Serge Gainsbourg – Confidentiel (1964)

FrontCover1Serge Gainsbourg was the dirty old man of popular music; a French singer/songwriter and provocateur notorious for his voracious appetite for alcohol, cigarettes, and women, his scandalous, taboo-shattering output made him a legend in Europe but only a cult figure in America, where his lone hit “Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus” stalled on the pop charts — fittingly enough — at number 69.

Born Lucien Ginzberg in Paris on April 2, 1928, his parents were Russian Jews who fled to France following the events of the 1917 Bolshevik uprising. After studying art and teaching, he turned to painting before working as a bar pianist on the local cabaret circuit. Soon he was tapped to join the cast of the musical Milord L’Arsoille, where he reluctantly assumed a singing role; self-conscious about his rather homely appearance, Gainsbourg initially wanted only to carve out a niche as a composer and producer, not as a performer.

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Still, he made his recording debut in 1958 with the album Du Chant a la Une; while strong efforts like 1961’s L’Etonnant Serge Gainsbourg and 1964’s Gainsbourg Confidentiel followed, his jazz-inflected solo work performed poorly on the charts, although compositions for vocalists ranging from Petula Clark to Juliette Greco to Dionne Warwick proved much more successful. In the late ’60s, he befriended the actress Brigitte Bardot, and later became her lover; with Bardot as his muse, Gainsbourg’s lushly arranged music suddenly became erotic and delirious, and together, they performed a series of duets — including “Bonnie and Clyde,” “Harley Davidson,” and “Comic Strip” — celebrating pop culture icons.

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Gainsbourg’s affair with Bardot was brief, but its effects were irrevocable: after he became involved with constant companion Jane Birkin, they recorded the 1969 duet “Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus,” a song he originally penned for Bardot complete with steamy lyrics and explicit heavy breathing. Although banned in many corners of the globe, it reached the top of the charts throughout Europe, and grew in stature to become an underground classic later covered by performers ranging from Donna Summer to Ray Conniff.

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Gainsbourg returned in 1971 with Histoire de Melody Nelson, a dark, complex song cycle which signalled his increasing alienation from modern culture: drugs, disease, suicide and misanthropy became thematic fixtures of his work, which grew more esoteric, inflammatory, and outrageous with each passing release. Although Gainsbourg never again reached the commercial success of his late-’60s peak, he remained an imposing and controversial figure throughout Europe, where he was both vilified and celebrated for his shocking behavior, which included burning 500 francs on a live television broadcast and recording a reggae version of the sacred “La Marseillaise.”

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Gainsbourg also created a furor with the single “Lemon Incest,” a duet with his daughter, the actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. In addition, he posed in drag for the cover of 1984’s Love on the Beat, a collection of songs about male hustlers, and made sexual advances towards Whitney Houston on a live TV broadcast. Along with his pop music oeuvre, Gainsbourg scored a number of films, and also directed and appeared in a handful of features, most notably 1976’s Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus, which starred Birkin and Andy Warhol mainstay Joe Dallesandro. He died on March 2, 1991. (by Jason Ankeny)

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Gainsbourg Confidentiel, first released in 1963 and reissued this year by Rumble Records, finds Serge Gainsbourg singing over no more than Elek Bacsik’s guitar and Michel Gaudry’s bass. It’s an obscure record, at least in the States, that might startle those used to the lavish orchestrations of Melody Nelson or his early records with Alain Goraguer. Think of it as equivalent to Beach Boys’ Party: A one-off novelty that burns with the soul of an experimental artist.

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The arrangements work so long as Gainsbourg is performing quiet songs. While the “rock” songs, such as “Chez les yé-yé” and “Amour sans amour,” beg for a drumbeat, such ballads as “La saison des pluies” and “Sait-on jamais où va une femme quand elle vous quitte” translate better to this setting. Like so much of his music, this is an experiment, but its novelty often outweighs its practicality. It’s telling he’d never go back to this format; his next album Gainsbourg Percussions, inspired by then-faddish Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji, was another such one-off.

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Gainsbourg’s songwriting would sharpen as he grew older and more well-read, but some of his tics and obsessions are already apparent, like how material things stand in for romantic dissatisfaction. On “Scenic Railway” it’s the train his lover childishly wants him to take her on. On “La fille au rasoir” it’s an electric razor, over which she can’t hear anything he says. On “Talkie Walkie” it’s a device which, as Gainsbourg announces portentously in English, is “made in Japan.” Gainsbourg never learned English, but he sings it with a certain arrogant self-assurance.

