Georges Moustaki – Moustaki (1979)

FrontCover1Georges Moustaki (born Giuseppe Mustacchi; 3 May 1934 – 23 May 2013) was an Egyptian-French singer-songwriter of Jewish Italo-Greek origin, best known for the poetic rhythm and simplicity of the romantic songs he composed and often sang. Moustaki gave France some of its best-loved music by writing about 300 songs for some of the most popular singers in that country, such as Édith Piaf, Dalida, Françoise Hardy, Yves Montand, Barbara, Brigitte Fontaine, Herbert Pagani, France Gall, Cindy Daniel, Juliette Gréco, Pia Colombo, and Tino Rossi, as well as for himself.

Georges Moustaki was born Giuseppe Mustacchi in Alexandria, Egypt, on 3 May 1934. His parents, Sarah and Nessim Mustacchi, were Francophile, Greek Jews from the ancient Romaniote Jewish community. Originally from the Greek island of Corfu, they moved to Egypt, where young Giuseppe was born and first learned French. They owned the Cité du Livre − one of the finest book shops in the Middle East – in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria, where many ethnic communities lived together.

Moustaki’s father spoke five languages whereas his mother spoke six. The young Giuseppe and his two older sisters spoke Italian at home and Arabic in the streets.[4] The parents placed Giuseppe and his sisters in a French school where they learned to speak French.

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At the age of 17, after a summer holiday in Paris, Moustaki obtained his father’s permission to move there, working as a door-to-door salesman of poetry books. He began playing the piano and singing in nightclubs in Paris, where he met some of the era’s best-known performers. His career took off after the young singer-songwriter Georges Brassens took Moustaki under his wing. Brassens introduced him to artists and intellectuals who spent much of their time around Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Out of gratitude, Moustaki adopted the first name of the only musician he called “master”.[1][2]

Moustaki said that his taste for music came from hearing various French singers – Édith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Henri Salvador, Georges Ulmer, Yves Montand, Georges Guétary and Luis Mariano – sing.

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Moustaki was introduced to Édith Piaf in the late 1950s by a friend whose praise of the young songwriter was so flattering that Piaf, then at the peak of her fame, requested somewhat sarcastically to hear him sing his best works. “I picked up a guitar and I was lamentable. But something must have touched her. She asked me to go and see her perform that same evening at the Olympia music hall and to show her later the songs I had just massacred.”

He soon began writing songs for Piaf, the most famous of which, Milord, about a lower-class girl who falls in love with an upper-class British traveller, reached number one in Germany in 1960 and number 24 in the British charts the same year. It has since been performed by numerous artists, including Bobby Darin and Cher.

Piaf was captivated by Moustaki’s music, as well as his great charm. Piaf liked how his musical compositions were flavored with jazz and styles that went beyond France’s borders. Moustaki and Piaf became lovers and embarked on what the newspaper Libération described as a year of “devastating, mad love”, with the newspapers following “the ‘scandal’ of the ‘gigolo’ and his dame day after day”.

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After a decade of composing songs for various famous singers, Moustaki launched a successful career as a performer himself, singing in French, Italian, English, Greek, Portuguese, Arabic and Spanish.

Moustaki’s songwriting career peaked in the 1960s and 1970s with songs like “Sarah”, performed by Serge Reggiani, and “La Longue Dame brune”, written for the singer Barbara (Monique Serf).

In 1969 Moustaki composed the song “Le Métèque” — ‘métèque’ is a pejorative word for a shifty-looking immigrant of Mediterranean origin – in which he described himself as a “wandering Jew” and a “Greek shepherd”. Serge Reggiani rejected it and the record companies refused to produce it. Moustaki then sang it himself, on a 45rpm disc, and it became a huge hit in France, spending six non-consecutive weeks at number one in the charts. “A small, subliminal settling of scores became the hymn of anti-racism and the right to be different, the cry of revolt of all minorities,” Moustaki said of the song.

In 1971 Moustaki adapted the Ennio Morricone/Joan Baez song “Here’s to You” under the new title “Marche de Sacco et Vanzetti” for his album “Il y avait un jardin” (“There was a garden”).

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In 1972 Moustaki popularized the translation of two songs by Mikis Theodorakis, “l’Homme au cœur blessé” and “Nous sommes deux”, the latter being a French version of Imaste dio.

Moustaki’s philosophy was reflected in his 1973 song “Déclaration”: “I declare a permanent state of happiness and the right of everyone to every privilege. I say that suffering is a sacrilege when there are roses and white bread for everyone.”

Moustaki became a French citizen in 1985.

In 2008, after a 50-year career during which he performed on every continent, Moustaki recorded his last album, Solitaire. On it, he recorded two songs with China Forbes.

In 2009, in a packed concert hall in Barcelona, he told the stunned audience that he was giving his last public performance as he would no longer be capable of singing because of an irreversible bronchial illness.

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Moustaki married Annick “Yannick” Cozannec when he was twenty years old and she was twenty-five. Their daughter, Pia, was born the following year. They lived in an apartment at rue des Deux-Ponts on the Île Saint-Louis in Paris for many years, before his lung illness forced him to leave his beloved Paris to seek out warmer and cleaner air in the French Riviera.

In his last interview given to Nice-Matin newspaper in February 2013, Moustaki said, “I regret not being able to sing in my bathroom. But singing in public, no. I’ve done it all…. I’ve witnessed magical moments.”

Georges Moustaki died on 23 May 2013 at a hospital in Nice, France, after a long battle with emphysema.

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The French president, François Hollande, called Moustaki a “hugely talented artist whose popular and committed songs have marked generations of French people”. French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti hailed Moustaki as an “artist with convictions who conveyed humanist values … and a great poet”. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë remembered Moustaki as “a citizen of the world who was in love with liberty, a true rebel until his last days”, who had given France “unforgettable compositions and lyrics”. Juliette Gréco, one of France’s biggest singers in the 1960s, grieved the loss of a “poet” and “unique person”. “He was a fine, elegant man who was infinitely kind and talented,” she told RTL radio.

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Moustaki’s funeral was held on 27 May 2013. It was attended by his widow Annick Cozannec and their daughter Pia, the French Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti and numerous personalities from the entertainment world – Guy Bedos, Véronique Genest, Maxime Le Forestier, Jacques Higelin, Brigitte Fontaine, Arthur H, Valérie Mairesse, Hervé Vilard, Irène Jacob, François Corbier, Cali, Sapho, Enrico Macias, François Morel, Costa Gavras.

Moustaki was buried according to Jewish rites in a family vault at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris a few meters from the grave of his former amour Édith Piaf. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s one of his countless album, a more or less unknown album from 1979 … and it´s again a wonderful album … an album full of pure poetry … soft and gentle, with many beautiful melodies … Georges Moustaki was really a great one !

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Personnel:
Amaziane (drums)
Kim Choe Cheah (flute, vocals)
Christian Chevalier (piano)
Marta Contreras (vocals)
Benhamadi Kamel (drums)
Mario Lima (guitar, vocals)
Georges Moustaki (vocals, guitar)
Joseph Mustacchi (guitar)
Claude Pavy (guitar)
Jean-Pierre Sabar (piano)
Pierre Yves Sorin (bass)
Jannik Top (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Et pourtant dans le monde (Moustaki) 3.13
02. Je réussis ce que je rate (Moustaki)
03. Elle appelle “Au secours” (Moustaki)
04. So Many Miles (Moustaki)
05. Dis l’étranger (Moustaki/Lima)
06. Fugue en la mineure (Moustaki)
07. Nostalgie du tiers-monde (Moustaki/Chevalier)
08. L’île habitée (Moustaki)
09. Elle est partie (Moustaki)
10. Reprends ta vieille guitare (Moustaki)
11, Soyez bons pour le poète (Moustaki)

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Lyrics

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Georges Moustaki (03 May 1934 – 23 May 2013)

 

Fabrizio de André – Nuvole Barocche (1969)

FrontCover1I guess, he was one of the most important singer/songwriter from Italy:

Fabrizio Cristiano De André (18 February 1940 – 11 January 1999) was an Italian singer-songwriter.

