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)

Joe Dassin – Les Champs-Elysees (1969)

FrontCover1Joseph Ira Dassin (5 November 1938 – 20 August 1980) was an American-born French singer-songwriter.

Dassin was born in New York City to American film director Jules Dassin (1911–2008) and Béatrice Launer (1913–1994), a New York-born violinist, who after graduating from a Hebrew High School in the Bronx studied with the British violinist Harold Berkely at the Juilliard School of Music. His father was of Ukrainian-Jewish and Polish-Jewish extraction, his maternal grandfather was an Austrian-Jewish immigrant, who arrived in New York with his family at age 11.

He began his childhood first in New York City and Los Angeles. However, after his father fell victim to the Hollywood blacklist in 1950, he and his family moved from place to place across Europe.

JorDassin1Dassin studied at the International School of Geneva and the Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, and graduated in Grenoble. Dassin moved back to the United States, where he attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1957 to 1963, winning an undergraduate Hopwood Award for fiction in 1958 and earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1961 and a Master of Arts in 1963, both in Anthropology.

Moving to France, Dassin worked as a technician for his father and appeared as an actor in supporting roles, among others in a number of movies (three) directed by his father, including Topkapı (1964) in which he played the role of Josef. He met Valentin Teboul in Paris writing the famous Champs-Elysées Song in 1964.

On 26 December 1964, Dassin signed with CBS Records, making him the first French singer to be signed with an American record label.

JorDassin2By the early 1970s, Dassin’s songs were at the top of the charts in France, and he became immensely popular there. He recorded songs in German, Spanish, Italian, and Greek, as well as French and English. Amongst his most popular songs are “Les Champs-Élysées” (Originally “Waterloo Road”) (1969), “Salut les amoureux” (originally “City of New Orleans”) (1973), “L’Été indien” (1975), and “Et si tu n’existais pas” (1975).

Joe Dassin has appeared in the following movies:

1957 : He Who Must Die, by Jules Dassin : Benos
1958 : The Law (1959 film), by Jules Dassin : Nico
1964 : Topkapi (film), by Jules Dassin : Joseph
1965 : Lady L, by Peter Ustinov : police inspector
1965 : Nick Carter and Red Club, by Jean-Paul Savignac : Janos Adler
Joe Dassin with his parents, Jules Dassin and Béatrice Launer, in Paris in 1970.

Dassin married Maryse Massiéra in Paris on 18 January 1966. Their son Joshua was born two and a half months early on 12 September 1973, and died five days later. Overcome by grief, Joe became deeply depressed. Despite all their efforts, their marriage did not survive. In 1977, one year after their move to their newly built home in Feucherolles, just outside Paris, they divorced.

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Joe Dassin with Maryse Massiéra

On 14 January 1978, Dassin married Christine Delvaux in Cotignac. Their first son, Jonathan, was born on 14 September 1978; and their second son, Julien, arrived on 22 March 1980. Christine died in December 1995.

Dassin died from a heart attack during a vacation to Tahiti on 20 August 1980. He was survived by his two sons, both living in France, as well as his two younger sisters, Richelle (b. 1940) and Julie (b. 1945) and his parents Jules Dassin (1911–2008) and Béatrice Launer (1913–2005). His body is interred in the Beth Olam section of Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA. (wikipedia)

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Joe Dassin with Christine Delvaux

Where Serge Gainsbourg was Paris to the core and would export his work in many different styles, Joe Dassin was imported from Brooklyn, New York and focused on bright French pop.

This third album was his commercial breakthrough on the strength of the title track—a Magazine1969Continental reworking of the Jason Crest tune “Waterloo Road”—that would pop up years later on the soundtrack to The Darjeeling Limited and as a drinking song in Russian nightclubs. Some compositions nod to his Jewish heritage via the onomatopoeia (“Siffler sur la colline”) and orchestration (“Le Chemin de papa”) of klezmer and Yiddish theater.

We also hear hints of the early rustic arrangements of The Kinks (“La Bande à Bonnot”), Brill Building songsmithing (“Sunday Times”), even the Parisian jazz legacy (“La Violette africaine”).

Sure, your modern sensibilities might detect kitsch on the surface of this LP, but trust us when we say this is no mere novelty (by Adam Blyweiss)

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Personnel:
Joe Dassin (vocals)
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Orchestra conducted by Johmmy Arthey
Orchestra conducted by John Musy (on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Le Chemin De Papa (Dassin/Delanoë) 2.31
02. Le Petit Pain Au Chocolat (Bigazzi/Delanoë/Del Turco) 3.26
03. Les Champs-Elysées (Deighan/Wilsh/Delanoë) 2.40
04. Siffler Sur La Colline (Pace/Thomas/Rivat/Pilat/Panzeri) 2.40
05. Mon Village Du Bout Du Monde (Dassin/Delanoë/Traditional) 3.21
06. Me Que – Me Que (Aznavour/Bécaud) 2.39
07. Ma Bonne Etoile (Pace/Panzeri/Delanoë) 2.40
08. Un Peu Comme Toi (Nash/Dassin) 3.00
09. La Bande A Bonnot (Thomas/Rivat/Dassin) 2.52
10. La Violette Africaine (J. Dassin/R. Dassin) 3.28
11. Le Temps Des Oeufs Au Plat (Lemesle/J. Dassin/R. Dassin) 2.54
12. Sunday Times (J. Dassin/R. Dassin) 2.22

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