Another obsession in plain view here, alas, is with very young girls. The girl on “Talkie Walkie” is young enough to find in a schoolyard. “Temps de yoyo” translates to “the time of yo-yos,” which he contrasts with “the time of yé-yé”—French teen pop, its name derived from the “yeah, yeah” shouts of its singers. He laments as his love-interest moves from one to the other, and on “Chez les yé-yé” he follows her to the dance, intent on getting “his Lolita” lest he do something violent.

One is not sure if these lines reflect Gainsbourg’s own sexual preferences, the rampant fetishization of children in early rock history, or his taste for scandal. He infamously performed a duet with his then-12 year-old daughter Charlotte on “Lemon Incest,” and his best-known record Histoire de Melody Nelson concerns the seduction of a 15-year-old. But considering the lyrics here, and the unwholesomeness of the songs he wrote for yé-ye girl France Gall shortly thereafter, it’s worth questioning his intent in shoehorning himself into the teenybopper industry.

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“Poupée de cire, poupée de son” celebrated pop stars as puppets for older men,“Les sucettes” was a lollipop-themed double entendre that went over the clueless singer’s head and made her a laughing stock. Today, these songs are sort of legendary—victories for the songwriter, no matter their effect on the singer. Gainsbourg is a textbook example of a powerful man in entertainment not only going unpunished but actually being celebrated for his sexual greed. This is something all who encounter his art must reckon with, and on Confidentiel it’s on naked display. (Daniel Bromfield)

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Personnel:
Elek Bacsik (guitar)
Serge Gainsbourg (vocals)
Michel Gaudry (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Chez Les Yé-Yé 2.29
02. Sait-On Jamais Où Va Une Femme Quand Elle Vous Quitte 1.59
03. Le Talkie-Walkie 2.04
04. La Fille Au Rasoir 1.45
05. La Saison Des Pluies 3.29
06. Elaeudanla Téïtéïa 1.39
07. Scenic Railway 2.35
08. Le Temps Des Yoyos 2.38
09. Amour Sans Amour 2.04
10. No No Thank’s No 2.33
11. Maxim’s 1.51
12. Negative Blues 1.34

All songs written by Serge Gainsbourg
except 05.: written by Elek Bacsik & Serge Gainsbourg

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Lucio Dalla – The Best Of Lucio Dalla (1995)

FrontCover1Lucio Dalla OMRI (4 March 1943 – 1 March 2012) was an Italian singer-songwriter, musician and actor. He also played clarinet and keyboards.

Dalla was the composer of “Caruso” (1986), a song dedicated to Italian opera tenor Enrico Caruso, and “L’anno che verrà” (1979).

Dalla was born in Bologna, Italy. He began to play the clarinet at an early age, in a jazz band in Bologna, and became a member of a local jazz band called Rheno Dixieland Band, together with future film director Pupi Avati. Avati said that he decided to leave the band after feeling overwhelmed by Dalla’s talent. He also acknowledged that his film, Ma quando arrivano le ragazze? (2005), was inspired by his friendship withDalla.

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In the 1960s the band participated in the first Jazz Festival at Antibes, France. The Rheno Dixieland Band won the first prize in the traditional jazz band category and was noticed by a Roman band called Second Roman New Orleans Jazz Band, with whom Dalla recorded his first record in 1961 and had the first contacts with RCA records, his future music publisher.

Singer-songwriter Gino Paoli hearing Dalla’s vocal qualities, suggested that he attempt a soloist career as a soul singer. However, Dalla’s debut at the Cantagiro music festival in 1965 was not successful probably due to both his physical appearance as well as his music, which was considered too experimental for the time. His first single, a rendition in Italian of the American traditional standard “Careless Love” was a failure, as it was his first album, 1999, that was released the following year. His next album, Terra di Gaibola (from the name of a suburb of Bologna), was released in 1970 and contained some early Dalla classics. His first hit was “4 Marzo 1943”, which achieved some success due to the Sanremo Festival. The original title of the song was supposed to be “Gesù bambino”, however in those years there was still stiff censorial control over the content of songs, and the title was changed to Dalla’s birth date.