Known for his sympathies towards anarchism, left-libertarianism and pacifism, his songs often featured marginalized and rebellious people, Romani, prostitutes and knaves, and attacked the Catholic Church hierarchy. Artistically active for almost 40 years and the author of thirteen studio albums, he is renowned for the quality of his lyrics and often considered a poet. He contributed to the promotion of the languages of Italy, most notably Ligurian and, to a lesser extent, Sardinian, Gallurese and Neapolitan. Following his early death several streets, places, parks, schools and public libraries were named after him.

De André was born in Genoa in a family of Piedmontese origins (the father Giuseppe was born in Turin and the mother in Pocapaglia), and was welcomed into the world by Gino Marinuzzi’s “Country Waltz” on the home gramophone. Twenty-five years later, he would set his “Waltz for a Love” to Marinuzzi’s waltz tune.

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When the Second World War broke out, the De André family had to seek refuge on a country farm near Revignano, a frazione of Asti, in Piedmont. There, the child Fabrizio befriended Giovanna “Nina” Manfieri, a girl of his same age, which was his constant companion during childhood, and whose memories were immortalized in “Ho visto Nina volare” [“I saw Nina flying”], one of De André’s last songs.[7] His father, who was an antifascist pursued by the police, joined the partisans. In 1945, at the end of the war, the family moved back to Genoa, where the father became an important member of Genoa’s ruling class, as CEO, and later chairman of Eridania, a sugar factory.

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Fabrizio’s first primary school was that of the Marcellian Sisters, and he later attended the Cesare Battisti public school and the Liceo Classico “Cristoforo Colombo”; after his school leaving examination, he enrolled in the Law School of the University of Genoa, although he did not graduate, dropping out when he had only a few exams left. (He later stated he was glad to have dropped out from his law studies and taken up music instead, as he would have become a very bad lawyer rather than a good songwriter.) De André first played the violin, then the guitar, and he joined a number of local jazz bands, as jazz was his “first love”.

In 1960, De André recorded his first two songs, Nuvole barocche (“Baroque Clouds”) and E fu la notte (“And There Was Night”); in 1962, he married Enrica “Puny” Rignon, a Genoese woman nearly ten years older than him. That same year the couple had their first and only son, Cristiano, who would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a musician and songwriter as well.

In the following years De André wrote a number of songs which made him known to a larger public, soon becoming classic hits: La guerra di Piero (“Piero’s War”), La ballata dell’eroe (“The Hero’s Ballad”), Il testamento di Tito (“Titus’s Will”), La Ballata del Michè (“Mickey’s Ballad”), Via del Campo (literally “Field Street”, a famous street in Genoa), La canzone dell’amore perduto (“The Song of the Lost Love”), La città vecchia (“The Old [side of] Town”), Carlo Martello ritorna dalla battaglia di Poitiers (“Charles Martel on His Way Back from Poitiers”, written together with actor Paolo Villaggio, one of De André’s closest friends), and La canzone di Marinella (“Marinella’s Song”).

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De André’s first LP, Volume 1, was issued shortly after (1967), followed by Tutti morimmo a stento (“We All Barely Died”) and Volume 3; both LPs soon reached the top of the Italian hit-parade. The former contained a personal version of Eroina (“Heroin”) by the Genoese poet Riccardo Mannerini, entitled “Cantico dei drogati” (“Canticle of the Junkies”).
La buona novella

In 1970, De André wrote La buona novella (“Glad Tidings” – a literal rendition of the etymology of gospel), a concept album based on Christ’s life as told in the Apocrypha. The album was very controversial, especially the song Il testamento di Tito (“Titus’s Will”), in which one of the thieves crucified with Jesus violently refutes the Ten Commandments. He had written a number of songs (like Preghiera in Gennaio, “Prayer in January”, and Si chiamava Gesù, “His Name Was Jesus”) in which he showed a Christian-like open-minded spirit and in the meantime invited the audience in his own delicate way to think about the manipulation of the church.

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In 1971, he wrote another celebrated concept album, Non al denaro non all’amore né al cielo (“Neither to money, nor to love, nor to Heaven”), based on Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology; in an interview, the LP was introduced by Fernanda Pivano, the first Italian translator of the “Anthology” and one of Cesare Pavese’s most intimate friends. Fabrizio De André’s name began to be associated with literature and poetry, and some of his songs found their way into school books.
Storia di un impiegato and Canzoni

In 1973, he wrote his most “political” album, Storia di un impiegato (“Story of an Employee”).
The following year, De André issued Canzoni (“Songs”), a collection of his translations from Georges Brassens, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. The album also included a number of his old songs from the 1960s.

In 1975, De André (who in the meantime had divorced his wife Puny and begun a relationship with the folksinger Dori Ghezzi) wrote Volume 8 with another famous Italian singer-songwriter, Francesco De Gregori. With this album, he broke with “tradition” in order to find a new approach to poetry and music. The lyrics show how deep the influence of modern poetry is on De André’s work. 1975 marked a real change in De André’s life: he began to perform in a series of memorable concerts (after his first performances of the early 1960s, he had always refused to appear in public, except for a couple of TV broadcasts) and planned to move to Sardinia with his new love. For this purpose, he purchased the Agnata homestead near Tempio Pausania in the northern part of the island, where he set to farming and cattle breeding.

FabrizioDeAndré04In 1977, the couple had a daughter, Luisa Vittoria (nicknamed “Luvi”). The following year De André issued a new LP, Rimini. Most songs included on this album were written together with Massimo Bubola, a young singer-songwriter from Verona.
Concerts with PFM and kidnapping

1979 was another milestone in De André’s life. The year began with a series of distinguished live concerts from which a double LP was compiled; De André was accompanied by one of the most renowned Italian progressive rock bands, Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM); the albums were released as In Concerto – Arrangiamenti PFM (1979), and In Concerto – Volume 2 (1980). At the end of August, however, De André and Ghezzi were kidnapped for ransom by a gang of bandits in Sardinia (Anonima sarda) and held prisoner in the Alà dei Sardi mountains. The couple were released four months later with a ransom reportedly being paid. As De André stated in some interviews, he was helped by his father to find the money and had to start a tour shortly after the release of the Indiano album in order to repay him. When the bandits were apprehended by the police, De André was called as a witness before the Court. He showed compassion for some of his kidnappers, since he had been well treated by his “guardians” and declared his solidarity with them. “They were the real prisoners, not me”, he said. He said he understood they were driven by need, but he did not show any compassion for the higher echelon of the group that organized his kidnapping, since they were already rich.

This incident, and the hard life of the Sardinian people, gave him inspiration for his following album, released in 1981. The album is untitled but, due to the image of a Native American warrior on the cover, the media called it L’Indiano (“The Indian”). In De FabrizioDeAndré05André’s poetical vision, Native Americans merge with poor Sardinian shepherds as an allegory for the marginalization and subjugation of people who are “different”. The song Hotel Supramonte, is dedicated to the kidnapping and to Dori Ghezzi, who was with him during those days. The album also contains one of his most famous songs, Fiume Sand Creek (“Sand Creek River”): in De André’s unique, allusive way it tells the story of the massacre of defenseless Native Americans by US Army troops on 29 November 1864.
Crêuza de mä

In 1984, he turned to his native Genoese dialect; in collaboration with former PFM member Mauro Pagani he wrote one of his most celebrated albums, Crêuza de mä (“Path to the sea”, the term “Crêuza” actually indicating a narrow road bordered by low walls, typical of Genoa and Liguria in general). The songs are a tribute to the traditional music from the Mediterranean basin. The album was awarded several prizes and was hailed as “the best Italian album of the 1980s”.[citation needed] David Byrne named it as one of his favourite albums, and Wim Wenders said that it was this album that introduced him to the music of De André, whom the director names as one of his favourite artists. As Pagani has repeatedly stated, De André wrote all the lyrics for the album, while the music was almost entirely Pagani’s.

In 1989, De André married Ghezzi; the following year a new album was issued, Le nuvole (“The Clouds”), which included two more songs in the Genoese dialect, one in the Gallurese dialect of Northern Sardinia (“Monti di Mola”) and one in the Neapolitan dialect, the highly ironic “Don Raffaè”, a mockery of Camorra boss Raffaele Cutolo (also incorporating a number of spoofed stereotypes about Camorra and Naples). A new series of well received live concerts followed, from which a double LP, 1991 concerti (“Concerts 1991”), was issued.

