Alison Burns & Martin Taylor Play J’attendrai

One of the most wonderful songs that I discovered many years ago is the French song “J’attendrai”. Translated, it means “I Will Wait”. It’s a beautiful song about waiting for a loved one to return. Recorded in 1938 (in French) by an Italian singer called Rina Ketty, it became hugely popular at the time and later came to represent the start of the Second World War.

However, it wasn’t until I really looked into the history of the song that I discovered, to my delight, that it was originally written in Italian in 1933 called “Tornerai” translating to “You Will Return” with the lyric written by Nino Rastelli and the music by Dino Olivieri. Fascinating! The song title had been flipped and so the “J’attendrai” lyric written by Louis Poterat, was really an adaptation whilst keeping the sentiment of the original lyric. Being a huge fan of all things Italian, including pasta, truffles and pizza, I was now adding “J’attendrai” (even with the French lyric) to my Italian top ten! It turns out that Dino Olivieri was born in Senigallia in the region of Le Marche, only a matter of an hour or so from my Italian home! I feel an amazing affinity with “J’attendrai” as I visualise the setting in which the song was written ..the hill top villages and rolling hills of Marche set against the Adriatic Sea!

I have always loved the song but had never really thought about recording it until I was asked to sing on Martin Taylor’s Spirit of Django album “Last Train to Hauteville”. Martin also knew the song as one that had been recorded by legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt which had in the past also inspired many other “Hot Club” jazz groups to record their own versions. So off we went into the studio to record our unique version with Martin’s gypsy jazz group. And here we are performing it live, just guitar and voice, at The Penang Island International Jazz Festival in 2013.

I hope you enjoy it!