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Dalla’s recording debut as a soloist took place in 1964, with the release of the 45 rpm-single “Lei (non è per me)” (B-side: “Ma questa sera”). In the 1970s, Dalla started a collaboration with the Bolognese poet Roberto Roversi. Roversi wrote the lyrics to Dalla’s next three albums Il giorno aveva cinque teste (The Day Had Five Heads) (1973), Anidride solforosa (Sulphur dioxide) (1975) and Automobili (Automobiles) (1976).

Although these albums did not sell in large numbers, they were noted by critics for the unusual mix of Roversi’s lyrics with Dalla’s improvisations, along with the latter’s sometimes experimental twists and composition abilities. The duo had already broken up by the time the concept album Automobili was released. Roversi, who had been against the album’s release, chose the pseudonym “Norisso” when it was time to register the songs. The album, however, included one of Dalla’s most popular songs, “Nuvolari”, named after the famous 1930s Italian racer.

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Affected by the end of the collaboration, Dalla decided to write the lyrics of his next albums himself. The first album of this new phase was Com’è profondo il mare (1977), in which Dalla was accompanied by members of future pop band Stadio.

In 1979, his popularity was confirmed by the success of the Banana Republic album and the first of two self-titled albums, Lucio Dalla, followed by Dalla in 1980.

The song “Caruso”, released in 1986, has been covered by numerous international artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Julio Iglesias. The version sung by Pavarotti sold over 9 million copies, and another version was a track on Andrea Bocelli’s first international album, Romanza, which sold over 20 million copies worldwide.[5] Maynard Ferguson also covered the song on his album “Brass Attitude”, after having previously paid tribute to Caruso with his rendition of “Vesti la giubba” (titled as “Pagliacci”) on the album Primal Scream.[6]

The 1990 hit single “Attenti al lupo” gave Dalla wider success in Europe. He was invited to duet on Pavarotti and friends, singing his hit “Caruso” with Pavarotti.

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In 2010, Dalla came back to work with Francesco De Gregori during the “Work in Progress” tour and album. Dalla’s main influences were to be found in jazz, but his songs ranged from folk (“Attenti al lupo”) and pop (“Lunedì”), from Italian singer-songwriters (the albums from Com’è profondo il mare to Dalla) to classical and opera (“Caruso”).

Lucio Dalla was outed as gay after his funeral (at which his longterm associate and partner Marco Alemanno, with whom he had shared a house, spoke), although he had not publicly acknowledged this during his life, saying in a 1979 interview “Non mi sento omosessuale” (“I do not feel gay”).

This outing sparked debate about Italian society’s attitudes towards homosexuality..

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On the morning of 1 March 2012, three days before his 69th birthday, Dalla died of a heart attack, shortly after having breakfast at the hotel where he was staying in Montreux, Switzerland, having performed in the city the night before. He was in the company of Marco Alemanno when he died. An estimated 50,000 people attended his funeral in Bologna.

Dalla’s 1986 song “Caruso”, dedicated to Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, entered the Italian Singles Chart after his creator’s death, peaking at number two for two consecutive weeks. The single was also certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a nice collection of his best songs … I added his hit “Caruso”.

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Personnel:
Lucio Dalla (vocals)
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many, many studio musians

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Tracklist:
01. Futura 6.01
02. Anna E Marco 3.43
03. Come E’ Profondo Il Mare 5.23
04. Cosa Sarà 4.17
05. Balla Balla Ballerino 5.43
06. Telefonami Tra Vent’anni 4.45
07. Cara 5.32
08. Disperato Erotico Stomp 5.47
09. La Sera Dei Miracoli 5.13
10. L’anno Che Verrà 4.24
11. La Signora 3.57
12. Mambo 5.01
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13. Caruso 5.13

All songs written by Lucio Dalla
except 04, written by Rosalino Cellamare & Lucio Dalla

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Riccardo Cocciante – Quando Si Vuole Bene (1° Tempo) (1986)

FrontCover1Riccardo Cocciante was born on 20 February 1946 in Saigon, French Indochina, now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to an Italian father from Rocca di Mezzo, L’Aquila, and a French mother. At the age of 11, he moved to Rome, Italy, where he attended the Lycée français Chateaubriand. He has also lived in France, the United States, and Ireland. (wikipedia)

Born of an Italian father and a French mother (so it’s no surprise he uses the name Richard for his French records), he often performed in pop events, and his first album, “Mu” (1972) presented a mixture of progressive rock and religion.