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In 1992, he started a new series of live concerts, performing in a number of theatres for the first time.

De André’s last original album, Anime salve (“Saved Souls”), was issued in 1996. Written in collaboration with Ivano Fossati, it represents a sort of “spiritual will”, and includes songs such as “Khorakhané” (dedicated to the Muslim Roma people), “Disamistade” (a return to his beloved Sardinian themes, which has been translated into English and sung by The Walkabouts) and “Smisurata preghiera” (“Limitless Prayer “), based on poems within short stories featured in the collection The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, by Colombian writer and storyteller Álvaro Mutis. De André also sang a version of this song with its original Colombian Spanish lyrics, “Desmedida plegaria”, which he never officially released (although he gave a copy of the recording to Mutis as a gift).

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In 1997, he undertook a new tour of theatre concerts and a new collection, called M’innamoravo di tutto, was issued (I Used to Fall in Love with Everything, a quote from one of his older songs, “Coda di Lupo” – “Wolf’s Tail”), focusing on his earlier works. The Anime salve concert tour went on up to the late summer of 1998, when De André was forced to stop it after the first symptoms of a serious illness, which was later diagnosed as lung cancer.

De André died in Milan on 11 January 1999, at 2:30 am. Two days later, he was buried in his native town, Genoa; the ceremony was attended by a crowd of about 20,000. He is buried in the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, in the De André family chapel. (by wikipedia)

The early singles:
Singles

And here is a rare sampler with very early works of Fabrizio De André.

Nuvole barocche is an album released by Italian singer/songwriter Fabrizio De André. It is a compilation of tracks from his first singles (which appear for the first time on LP) and from two of his LPs: Tutto Fabrizio De André and Volume 1. (by wikipedia)

And this is such a beautiful album … another sentimental journey in the past, with very nice saxophone and horn sounds. And: what a voice !

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Personnel:
Fabrizio de André (vocals, guitar)
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a bunch unknown studio musicians

Alternate frontcover:
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Tracklist:
01. Nuvole barocche (de André/Lario/Stanisci) 2.23
02. E fu la notte (de André/Franchi/Stanisci) 2.03
03. Valzer per un amore (Martinuzzi/de André) 3.39
04. Per i tuoi larghi occhi (de Andre) 2.34
05. Carlo Martello ritorna dalla battaglia di Poitiers (De André/Villaggio) 5.17
06. Il fannullone (de André/Villaggio) 3.38
07. Geordie (Traditional) 2.06
08. Amore che vieni amore che vai (de André) 2.37
08. Delitto di paese (Brassens/de André) 3.19
10. La canzone dell’Amore Perduto (de Andre) (3:40)

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And I have to thank to greygoose; she told me a lot of this musician !

Melody Gardot – Worrisome Heart (2006)

FrontCover1Melody Gardot /ɡɑːrˈdoʊ/ (born February 2, 1985) is an American jazz singer who has been influenced by such blues and jazz artists as Judy Garland, Janis Joplin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and George Gershwin as well as Latin music artists such as Caetano Veloso. She has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

At the age of 19, Gardot was involved in a bicycle accident and sustained a head injury. Music played a critical role in her recovery. She became an advocate of music therapy, visiting hospitals and universities to discuss its benefits. In 2012, she gave her name to a music therapy program in New Jersey.

and was brought up by her grandparents. Her grandmother was a Polish immigrant. Her mother, a photographer, traveled often, so they had few possessions and lived out of suitcases. Gardot studied fashion at the Community College of Philadelphia.

While riding her bicycle in Philadelphia in November 2003, Gardot was struck by the driver of an SUV and sustained head, spinal, and pelvic injuries. Confined to a hospital bed for a year, she needed to relearn simple tasks and was left oversensitive to light and sound. Suffering from short- and long-term memory loss, she struggled with her sense of time.

Encouraged by a physician who believed music would help heal her brain, Gardot learned to hum, then to sing into a tape recorder, and eventually to write songs.

For several years, she traveled with a physiotherapist and carried a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator to reduce pain.

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Given her oversensitivity to sound, she chose quieter music. On the treadmill, she listened to bossa nova by Stan Getz. Unable to sit comfortably at the piano, she learned to play guitar on her back. During her recovery, she wrote songs that became part of the self-produced EP Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions.[11] Gardot was reluctant to record her songs at first, stating that they were too private for the public to hear, but relented and allowed her songs to be played on a Philadelphia radio station.

Gardot is a Buddhist, macrobiotic cook, and humanitarian. She speaks fluent French in addition to her native English and considers herself a “citizen of the world”.

Since 2017, Melody Gardot lives in Paris, even though she is often on tour.

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Gardot started music lessons at the age of nine and began playing piano in Philadelphia bars at the age of 16 on Fridays and Saturdays for four hours a night. She insisted on playing only music she liked, such as The Mamas & the Papas, Duke Ellington, and Radiohead.

During her time in the hospital she learned how to play the guitar and began writing songs, which were made available as downloads on iTunes and released on Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions in 2005. She began to play these songs at venues in Philadelphia and was noticed by employees of the radio station WXPN, operated by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, which helped to start the career of Norah Jones. She was encouraged to send a demo tape to the radio station, and the tape found its way to the Universal Music Group. She released her first album, Worrisome Heart (Verve, 2006), then My One and Only Thrill (Verve 2009), produced by Larry Klein

MelodyGardot01Worrisome Heart is the debut album of jazz singer-songwriter Melody Gardot. It was released independently in 2006 and later re-released on Verve Records in 2007 and 2008. The album contains new recordings of songs previously released on Gardot’s first extended play release, Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions as well as unreleased tracks.

Speaking of how the album first came to be made, in November 2008 Gardot told noted British jazz/soul writer Pete Lewis of Blues & Soul that: “It was created independently of a record company. It was made privately. So my only intention, or my only goal, was to make a record that at the end of the day I was happy with. And the way that the instrumentation was decided on was based on what I heard in my head, and what I thought would feel the best. So I guess having it released is kinda like having somebody publish your diary in a way!”[10]

The tracks “Wicked Ride”, “Some Lessons” and “Goodnite” were re-recorded for this album and are not the versions that appear on the Some Lessons EP. The 2006 independent release has a longer running time of 41:40 as it included the new version of “Wicked Ride”, as well as the hidden track “Sorry State”, which were omitted when released by Verve Records. The album cover and track listing were changed for a promotional release in 2007 and again for its eventual official release under the label in 2008. (by wikipedia)

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Melody Gardot’s debut recording, released in 2006, came two years after she suffered a near fatal automobile accident, the differently able Gardot triumphing in accomplishing what many others, including her, could only dream of. This project has her singing and playing guitar and a little piano, but more so presenting this project of all original material. Gardot has an interesting personal story, but even more intriguing music that straddles the line between lounge jazz, folk, and cowgirl songs. She’s part sophisticated chanteuse, college sophomore, and down-home girl next door. Her innocence, sweetness, and light are very alluring, much like the persona of tragic songbirds Eva Cassidy and Nancy LaMott. Feel empathy for Gardot, but don’t patronize her — she’s the real deal much more that many of her over-hyped peers. “Quiet Fire” is definitely her signature MelodyGardot07tune, as it speaks volumes of where her soul is at, in a jazz/blues mode, yearning for true love. The title track follows a similar tack, a slow, sweet, sentimental slinky blues that will melt your heart. A finger-snapping “Goodnite” leaves you wanting that night to continue, but also exudes a hope that permeates the entire recording. She might be a bit down on men during the nonplussed “All That I Need Is Love,” but her subdued optimism glows cool. “Sweet Memory” might possibly parallel Feist or perhaps KT Tunstall in a rural country mode, while “Gone” is clearly folkish, and the slow “Some Lessons” expresses a contemporary Nashville precept. The laid-back music behind Gardot is basically acoustic, incorporating hip jazz instrumentation, especially the trumpet of Patrick Hughes and occasional organ, Wurlitzer, or Fender Rhodes from Joel Bryant, but with twists including violin, lap steel, and Dobro. The concise nature of this recording and these tunes perfectly reflects the realization that life is precious, every moment counts, and satisfaction is fleeting. Likely to be placed in the Norah Jones/Nellie McKay/Madeleine Peyroux pseudo jazz/pop sweepstakes, Gardot offers something decidedly more authentic and genuine. She’s one-upped them all out of the gate. (by Michael G. Nastos)

