This CD, Half and Half / Moitié-Moitié has its roots in the music of the past, but the sound is really current. This recording was a natural transition for me after performing Pop Jazz tunes at local public venues in Northern California. Being French, I naturally chose French tunes that became Jazz and Pop Standards in the US.
Despite the fact I was singing them half in French, half in English, I noticed that most of the time, audiences didn’t know they were originally French! This is a way for me to pay tribute to those who created these beautiful tunes that generations have been enjoying.
As an artist, I’ve been inspired and influenced by musicians such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, but also icons like Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and George Michael. This CD is the result of these influences.
The CD is also a bridge between 2 cultures, 2 countries: France & the United States. Even though most were hits in their English version: The Good Life from Tony Bennett; What Now My Love, Frank Sinatra; C'est si Bon, Dean Martin; Autumn Leaves, Nat King Cole; Beyond the Sea, Bobby Darin; all the songs on this CD are of French origin.
Finally, this CD is my way of thanking the United States, a country that opened its arms to me. My time in this country has been one of discovering, learning and growing as a man and artist by meeting many wonderful people. My life has been filled with dreams since I was a little boy in Paris. Some have been fulfilled, some are yet to come!
BORN IN PARIS, FRANCE, Laurent Fourgo grew up in the southwest suburb of Paris and began studying the saxophone, then the oboe before deciding that singing would be his main instrument.
One person who encouraged his interest in music was his father, an avid fan of all the early American Rock’n’Roll music of the Fifties and Sixties masters such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Fats Domino, and Jerry Lee Lewis. "I think Papa had every recording Elvis Presley ever made and I tried to learn as many as I could."
Another influence was his paternal grandmother who’s been a passionate singer since childhood. She’s been singing for friends and family all the hits from before and after the Second World War. While spending summer vacations every year in the South West of France, Laurent had the opportunity to listen to tunes from the 30s, 40s and 50s that he would have never heard without being around his grandmother. She told him that his grandfather (who died before he had a chance to get to know him) was also a singer, as well as an accordionist. “Singing was in my blood – there was no way to avoid it!” said Laurent.
After starting his first band during his military duties and getting his Masters in Business in the southwest of France, America would be his destination. “Since age 10, I knew I wanted to live in the US: the desire possibly inspired by movies and music I was exposed to during my childhood”. Laurent landed in San Francisco, put his band together and began performing at various clubs and private parties.
In 2006, Laurent releases his debut album Half and Half / Moitié-Moitié. The album is the first produced by Laurent Fourgo and co-arranged with Malcolm Granger, a graduate of Berklee College of Music. With this album, Laurent has created a unique recording of eight Pop Standards with original arrangements. Listen to his take on Gilbert Bécaud's timely bluesy jazz, What Now My Love / Et Maintenant or the warm Bossa I Wish You Love / Que Reste-t-il De Nos Amours?. Laurent's sensual approach to Charles Trenet’s Beyond The Sea / La Mer, with its extraordinary introduction by Jeff Sanford, is balanced by Laurent's own exquisite French phrasing. A beautifully reflective version of a relatively obscure standard, Under Paris Skies / Sous Le Ciel De Paris will make you dream and imagine of spending time in Paris. Half and Half / Moitié-Moitié firmly establishes Laurent’s credentials as an emerging pop-jazz artist.
Diverse in its musical scope, this album is jazz-infused, pop-charged and, to Laurent’s way of thinking, in harmony with his musical life. He grew up listening to the rock music of his idols (everything from Elvis Presley to Bruce Springsteen), along with the jazz of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and the pop sounds of George Michael, Michael Jackson and Elton John.
As a result, Half and Half / Moitié-Moitié is a dazzling tour de force, bringing together a musical gift and the expertise that comes from delivering great entertainment night after night. “I am always inspired to get out there again…and again. I love what I do”. And hopefully, so will you!
Laurent Fourgo, vocals
Dave Miotke, piano
Steve Hanson, double bass
Rob Gibson, drums, congas, clave, cabasa, shakers, tambourine
Jeff Sanford, soprano, alto, tenor saxophones
Malcolm Granger, guitars, B3 organ
Jeff O’Sammon, guitars
Don Beck, trumpet