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But it was only with his following works, “Poetry (Poesia)” (1973) and “Soul (Anima)” (1974), that his very personal approach to song-writing became apparent: the coarse voice strokes the chords of a tortured intimacy (“Poesia”) or bursts into an irrepressible, almost raging cry, that became famous with “Soulless beauty (Bella senz’anima)” and “When a love story’s over (Quando finisce un amore)”.
If “Dawn (Alba)” (1975) hovers in some way between manierism and ritual, it is with “Concert for Margherita (Concerto per Margherita)” (1976) that Cocciante reaches superstar status: arranged by Vangelis, the album contains several very successful songs (“Spring (Primavera)”, “When you’re fond (Quando si vuole bene)”), not least “Margherita” – written four-handed with Marco Luberti – which is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Italian love songs of all time.

Riccardo Cocciante01An artist by this time know well known throughout Europe and South America, with “Riccardo Cocciante” (1977) and “…and I sing (… e io canto)” (1979) he continues along the successful path set by the earlier albums: in ’77, as proof of the appreciation he enjoys as a songwriter, both Mina and Mia Martini decide to record versions of his “Once again (Da capo)”. A change comes with “A deer in springtime (Cervo a primavera)” (1981), in which Mogol – soon after the end of his collaboration with Lucio Battisti – lends a hand with the lyrics: the collaboration produces excellent results, as is proven by pieces such as the one that lends it’s title to the album and “My dearest friend (Il mio amico carissimo), both fated to become old favourites. The presence of Mogol has beneficial effects on the subsequent “Cocciante” (1982), that is steeped with future classics such as “A hole in the heart (Un buco nel cuore)”, “A new friend (Un nuovo amico)”, “On a bicycle (In bicicletta)” and “Blue nostalgia (Celeste nostalgia)”.

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Having changed recording company, moving from Rca to Virgin, Cocciante attempts to make the big leap into international pop: the results however are uneven and the only song to stand out is “Questione di feeling” (from the album “The Sea of poppies (Il mare dei papaveri)”, 1985), performed as a duet with Mina.

Riccardo Cocciante04Having retired with his wife Catherine Boutet to the United States, the singer only returns to Italy to take part in the Sanremo Festival in 1991, which he wins with “If we stay together (Se stiamo insieme)”. The rest is recent history: the success achieved with the music for “Notre Dame du Paris”, the work inspired by Victor Hugo’s tale which, following its Parisian debut in 1998, is now being staged worldwide and selling millions of records, and established him as an internationally famous artist.
In 2006, Sony-Bmg publishes “All my dreams (Tutti i miei sogni)”, a three CD box set with a collection of all his hit songs: they range from “Now I am the light (Ora che io sono la luce)” and “Man (Uomo)” both from Mu up to the recent “You Italia (Tu Italia)” and “On the lips and in the mind (Sulle labbra e nel pensiero)” from “Songs” recorded in 2005. (Francesco Troiano)

And here´s a real nice live recording:

‘Quando si vuole bene’ is the first live album by Riccardo Cocciante.The album was recorded during the singer-songwriter’s tour in (1986).

Wonderful Pop Chansons in Italian, very lovingly arranged and played by excellent musicians.

For all romantic readers of this blog.

Recorded live during the 1986 Italian Tour

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Personnel:
Dino d’Autorio (bass)
Riccardo Cocciante (vocals, piano)
Valerio Galavotti (saxophone, flute)
Maurizio Lucantoni (keyboards)
Agostino Marangolo (drums)
Carlo Pennisi (guitar)
Michele Santoro (guitar, keyboards)
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choir:
Chattanooga:
Ezio Mazzola – Vittorio Fiorillo – Rossella Cassese – Daniela Cassese – Riki Graziano

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Tracklist:
01. Tu Sei Il Mio Amico Carissimo (Mogol/Cocciante) 3:08
02. Un Buco Nel Cuore 4:30
03. In Bicicletta 4:08
04. Sulla Terra Io E Lei (Roda-Gil/Cocciante 4:12
05. Primavera (Luberti/Cocciante) 5:10
06. Cervo A Primavera 5:05
06. È Passata Una Nuvola 3:46
07. Il Mare Dei Papaveri 3:31
08. Celeste Nostalgia 3:59
09. Parole Sante, Zia Lucia 4:56