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Personnel:
Mike Brenner (lap steel guitar)
Joel Bryant (keyboards, wurlitzer)
Matt Cappy (trumpet)
Melody Gardot (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Patrick Hughes (trumpet)
Jef Lee Johnson (guitar)
Kurt Johnston (dobro)
Ron Kerber (clarinet, saxophone)
Paul Klinefelter (bass)
Barney McKenna (guitar)
Diane Monroe (violin)
David Mowry (dobro)
Charlie Patierno (drums, percussion)
Ken Pendergast (bass)
Stan Slotter (trumpet)

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Tracklist:
01. Worrisome Heart 4.23
02. All That I Need Is Love 2.38
03. Gone 2.53
04. Sweet Memory 3.23
05. Some Lessons 5.24
06. Quiet Fire 4.14
07. One Day 2.04
08. Love Me Like A River Does 4.07
09. Goodnite 3.05
10. Twilight 1.01

All songs written by Melody Gardot

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(Salvadore) Adamo – Olympia 71 (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgSalvatore, Knight Adamo (born 1 November 1943) is a Belgian singer and composer, who is known for his romantic ballads. Adamo was born in Italy and grew up from the age of three in Belgium. He holds dual citizenship of Belgium and Italy.

He first gained popularity throughout Europe and later in the Middle East, Latin America, Japan, and the United States. He has sold more than 80 million albums and 20 million singles making him one of the most commercially successful musicians in the world. He mainly performs in French but has also sung in Dutch, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and Turkish. “Tombe la neige”, “La nuit”, and “Inch’Allah” remain his best known songs. He is currently the best selling Belgian musician of all time.

This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living people that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately.

Adamo01.jpgAdamo was born in Comiso, Sicily. His father Antonio, a well digger, emigrated to Belgium in February 1947 to work in the mines of Marcinelle. Four months later his wife, Concetta, and their son, Salvatore, joined him in the town of Ghlin (Mons) before moving to Jemappes (Mons). In 1950, Salvatore was bedridden for a year with meningitis.

Salvatore’s parents did not want their son to become a miner, so he went to a Catholic school run by the Frères des Ecoles Chrétiennes. By 1960, the family of Antonio and Concetta Adamo had seven children overall. Salvatore grew up in Jemappes (Mons), where he was a dedicated student at school and distinguished himself in music and the arts.

Adamo’s early influences were the poetry of Victor Hugo and Jacques Prévert, the music of French singer-songwriters like Georges Brassens, and the Italian canzonette. He started singing and composing his own songs from an early age. His debut was in a Radio Luxembourg competition, where he participated as singer and composer of the song “Si j’osais” (“If I dared”), winning the competition’s final held in Paris on 14 February 1960.

Adamo’s first hit was “Sans toi, ma mie”, in 1963, from his debut album 63/64. He followed this with a series of hits, the most famous being “Tombe la neige” (“The snow falls”) in 1963, “La nuit” (“The Night”) in 1964, and “Inch’Allah”. The self-penned “Petit bonheur” (“Little Happiness”) sold over one million copies by April 1970, and was awarded a gold disc.

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Adamo has sold over 100 million copies of recordings worldwide. He has recorded in many languages and, besides France and Belgium, had hits in Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and also in Japan, where he toured repeatedly. He has had hits and toured also in Latin America and throughout the Middle East.

In Chile, the audience awarded him an appreciation prize known as the “Antorcha” (Gold and Silver Torch) at the “Festival de Viña del Mar” held yearly in the “Quinta Vergara”, at the seaside resort of Viña del Mar, where he once had to sing in three different, sold-out venues in the same night. In the 1980s, Adamo’s career faltered, as the style of his music was no longer fashionable. Since the 1990s, however, and on the crest of a nostalgia wave, he has successfully resumed composing, issuing records and touring, starting with a full season at the Casino de Paris venue in April 1990.

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Adamo briefly attempted movie acting when he was cast in the film Les Arnaud (1967), which starred Bourvil. Amália Rodrigues recorded “Inch’Allah” in French. “Tombe la neige”, one of his many international hits, has been covered in Bulgarian, Turkish (“Her Yerde Kar Var”), Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Chinese (Cantopop).

Adamo05In 2001, Adamo was raised into the Belgian nobility (with motto Humblement mais dignement) by King Albert II and given for life the Belgian noble title Ridder, translated into English as “Knight”. He was appointed an Officer of the Belgian Order of the Crown in 2002. In 2014, Adamo was honoured at Victoires de la Musique in France.

In 1984, Adamo had heart problems which necessitated a heart bypass operation and a temporary though total withdrawal from work. Since 1993, he has been an honorary UNICEF ambassador from Belgium and, in this capacity, has visited countries such as Vietnam, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and others. In 2004, health problems forced him to cancel a scheduled tour but, since 2007, he is touring again. In December 2011, he performed in Espinho, Portugal and Bucharest, Romania.

At the end of the 1960s, Adamo married Nicole. Their children were Anthony (born in 1969), Benjamin, and then Amélie. At the height of his stardom, his own father died by drowning on 7 August 1966. His younger sister Délizia is also a recording artist. He wrote a number of songs for his sister, including her debut hit “Prends le chien” in 1974. She also joined him in his tour in 1975. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a pretty good album by Adamo, recorded live at the Olympia/Paris (a sould out concert, of course) in 1971.

And we here many of his romantic ballads and chansons .. and he was/is a real master of this genre.

Listen and enjoy !

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Personnel:
Salvadore Adamo (vocals)
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Grand Orchestre De L’Olympia, I Delfini conducted by Alain Goraguer

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Tracklist:
01. Salut Vieux! 3.43
02. Le Pendu 5.12
03. Nous 4.10
04. Un Petit Caillou Gris Rose, Un Petit Caillou Vert Gris 4.39
05. Les Fees Ne Mourront Pas! 4.07
06. Buvons A Notre Souvenir 3.56
07. Et Tu T’en Vas 3.14
08. Mon Cinema 3.56
09. Elle Souriait 3.47
10. Enfant, Mon Ami 3.19
11. Sois Heureuse Rose 3.16
12. Que Voulez Vous Que Je Vous Chante? 3.29
13. Medley 3.36
13.1. Petit Bonheur
13.2. Vous Permettez Monsieur?

All songs written by Salvadore Adamo

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Henri Salvador – Reverence (2006)

FrontCover1.jpgHenri Salvador (18 July 1917 – 13 February 2008) was a French Caribbean comedian and singer.

Salvador was born in Cayenne, French Guiana. His father, Clovis, and his mother, Antonine Paterne, daughter of a native Carib Indian, were both from Guadeloupe, French West Indies. Salvador had a brother, André, and a sister, Alice.

He began his musical career as a guitarist accompanying other singers. He had learned the guitar by imitating Django Reinhardt’s recordings, and was to work alongside him in the 1940s. Salvador recorded several songs written by Boris Vian with Quincy Jones as arranger. He played many years with Ray Ventura and His Collegians where he used to sing, dance and even play comedy on stage.

He also appeared in movies including Nous irons à Monte-Carlo (1950), Nous irons à Paris (Jean Boyer’s film of 1949 with the Peters Sisters) and Mademoiselle s’amuse (1948).

He is known to have recorded the first French rock and roll songs in 1957 written by Boris Vian and Michel Legrand — “Rock’n Roll Mops”, “Rock hoquet, Va t’faire cuire un oeuf, man” and “Dis-moi qu’tu m’aimes rock” — under the artist name of Henry Cording (a play on the word “Recording”). Despite this historical aspect, he never ceased to claim that he disliked rock and roll and even refused to talk about this subject later on.

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In the 1960s, Salvador was the host of several popular television variety shows on French TV. In 1964, he scored a hit with “Zorro est arrivé”, which was inspired by The Coasters’ U.S. hit “Along Came Jones”. He is also famous for his rich, catchy laugh, which is a theme in many of his humorous songs. In 1969, Henri Salvador recorded a variation of “Mah Nà Mah Nà” entitled “Mais non, mais non” (“But No, But No” or “Of Course Not, Of Course Not”), with lyrics he had written in French to Piero Umiliani’s music.

