Boulevard is the second single from the collaboration between French jazz singer extraordinaire Camille Bertault and composer John Finbury. With French lyrics penned by Camille herself, she is joined by organist Larry Goldings, known for his work with Pat Metheny, Maceo Parker and James Taylor (among many others) and drummer Billy Martin, of the famed trio Medeski, Martin & Wood
Music by John Finbury
Lyrics by Camille Bertault
Vocals – Camille Bertault
Organ – Larry Goldings
Drums – Billy Martin
Produced By Emilio D. Miler & John Finbury
Arrangement by John Finbury, Thalma de Freitas & Emilio D. Miler
Mixed by Pablo San Martin at Esoteric Sound Studio, France
Mastered by Alex Psaroudiakis at The Workshop, Norwalk, CT
Cover Art by Anne Smith
Creative Design by Patrick McDonough
Graphic Design by Mike Gurley
Boulevard – Lyrics by Camille Bertault
En observant de dedans le monde de dehors
J’aperçois tout un théâtre en essor des
fenêtres de scènettes se font de l’oeil Tandis
que de mon nuage je les cueille là tout en
haut un bouquet d’ombres et ici une lueur
dans la pénombre fenêtre sur cour
À contrejour Côté jardin, un
boulevard va se jouer les acteurs
La pluie applaudit du trottoir
En saisissant en plein vol ces histoires
Volatiles qui s’échappent des tiroirs je
paresse et me délecte à les boire jusqu’ à
ce que le rideau tombe sur le soir
Et voilà qu’une fenêtre se ferme
Laissant éveillée une lanterne
Un chat se fond dans l’horizon
Une gouttière pose pour une môme solitaire
Je laisse tomber mes paupières
By observing the world from outside
I see a whole booming theater
stage windows are easy to see
While I pluck them from my cloud
up there a bunch of shadows
and here a glow in the half-light
window on courtyard
Against the light
On the garden side, a boulevard
are going to play the actors are getting ready
The rain cheers from the sidewalk
By catching these stories in full flight
Volatiles escaping from drawers
I laze around and enjoy drinking them
until the curtain falls on the evening
And lo and behold a window closes
Leaving a lantern awake
A cat melts into the horizon
A gutter poses for a lonely kid
I let my eyelids drop
Lyrics by Camille Bertault
Copyright © 2021
His earliest music education and influence came from his father Herb, a musician (violin) and one of the first jazz composition students at the Schillinger School in Boston, which would later become Berklee College Of Music. In his teenage years, John played rock & roll drums, most notably at the “The Bitter End” in New York City. In college, John studied classical piano and music theory and composition at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge and Boston University.
Seeking another connection to music, John ran a legendary movie house and concert hall in Salem, MA, hosting performances by BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, REM, Eric Burton and The Animals, and Pat Metheny, among many others. In a parallel life, John has been a practicing attorney for 35 years, though you’ll never hear him refer to his law practice as a “day job”, but rather his other “profession.”
John married his lifelong muse Patty Brayden, who sings and is a frequent collaborator as a lyricist; they have often performed locally as part of the Jazz Sextet “Day For Night”. John’s old friend Ned Claflin (who has also worked with Madonna and Martin Sexton) is another important associate in the lyrics department.
In what he recognizes as his first professional commission as a composer, in 1979 John wrote and recorded a soundtrack for “Portraits from the 2 O’Clock Lounge”, a TV documentary by Fred Simon produced for WGBH Boston. The R&B and pop songs he wrote and recorded in the early 80s have garnered current critical attention, with many being acquired in 2014 by Fervor Records. This renewed interest in his music sparked a new era in John’s composing focused on his longstanding interest in the beautiful music of Brazil.
In October 2014 John released an EP of four original songs of Brazilian Jazz called “The Green Flash”. All four songs were nominated for The American Songwriting Awards in 2015, with “SambaDan” winning the award for Best Instrumental.
2015 saw the release of “Imaginário,” an album consisting of 11 original songs of Brazilian jazz featuring vocalist Marcella Camargo, accompanied by some of Boston’s finest musicians, including longtime members of Paquito D’Rivera’s band Oscar Stagnaro and Mark Walker, Tim Ray, and Grammy-winning guitarist Claudio Ragazzi.
In 2016, Finbury shocked the Latin Music scene when a cut from “Imaginário” called “A Chama Verde,” was nominated for a Latin Grammy for “Song Of The Year.”
In 2017, John released his second Brazilian jazz-infused album “Pitanga” with the same lineup, which received critical acclaim.
Finbury’s album “Sorte!”, in collaboration with Brazilian singer-songwriter Thalma de Freitas was released in May 2019. With music by John and lyrics and vocals by Thalma, they recorded six original songs at The Powerstation Studios in New York City, produced by Latin Grammy winner Emilio D. Miler, who assembled an All-Star band featuring Vitor Gonçalves, Chico Pinheiro, Duduka de Fonseca, John Patitucci, Rogerio Boccato and the legendary Airto Moreira. On November 21, 2019, “Sorte!” Was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
In May 2020, John released two new albums of original music: American Nocturnes- Final Days Of July" presenting intimate chamber jazz instrumental music uniquely arranged for piano, cello, guitar, accordion, and harmonica, and a new Latin Jazz album, QUATRO, featuring Magos Herrera, Chano Domínguez, John Patitucci, and Antonio Sánchez.
In 2021, following news of the death of Chick Corea, John and Thalma de Freitas composed and recorded the song "Ring The Bells" in tribute to the great jazz master.
During the pandemic, John began an artistic collaboration with French jazz singer extraordinaire, Camille Bertault. They recorded two singles: "Look At What A Mess You Made Of Me" in which Camille teamed up with bassist Christian McBride (released 9/1/2021) and "Boulevard" with lyrics by Camille recorded with organist Larry Gouldings and Billy Martin on drums (release date 10/1/2021).