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Françoise Hardy – Same (Soleil) (1970)

FrontCover1Françoise Madeleine Hardy (French: [fʁɑ̃swaz aʁdi]; born 17 January 1944) is a French singer-songwriter. She made her musical debut in the early 1960s on Disques Vogue and found immediate success with her song “Tous les garçons et les filles”. As a leading figure of the yé-yé movement, Hardy “found herself at the very forefront of the French music scene”, and became “France’s most exportable female singing star”, recording in various languages, appearing in movies, touring throughout Europe, and gaining plaudits from musicians such as Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and Mick Jagger. With the aid of photographer Jean-Marie Périer, Hardy also began modeling, and soon became a popular fashion icon as well.

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As the yé-yé era drew to a close in the late 1960s, Hardy sought to reinvent herself, casting off the fashionable girl next door image that Périer had created for her and abandoning the “cute” and catchy compositions that had characterized her repertoire up to that point. She began working with more accomplished songwriters such as Serge Gainsbourg and Patrick Modiano. Her 1971 album La question represented an important turning point in her career, moving towards a more mature style; it remains her most acclaimed work and has generated a dedicated cult following over the years. The early 1970s also marked the beginning of Hardy’s renowned involvement with astrology, becoming an expert and writer on the subject over the years.

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Hardy remains a popular figure in music and fashion, and is considered an icon of French pop and of the 1960s. The singer is also considered a gay icon and has “repeatedly declared that her most devoted friends and fans are gay.” Several of her songs and albums have appeared in critics’ lists.

In May 2000, she made a comeback with the album Clair-obscur on which her son played guitar and her husband sang the duet “Puisque vous partez en voyage”. Iggy Pop and Étienne Daho also took part. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s her 12th album:
With the album “Soleil” Francoise Hardy has succeeded in creating a small, unrecognised masterpiece. The 12 songs, which range from pop to pop, form a conceptual coherence and do not fall off at any point! As in my previous reviews, the author team Mick Jones (Spooky Tooth, Foreigner) and Thomas F. Browne are again involved. “Fleur De Lune” (Jones recorded it before with Johnny Hallyday) is the first highlight on this album and if you can listen structurally, you know at the latest now where Led Zeppelin got their “Stairway To Heaven” from 😉

The labels of the Japanese release of Soleil, under the title Conte de Fées:
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Francoise’s compositions “Point” or “Un Petit Sourire , Un Petit Mot” are also very strong and, for me, actually make really good artists. But the delicate fragile voice supports the eerily beautiful harmonies at any time in many quiet pieces like “Effeuille Molle Coeur”… Conclusion: Francoise Hardy with very strong material that has been skilfully realised by Mick Jones and Thomas F. Browne and allows you to breathe a little easier, especially after a hard day 😉 (Jack Paw)

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Personnel:
Françoise Hardy (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians
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Tommy Brown (drums)
Micky Jones (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Point (Hardy) 2.48
02. San Salvador (Traditional) 2,21
03. Fleur de Lune (Jones/Hardy/Brown) 3.06
04. Effeuille-Moi Le Coeur (Lech/Llous) 2.07
05. Un Petit Sourire, Un Petit Mot (Hardy) 2.46
06. Le Crabe (Roda-Gil/Estardy) 2.54
07. Mon Monde N’Est Pas Vrai (Never Learn To Cry) (Napier-Bell/Wickham/Hardy) 2.44
08. Tu Ressembles A Tous Ceux Qui Ont Eu Du Chagrin (Hardy) 2.03
09. L’Ombre (Jones/Brown/Delanoä) 2.13
10. Soleil (Sunshine) (Howard/Alpert/Hardy) 3.45
11. Je Fais Des Puzzles (Jones/Brown/de Courson/Modiano) 2.54
12. Dame Souris Trotte (de Courson/Marques) 1.37

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The edition from Brazil:
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More from Françoise Hardy:
More

The official website:
Website

Various Artists – Les Chansons Inmmortelles (1979)

FrontCover1A chanson, “song”, from Latin cantio, gen. cantionis) is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specializing in chansons is known as a “chanteur” (male) or “chanteuse” (female); a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.