Henri Salvador and his song “Dans mon île” (1957) were thought to be an influence on Antônio Carlos Jobim in formulating the Brazilian bossa nova style.

Caetano Veloso, a famous Brazilian composer and singer, made Henri Salvador famous to Brazilian audiences with the song “Reconvexo”, in which he says “quem não sentiu o swing de Henri Salvador?” (“who hasn’t felt the swing of Henri Salvador?”). Veloso also recorded a version of Salvador’s song “Dans mon île”.

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At the age of 70, Salvador was the voice-over of the crab Sebastian in the 1989 French dubbing of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Recordings of “Embrasse-la” (“Kiss the Girl”) can be found on YouTube.

Salvador discovered singers Keren Ann and Art Mengo.

He died of a ruptured aneurysm at his home in the early hours of 13 February 2008. He was 90 years of age. He was buried next to his wife Jacqueline in Père-Lachaise Cemetery.

He was known as a supporter of Paris Saint-Germain F.C. He obtained four seats for life in the Parc des Princes.

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Henri Salvador continues to be popular today among French communities in Canada. In 2000, Virgin Records released a CD featuring popular hits such as “Jazz Mediterrannée”, which continues to receive regular air play. In 2002, his album Chambre avec vue sold over two million copies. In 2005, Salvador was awarded the Brazilian Order of Cultural Merit, which he received from the acclaimed singer and Minister of Culture, Gilberto Gil, in the presence of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for his influence on Brazilian culture, particularly on bossa nova, to whose invention he contributed. That same year he took 52nd place in the election of Le Plus Grand Français (The Greatest Frenchman).

He was also a commander of the French Légion d’honneur and of the French National Order of Merit. In 2007, he released Révérence on V2 Records, featuring Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. He then went on to perform the track “La vie c’est la vie” from that album on an episode of the BBC programme Later… with Jools Holland aired on 4 May 2007. (by wikipedia)

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At 88 years old, Henri Salvador has been a popular figure in the French music world for quite a while (he started there in 1945). In 2000, he reinvigorated his career and reintroduced himself to the public with Chambre Avec Vue (re-released as Room with a View two years later) and since then has been going quite strong, coming out with Ma Chère et Tendre in 2003, and now Révérence in 2006. Recorded mostly in Brazil under the direction of Caetano Veloso’s — who makes an appearance here on a new version of “Dans Mon Île” — longtime producer and arranger Jaques Morelenbaum, Salvador continues his legacy as singer of the sweet melancholy. The quiet, breathy strings and soft bossa nova rhythms that are incorporated into many of the pieces on the album add to the overall poignancy of Salvador’s voice, which shows no sign of aging, still smooth and clean, reflecting the warmth of his native French Guyana.

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It works especially well on the francophone version of the classic Vinicius de Moraes/Antonio Carlos Jobim song “Eu Sei Que Voi Te Amar,” retitled “Tu Sais Je Vais T’Aimer” here (it appears twice on Révérence actually, once as a solo track and once as a duet with Gilberto Gil), where the longing and suffering of love come through in the timbre of his voice, the hesitation in his phrasing. In “Italie (Un Tableau de Maître),” he riffs on a familiar Italian melody as he reminisces about the country, talking about it like a woman he loves, even slipping into its own language for a line or so, and in “Cherche la Rose,” one of three older tracks on the album, and done with Caetano Veloso, there’s a bittersweet hesitancy to the way he sings the song 40 years after its initial release that comes only from the experience and understanding he’s gained as he’s gotten older.

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This is where he’s best, and most comfortable, and it’s what sounds the best, too, so it makes sense that most of Révérence stays in the adagio, in the reflection. In fact, it even seems a little out of place when Salvador moves into faster, jazzier pieces like the gospel-inspired “Alléluia! Je l’Ai dans la Peau” or the Frank Sinatra-esque “L’Amour Se Trouve au Coin de la Rue,” adding saxophones and bright drums and coming across slightly forced, albeit exuberant. Salvador has aged nicely, and settled down into his years, and the best bits of Révérence convey this perfectly, the life of an artist who has truly been inspired, and inspired countless others. (by Marisa Brown)

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Henri Salvador is an 89-year-old with an extraordinary history. Born in French Guyana, he moved to France as a child, joined a dance orchestra as guitarist, and ended up working in Brazil, where his songs would later influence the work of the great Tom Jobim – the greatest composer of the bossa nova era of the late 1950s. Salvador also became a celebrity, and a TV personality back in France, and he now seems poised for unlikely international success. This new set was recorded in Paris, New York and (of course) Rio, where his producer was the great Jacques Morelenbaum, who has worked with everyone from Jobim to Mariza; they were joined by Brazilian stars Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. It’s remarkable for Salvador’s effortlessly clear, perfect vocals and equally unexpected range. Many of the songs are gently charming laid-back ballads, but there’s also a swinging French-language treatment of Ray Charles, with Alleluia! Je l’Ai Dans la Peau. Alleluia, indeed. (by Robin Denselow)

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Personnel:
Patrick Artero (saxophone, trumpet)
Marcelo Bernades (flute)
Bernardo Bessler (violone)
Paulinho Braga (drums, percussion)
Denner Campolina (bass)
Mino Cinelu (drums, percussion)
Michel Coeuriot (clarinet, keyboards, oboe, synthesizer)
Thomas Coeuriot (guitar, mandoline)
Marcelo Costa (percussion)
Guy Delacroix (bass)
João Donato (piano)
Phillip Doyle (tuba)
Claude Egéa (trumpet)
Laurent Faucheux (drums)
Michel Feugère (saxophone, trumpet)
Frederic Gaillardet (piano)
Luis Galvão (guitar)
Gilberto Gil (vocals)
Alain Hatot (flute, saxophone)
Didier Havet (rombone)
Jorge Helder (bass)
Denis Leloup (trombone)
Eduardo Morelenbaum (clarinet)
Jaques Morelenbaum (cello)
Katia Pierre (flute)
Hugo Vargas Pilger (cello)
Iura Ranevsky (cello)
Rob Reddy (saxophone)
Saul Rubin (guitar)
Marcello Isdebski Salles (cello)
Henri Salvador (vocals, percussion)
Paulo Sérgio Santos (clarinet)
Eric Seva (saxophone)
Billy Jay Stein (organ)
Caetano Veloso (vocals)
Jean-Christophe Vilain (trombone)
André Villéger (flute, saxophone)
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violone(violin:
Ricardo Amado – Rick Amado – Paul Prates Barbato – Michel Bessler – José Alves Da Silva – Daniel Guedes – Antonella Pareschi – Eduardo Pereira – Paschoal Perrota – Felipe Prazeres – Rogério Rosa – Maria Christine Springuel – Ricardo Taboada
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background vocals:
Jerry Barnes – Stephanie McKay

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Tracklist:
01. La Vie C’est La Vie (Salvador) 2.24
02. Mourir à Honfleur (Salvador) 3.48
03. Dans Mon Île (Pon/Salvador) 4.56
04. Cherche La Rose (feat. Caetano Veloso) (Salvador) 4.57
05. L’ ‘Amour Se Trouve au Coin de la Rue (Salvador) 3.27
06. Tu Sais Je Vais T’Aimer (Jobim/de Moraes) 4.04
07. J’Aurais Aimé (Salvador) 2.37
08. Italie (Un Tableau de Maître) (Martinico/Salvador) 3.11
09. D’Abord (Salvador) 2.57
10. Les Amours Qu’on Delaisse (Salvador) 5.17
11. Alleluia! Je l’Ai Dans La Peau (Salvador) 2.50
12. Les Dernières Hirondelles (Salvador) 3.21
13. Tu Sais Je Vais T’Aimer (feat: Gilberto Gil) (Jobim/de Moraes) 4.05

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Henri Salvador (18 July 1917 – 13 February 2008)

Jacqueline François – Serenata (5) (1956)

FrenchFrontCover1.jpgJacqueline François (born Jacqueline Guillemautot) was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, in January 30, 1922, died March 7, 2009 in Courbevoie, Hauts-de-Seine, France).

