All Alone -  Background Information


This song was originally written back in the late 1990's and was inspired by personal circumstances. I suppose I was struggling trying to find a good balance in life between travels, music, career and family. I dont think I was very succesful at the time, but I do seem to be learning now at the tender age of 55.

Whatever in 2009 I just had the fortunate chance of meeting the Jazz singer Brenda Frans in Amsterdam at the bar in Voices where we normally practised with the Soul band Dennis Burke's All Stars. The band was in fact in the process of breaking up at the time and the practise sessions had become very dis-organised. On this particular evening I was the only person of a 12 piece band that showed up at the practise session. The lady behind the bar informed me that the practise had been cancelled but asked whether I had time to go through a My Funny Valantine with her. Having nothing else to do I agreed and during our little session Brenda showed up in the practise room. I believe she was giving singing lessons there.

We jammed and I can remember beins very impressed that she seemed to know the lyrics to any song I could play. We exchanged telephone numbers and later she called me up to see if I wanted to try some songs with her. I was not really looking for another band and was certainly not up the standard that she would have been used to, but I did mention that I would like to try some of my songs with her. She agreed and one evening she came for dinner and a short home recording session.

Brenda told me about a project she was doing around her fathers homeland of Ambon in the Indonesian archipel. I think I modified the lyrics to All Alone just slightly to fit the plight of the Mulukan refugees who came to The Netherlands for temporary asilum and a promise to get the country back. However The Dutch government were never able to fulfil their promise to the Mulukkan people and as a result they are still living in large numbers in The Netherlands. Brenda recorded the song basically on the first take, after just hearing it for the first time 20 minutes earlier. Needless to say I was very impressed 1 year later Brenda Frans release her album Touching Souls which is a mix of Joni Mitchell, Indonesian music and Jazz standards. There are some splendid arrangements on the album