy and darkness, where the heart beats to the eternal rhythm of “Love is the Thing”.