She began singing at the end of WWII. She has her first hit in 1948 with “C’est le printemps” (“Here is Spring”) and wins the “Grand Prix du Disque 1948”.

She was married to Henri Decker, a French actor.

That same year she records a song that will become her greatest hit and a world success, “Mademoiselle de Paris”.

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She has been performing in French and English for more than four decades and she toured all over the world (she appeared in the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957), being one of the most successful and classy French singers. ((by john25)

And this album was released in Brazil, too  !

Enjoy Jacqueline François’ style and voice!

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Personnel:
Jacqueline François (vocals)
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Michel Legrand et son Orchestre (01., 03., 05. + 10.)
Claude Bolling Et Son Orchestre (02., 04, 06. – 09.)
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Henri Decker (vocals on 05.)
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background vocals:
Les Fontana

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Tracklist:
01. Qué Será, Será (Marnay/Livingston/Evans) 1.56
02. La Marie Vison (Heyral/Varnay) 2.11
03. Tu T’Fous De Moi (Bailly) 1.52
04. Sa Jeunesse… Entre Ses Mains (Aznavour) 3.33
05. Main Dans La Main (Cowell/François) 2.57
06. Serenata (Plante/Anderson/Parish) 2.51
07. Quand Je Monte Chez Toi (Salvador/Broussolle) 2.10
08. Qu’est C’que T’as Fait (Decker/Vendôme) 3.12
09. Rio (Giraud/Delanoë) 2.30
10. L’Amour A Fleur De Cœur (Aznavour) 3.19FrenchLabelB1.jpg

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Claire Diterzi – Rosa la Rouge (2010)

FrontCover1.jpgHere´s a very special artist:

Goth-tinged singer and songwriter Claire Diterzi was born Claire Touzi dit Terzi in Tours, France, in 1971, and released her first solo album, Boucle, in 2006. Although she would earn critical and popular plaudits for her own compositions and performance, her career got off to a more group-oriented start, as part of the groups Forguette Mi Not and Dit Terzi. As those groups faded into memory, Diterzi moved to the stage, performing in the 2001 Philippe Decoufle work Iris. After a few years in Japan and further stage work, Diterzi got the music itch again, only this time deciding to focus on her solo career. The aforementioned Boucle (which, it should be noted, was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque in 2006 by L’Academie Charles-Cros) was recorded by Diterzi herself, and the critical response it drew led to an opportunity to write and compose music for the score to the 2007 Anne Feinsilber film Requiem for Billy the Kid. In 2008, Diterzi returned to the public consciousness with her follow-up solo release, Tableau de Chasse, on Naive Records. (by Chris True)

This album was the soundtrack of a musical show under the direction of Marcial Di Fonzo Bo:

Marcial Di Fonzo Bo (born 19 December 1968) is an Argentine actor and theatre director. He appeared in more than twenty films since 1997. Di Fonzo Bo directed several plays in France and was nominated for the Molière Award for Best Director in 2011. (by wikipedia)

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And this show was a hommage to Rosa Luxemburg:

Rosa Luxemburg (German: [ˈʁoːza ˈlʊksəmbʊʁk] (About this soundlisten); Polish: Róża Luksemburg; also Rozalia Luxenburg; 5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. Successively, she was a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

After the SPD supported German involvement in World War I in 1915, Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League (Spartakusbund) which eventually became the KPD. During the November Revolution, she co-founded the newspaper Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag), the central organ of the Spartacist movement. Luxemburg considered the Spartacist uprising of January 1919 a blunder,[1] but supported the attempted overthrow of the government and rejected any attempt at a negotiated solution. Friedrich Ebert’s majority SPD government crushed the revolt and the Spartakusbund by sending in the Freikorps, government-sponsored paramilitary groups consisting mostly of World War I veterans. Freikorps troops captured and summarily executed Luxemburg and Liebknecht during the rebellion. Luxemburg’s body was thrown in the Landwehr Canal in Berlin.

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Due to her pointed criticism of both the Leninist and the more moderate social democratic schools of socialism, Luxemburg has had a somewhat ambivalent reception among scholars and theorists of the political left. Nonetheless, Luxemburg and Liebknecht were extensively idolized as communist martyrs by the East German communist regime. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution notes that idolization of Luxemburg and Liebknecht is an important tradition of German far-left extremism. (by wikipedia)

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And we here not only a real beutiful voice, but many  different musical ideas … sometimes very strange, sometimes in a very magic way. Sometimes very soft, sometimes very disturbing … but always very intersting sounds.

This is a sort of concept album by a woman, that we should discover.

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Personnel:
Étienne Bonhomme (drums, percussion, sound machine, background vocals)
Cédric Chatelain (clrinet, oboe, flute, bombarde, background vocals)
Claire Diterzi (vocals, guitar, zither)
Baptiste Germser (bass, background vocals)
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Jack Lahana (percussion on 02., 03. + 07.)
Lambert Wilson (vocals)

Under the direction of  Marcial Di Fonzo Bo

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Tracklist:
01. 1 L’Eglise 4.43
02 Je Touche La Masse 3.44
03. J’Etais, Je Suis, Je Serai 3.08
04. Rosa La Rouge 3.32
05. L’Arme A Gauche 4.17
06. Aux Marches Du Palais 3:23
07 Ce Que J’Ai Sur Le Coeur Je L’Ai Sur Les Lèvres 3.26
08. Cellule 45 4.54
09. Berceuse 2.32
10. A Cor Et A Cri 3.07
11. Le Monde Est Là 2.38
12. Casta Diva 2.26

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Various Artists – Les amis de Boris Vian (2010)

FrontCover1.jpgBoris Vian (10 March 1920 – 23 June 1959) was a French polymath: writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. Today he is remembered primarily for his novels. Those published under the pseudonym Vernon Sullivan were bizarre parodies of criminal fiction, highly controversial at the time of their release.

Vian’s other fiction, published under his real name, featured a highly individual writing style with numerous made-up words, subtle wordplay and surrealistic plots. His novel L’Écume des jours (literally: “The Foam of Days”) is the best known of these works and one of the few translated into English, under the title of Froth on the Daydream.

Vian was also an important influence on the French jazz scene. He served as liaison for Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis in Paris, wrote for several French jazz-reviews (Le Jazz Hot, Paris Jazz) and published numerous articles dealing with jazz both in the United States and in France. His own music and songs enjoyed popularity during his lifetime, particularly the anti-war song “Le Déserteur” (The Deserter).

Vian was born in 1920 into an upper middle-class family in the wealthy Parisian suburb of Ville d’Avray (Hauts-de-Seine). His parents were Paul Vian, a young rentier, and Yvonne Ravenez, amateur pianist and harpist. From his father Vian inherited a distrust of the church and the military, as well as a love of the bohemian life. Vian was the second of four children: the others were Lélio (1918–1984), Alain (1921–1995) and Ninon (1924–2003). The family occupied the Les Fauvettes villa. The name “Boris” was chosen by Yvonne, an avid classical music lover, after seeing a performance of Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov.

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Boris’ later childhood was also marked with sickness as he suffered from Rheumatic fever when he was 12. From then on Boris parents became overprotective toward him, and he would later judge them harshly for this in L’Herbe rouge and L’Arrache-coeur.
Formal education and teenage years

From 1932 to 1937, Vian studied at Lycée Hoche in Versailles. In 1936, Vian and his two brothers started organizing what they called “surprise-parties” (surprise parties). They partook of mescaline in the form of a Mexican cactus called peyote. These gatherings became the basis of his early novels: Trouble dans les andains (Turmoil in the Swaths) (1943) and particularly Vercoquin et le plancton (Vercoquin and the Plankton) (1943–44). It was also in 1936 that Vian got interested in jazz; the next year he started playing the trumpet and joined the Hot Club de France.

In 1937, Vian graduated from Lycée Hoche, passing baccalauréats in mathematics, philosophy, Latin, Greek and German. He subsequently enrolled at Lycée Condorcet, Paris, where he studied special mathematics until 1939. Vian became fully immersed in BorisVian02the French jazz scene: for example, in 1939 he helped organize Duke Ellington’s second concert in France. When WWII started, Vian was not accepted into the army due to poor health. He entered École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris and subsequently moved to Angoulême when the school moved there because of the war.

In 1940, Vian met Michelle Léglise, who became his wife in 1941. She taught Vian English and introduced him to translations of American literature. Also in 1940, Vian met Jacques Loustalot, who became a recurring character in several early novels and short stories as “The Colonel”. Loustalot died accidentally in 1949 falling from a building he was trying to climb on in order to enter into a flat by the window, after a bet. In 1942, Vian and his brothers joined a jazz orchestra under the direction of Claude Abbadie, who became a minor character in Vian’s Vercoquin et le plancton. The same year, Vian graduated from École Centrale with a diploma in metallurgy, and his son Patrick was born.

After Vian’s graduation, he and Michelle moved to the 10th arrondissement of Paris and, on 24 August 1942 he became an engineer at the French Association for Standardisation (AFNOR). By this time he was an accomplished jazz trumpeter, and in 1943 he wrote his first novel, Trouble dans les andains (Turmoil in the Swaths). His literary career started in 1943 with his first publication, a poem, in the Hot Club de France bulletin. The poem was signed Bison Ravi (“Delighted Bison”), an anagram of Vian’s real name. The same year Vian’s father died, murdered at home by burglars.

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In 1944 Vian completed Vercoquin et le plancton (Vercoquin and the Plankton), a novel inspired partly by surprise-parties of his youth and partly by his job at the AFNOR (which is heavily satirized in the novel). Raymond Queneau and Jean Rostand helped Vian to publish this work at Éditions Gallimard in 1947, along with several works Vian completed in 1946. These included his first major novels, L’Écume des jours and L’automne à Pékin (Autumn in Peking). The former, a tragic love story in which real world objects respond to the characters’ emotions, is now regarded as Vian’s masterpiece, but at the time of its publication it failed to attract any considerable attention. L’automne à Pékin, which also had a love story at its heart but was somewhat more complex, also failed to sell well.

Frustrated by the commercial failure of his works, Vian vowed he could write a best-seller and wrote the hard-boiled novel I Spit on Your Graves (J’irai cracher sur vos tombes) in only 15 days. The book was ascribed to a fictitious American writer, Vernon Sullivan, with Vian credited as translator. Vian persuaded his publisher friend Jean d’Halluin to publish the novel in 1947. Eventually the hoax became known and the book became one of the best-selling titles of that year. Vian wrote three more Vernon Sullivan novels from 1947 to 1949.

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The year 1946 marked a turning point in Vian’s life: At one of the popular parties that he and Michelle hosted he made the acquaintance of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Albert Camus, became a regular in their literary circles and started regularly publishing various materials in Les Temps Modernes. Vian admired Sartre in particular and gave him a prominent role—as “Jean-Sol Partre”—in L’Écume des jours (litt. “The foam of the days”) published in English under the title: Froth on the Daydream. Ironically, Sartre and Michelle Vian commenced a relationship that would eventually destroy Vian’s marriage.

Despite his literary work becoming more important, Vian never left the jazz scene. He became a regular contributor to various jazz-related magazines, and played trumpet at Le Tabou. As a result, his financial situation improved, and he abandoned the job at the AFNOR. Vian also formed his own choir, La petite chorale de Saint-Germain-des-Pieds.

The year 1948 saw the birth of Vian’s daughter, Carole. He continued his literary career by writing Vernon Sullivan novels, and also published poetry collections: Barnum’s Digest (1948) and Cantilènes en gelée (Cantelinas in Jelly) (1949). Vian also started BorisVian05writing plays, the first of which, L’Équarrissage pour tous (Slaughter for Everyone), was staged the year it was written, 1950. The same year saw the publication of Vian’s third major novel, L’Herbe rouge (The Red Grass). This was a much darker story than its predecessors, centering on a man who built a giant machine that could help him psychoanalyze his soul. Like the previous two books, it did not sell well; Vian’s financial situation had been steadily worsening since late 1948, and he was forced to take up translation of English-language literature and articles in order to get by. Vian separated from his wife, and in 1950 he met Ursula Kübler (1928–2010), a Swiss dancer; the two started an affair, and in 1951 Vian divorced Michelle. Ursula and Boris married in 1954.

Vian’s last novel, L’Arrache-cœur (The Heartsnatcher), was published in 1953, yet again to poor sales and Vian effectively stopped writing fiction. The only work that appeared after 1953 was a revised version of L’automne à Pékin, published 1956. He concentrated on a new field, song-writing and performing, and continued writing poetry. Vian’s songs were successful; in 1954 he embarked on his first tour as singer-songwriter. By 1955, when he was working as art director for Philips, Vian was active in a wide variety of fields: song-writing, opera, screenplays and several more plays. His first album, Chansons possibles et impossibles (Possible and Impossible Songs), was also recorded in 1955. He wrote the first French rock and roll songs with his friend Henri Salvador, who sang them under the nickname Henry Cording. He also wrote “Java Pour Petula” (a song about an English girl arriving in France, written in Parisian argot) for Petula Clark’s first concert performances in France.

Still in 1955, Vian decided to perform some of his songs on stage himself. He had been unhappy about the fact that French singer Marcel Mouloudji (1922-1994), who had interpreted “Le Deserteur” (The Deserter) on stage the year before, had not accepted the original lyrics because he thought that they would lead to the song being banned. Although Vian accepted a change to one verse, the song was banned from TV and radio channels until 1967. The record of Vian’s songs performed by himself was not successful in France until ten years after his death.

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Vian’s life was endangered in 1956 by a pulmonary edema, but he survived and continued working with the same intensity as before. In 1957, Vian completed another play: Les Bâtisseurs d’empire (The Empire Builders), which was only published and staged in 1959. In 1958, Vian worked on the opera Fiesta with Darius Milhaud, and a collection of his essays, En avant la zizique… Et par ici les gros sous (On with the Muzak… And Bring in the Big Bucks), was published the same year.

On the morning of 23 June 1959, Vian was at the Cinema Marbeuf for the screening of the film version of I will Spit on Your Graves. He had already fought with the producers over their interpretation of his work, and he publicly denounced the film, stating that he wished to have his name removed from the credits. A few minutes after the film began, he reportedly blurted out: “These guys are supposed to be American? My ass!” He then collapsed into his seat and died from sudden cardiac death en route to the hospital.[3]

During his lifetime, only the novels published under the name of Vernon Sullivan were successful. Those published under his real name, which had real literary value in his eyes, remained a commercial failure, despite the support of famous authors of this time.

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Almost immediately after his death, L’Écume des jours, and then L’automne à Pékin, L’Arrache-coeur, and L’Herbe rouge, began to get recognition in France and became cult novels for youths of the 1960s and 1970s.

As a songwriter, Vian had mixed success. When he decided to sing the songs that were rejected by the stars himself, he succeeded only in reaching a limited audience (including Léo Ferré et Georges Brassens), the public remaining unconvinced of his talent for singing.[6] Nevertheless the May 1968 in France generation, even more than the previous ones, loved his songs, especially because of their impertinence.

As a songwriter, Vian also inspired Serge Gainsbourg, who used to attend his show at the cabaret Les Trois Baudets and who wrote, thirty years later: “I took it on the chin […], he sang terrific things […], it is because I heard him that I decided to try something interesting”. As a critic, Boris Vian was the first to support Gainsbourg in Le Canard Enchaîné, in 1957.

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Over the years, Vian’s work have become modern classics, often celebrated and selected as subjects for study in schools. Vian is still viewed by many as the emblematic figure of Saint Germain des Prés as it existed during the postwar decade, when this district was the centre of artistic and intellectual life in Paris. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good sampler with songs from Boris Vian sung by many artists from the Fifties like Petula Cark, Henri Salvador or Juliette Gréco.

What a wonderful way to discover the world of the one and only Boris Vian.

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Tracklist:
01. Mouloudji: Le deserteur (1954) (Vian/Berg) 3.11
02. Henri Salvador: Faut rigoler (1958) (Salvador/Vian) 3.30
03. Annie Cordy: Nick nack paddy whack (1959) (Vian/Arnold) 2.08
04. Magali Noël: Oh! si y´avait pas ton père (1959) (Salvador/Vian) 2.39
05. Petula Clark: Java pour petula (1959) (Henderson/Steelman/Vian) 2.09
06. Dario Moreno: Venus de milo (1959) (Vian/Freed) 2.34
07. Hugues Aufray: Nous avions vingt ans (1959) (Vian/Goraguer) 2.46
08. Magali Noël: Oh! cest divin (1959) (Vian/Simon) 3.21
09. Juliette Gréco: Musique mecanique (1957) (Vian/Popp) 3.07
10. Philippe Clay: Juste le temps de vivre (1955) (Vian) 1.37
11. Henri Salvador: Moi, je prefere la marche a pied (1958) (Salvador/Vian) 2.31
12. Mouloudji: Je suis snob (1955) (Vian/Walter) 3.12
13. Magali Noël: Mon oncle celestin (1959) (Vian/Bolling) 3.24
14. Claude Piron: D´où reviens-tu Billy Boy (1958) (Scott/Vian) 2.31
15. Henri Salvador: Blouse du dentiste (1958) (Salvador/Vian) 3.29
16. Patachou: On n´est pas la pour se faire engueuler (1955) (Vian/Walter) 3.49
17. Mouloudji: Cinematographe (1955) (Vian/Walter) 3.06
18. Henri Salvador: Va t´faire cuire un (1956) (Legrano/Vian) 2.54

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Edith Piaf – Les plus grands succés (1963)

FrontCover1Edith Piaf, byname of Edith Giovanna Gassion, (born December 19, 1915, Paris, France—died October 10, 1963, Plascassier, near Grasse [see Researcher’s Note]), French singer and actress whose interpretation of the chanson, or French ballad, made her internationally famous. Among her trademark songs were “Non, je ne regrette rien” (“No, I Don’t Regret Anything”) and “La Vie en rose” (literally “Life in Pink” [i.e., through “rose-coloured glasses,” from an optimistic point of view]).

Piaf’s songs and singing style seemed to reflect the tragedies of her own difficult life. Her mother, a café singer, abandoned her at birth, and she was taken in by her grandmother, who reared the girl in a brothel. Piaf reportedly became blind at age three as a complication of meningitis but recovered her sight four years later. A few years after that she joined her father, a circus acrobat, and accompanied him while he performed. She sang in the streets of Paris, earning a meagre living while often in the company of petty criminals. Piaf gave birth to a daughter in 1932, but the child died two years later from meningitis. In 1935 she was discovered by Louis Leplée, a cabaret owner, who gave her her first nightclub job. It was Leplée who began calling her “la môme piaf,” Parisian slang for “little sparrow,” in apparent reference to her diminutive size—under 5 feet (142 cm) tall and about 90 pounds (40 kg) in weight. She later adopted the name professionally. Her debut was acclaimed by the actor Maurice Chevalier, who was in the audience that night.

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In 1935 Piaf made her theatrical debut, and within a few years she was singing in the large music halls of Paris. Initially her material was standard music hall fare, but eventually she had songwriters such as Marguerite Monnot and Michel Emer writing songs specifically for her. In the mid-1940s she became a mentor to the young Yves Montand, and she worked with him in the film Étoile sans lumière (1946; “Star Without Light”). She had an affair with the middleweight boxer Marcel Cerdan, who died in a plane crash on his way to meet her. Her unhappy personal life and unadorned though dramatic style underlined her expressive voice, and she was able to move audiences with her passionate rendition of songs that were often about loss and love. In her later life, Piaf was involved in several serious car accidents, and she suffered from failing health, partly due to alcohol and drug abuse. She died at the age of 47, reportedly from liver cancer. Her death was mourned across France, and thousands lined the route of her funeral procession.

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In addition to singing, Piaf recorded her thoughts about her life in two books, Au bal de la chance (1958; “At the Ball of Fortune”; Eng. trans. The Wheel of Fortune) and the posthumously published Ma vie (1964; My Life). She was the subject of several biographies as well as plays and movies. (britannica.com)

And here´s a great sampler with songs recorded between 1949 and 1961 … a greates hits album of course.

Edith Piaf was one of the most important singers in France … emjoy her very special voice … enjoy all these chansons.

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Personnel:
Edith Piaf (vocals)
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Robert Chauvigny Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Les Trois Cloches (Villard) 4.06
02. Hymne À L’amour (Piaf/Monnot) 3.25
03. La Vie En Rose (Piaf/Louiguy) 3.07
04. Padam..Padam (Contet/Glanzberg) 3.15
05. La Goualante Du Pauvre Jean (Rouzaud/Monnot) 2.01
06. C’est A Hambourg (Delécluse/Senlis/Monnot) 2.57
07. Milord (Moustaki/Monnot) 4.27
08. C’est L’amour (Piaf/Monnot) 2.58
09. Cri Du Coeur (Prevert/Crolla) 2.34
10. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Vaucaire/Dumont) 2.20
11. Jerusalem (Chabrier/Moutet) 3.57
12. Exodus (Marnay/Gold) 3.27

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Edith Piaf03.jpgÉdith Piaf (19 December 1915 – 10 October 1963)

Charles Aznavour – Colore ma vie (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgCharles Aznavour; born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian, Armenian (22 May 1924 – 1 October 2018) was a French-Armenian singer, lyricist, actor, public activist and diplomat. Aznavour was known for his unique tenor voice: clear and ringing in its upper reaches, with gravelly and profound low notes. In a career spanning over 70 years, he recorded more than 1,200 songs interpreted in eight languages. For himself and others, he wrote or co-wrote more than 1,000 songs. He was one of France’s most popular and enduring singers.

He sold 180 million records during his lifetime and was dubbed France’s Frank Sinatra, while music critic Stephen Holden described Aznavour as “French pop deity.” He was also arguably the most famous Armenian of his time. In 1998, Aznavour was named Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online from around the globe. He Aznavour02was recognized as the century’s outstanding performer, with nearly 18% of the total vote, edging out Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.

Aznavour sang for presidents, popes and royalty, as well as at humanitarian events. In response to the 1988 Armenian earthquake, he founded the charitable organization Aznavour for Armenia along with his long-time friend impresario Levon Sayan. In 2009, he was appointed ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland, as well as Armenia’s permanent delegate to the United Nations at Geneva. He started his most recent tour in 2014.

On 24 August 2017, Aznavour was awarded the 2,618th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On 19 September 2018, his last concert took place in NHK Hall, Osaka. On 1 October 2018 it was announced that he had died at his home in the village of Mouriès in the south of France. (by wikpedia)

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2007 album from the French vocalist, actor and songwriter, quite possibly the best known French entertainer in the world. Sounding like a mixture of Frank Sinatra and Maurice Chavalier, Aznavour’s distinctive voice has entertained audiences for over four decades.

Excellent master performance by the great Cuban pianist, “Chucho” Valdez, who gives it a totally different tone, atmosphere, and genre to the still strong and vibrant voice of the great Charles Aznavour (in his eighty’s.)

It infuses and adds magnificent Afro-Cuban rhythms and tones to Aznavour’s own creative poetry and lyrics, and it frequently dares and displays the special talents of this great piano concert-master Chucho Valdez, who comes from a whole family lineage of great concert pianists.

The CD was completely recorded in Havana, Cuba, mastered in Paris, France, and I believe that the Havana environment and spirit of the Island has been made felt throughout the CD.

A worthwhile CD to ad to your collection, whether an Aznavour fan, or a Chucho Valdez-Afro-Cuban connaisseur-fan. Enjoy! (by I. Jakubowicz)

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Personnel:
Charles Aznavour (vocals)
“Chucho” Valdez (piano)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. La Terre Meurt (Aznavour) 4.16
02. Colore Ma Vie (Aznavour) 3.49
03. Il y a des Femmes (Aznavour) 3.42
04. J’Abdiquerai (Aznavour) 4.06
05. Tendre Arménie (Aznavour) 4.47
06. Avant, Pendant, Après (Aznavour) 3.38
07. T’En Souvient-Il? (Aznavour) 4.14
08. Sans Importance (Aznavour/Bourtayre) 3.25
09. Moi, Je Vis en Banlieue (Aznavour) 4.27
10. Oui (Aznavour) 3.37
11. Fado (Aznavour) 4.40
12. La Fête Est Finie (Aznavour) 3.43

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Charles Aznavour  (22 May 1924 – 1 October 2018)