The earliest chansons were the epic poems performed to simple monophonic melodies by a professional class of jongleurs or ménestrels. These usually recounted the famous deeds (geste) of past heroes, legendary and semi-historical. The Song of Roland is the most famous of these, but in general the chansons de geste are studied as literature since very little of their music survives.

The chanson courtoise or grand chant was an early form of monophonic chanson, the chief lyric poetic genre of the trouvères. It was an adaptation to Old French of the Occitan canso. It was practised in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Thematically, as its name implies, it was a song of courtly love, written usually by a man to his noble lover. Some later chansons were polyphonic and some had refrains and were called chansons avec des refrains. A Crusade song was known as a chanson de croisade.
Burgundian chanson

In its typical specialized usage, the word chanson refers to a polyphonic French song of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Early chansons tended to be in one of the formes fixes—ballade, rondeau or virelai (formerly the chanson baladée)—though some composers later set popular poetry in a variety of forms. The earliest chansons were for two, three or four voices, with first three becoming the norm, expanding to four voices by the sixteenth century. Sometimes, the singers were accompanied by instruments.

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The first important composer of chansons was Guillaume de Machaut, who composed three-voice works in the formes fixes during the 14th century. Guillaume Dufay and Gilles Binchois, who wrote so-called Burgundian chansons (because they were from the area known as Burgundy), were the most important chanson composers of the next generation (c. 1420-1470). Their chansons, while somewhat simple in style, are also generally in three voices with a structural tenor. Musicologist David Fallows includes the Burgundian repertoire in A Catalogue of Polyphonic Songs 1415-1480. These works are typically still 3 voices, with an active upper voice (discantus) pitched above two lower voices (tenor and altus) usually sharing the same range.

Later 15th- and early 16th-century figures in the genre included Johannes Ockeghem and Josquin des Prez, whose works cease to be constrained by formes fixes and begin to feature a pervading imitation (all voices sharing material and moving at similar speeds), similar to that found in contemporary motets and liturgical music. The first book of music printed from movable type was Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, a collection of ninety-six chansons by many composers, published in Venice in 1501 by Ottaviano Petrucci.

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Beginning in the late 1520s through mid- century, Claudin de Sermisy, Pierre Certon, Clément Janequin, and Philippe Verdelot were composers of so-called Parisian chansons, which also abandoned the formes fixes, often featured four voices, and were in a simpler, more homophonic style. This genre sometimes featured music that was meant to be evocative of certain imagery such as birds or the marketplace. Many of these Parisian works were published by Pierre Attaingnant. Composers of their generation, as well as later composers, such as Orlando de Lassus,[clarification needed] were influenced by the Italian madrigal. Many early instrumental works were ornamented variations (diminutions) on chansons, with this genre becoming the canzone, a progenitor of the sonata.

French solo song developed in the late 16th century, probably from the aforementioned Parisian works. During the 17th century, the air de cour, chanson pour boire and other like genres, generally accompanied by lute or keyboard, flourished, with contributions by such composers as Antoine Boesset, Denis Gaultier, Michel Lambert and Michel-Richard de Lalande.

During the 18th century, vocal music in France was dominated by opera, but solo song underwent a renaissance in the 19th century, first with salon melodies and then by mid-century with highly sophisticated works influenced by the German Lieder, which had been introduced into the country. Louis Niedermeyer, under the particular spell of Schubert, was a pivotal figure in this movement, followed by Édouard Lalo, Felicien David and many others.

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Another offshoot of chanson, called chanson réaliste (realist song), was a popular musical genre in France, primarily from the 1880s until the end of World War II.[1][2] Born of the cafés-concerts and cabarets of the Montmartre district of Paris and influenced by literary realism and the naturalist movements in literature and theatre, chanson réaliste was a musical style which was mainly performed by women and dealt with the lives of Paris’s poor and working class. Among the better-known performers of the genre are Damia, Fréhel, and Édith Piaf.

Later 19th-century composers of French art songs, known as mélodie and not chanson, included Ernest Chausson, Emmanuel Chabrier, Gabriel Fauré, and Claude Debussy, while many 20th-century and current French composers have continued this strong tradition.

In France today “chanson” or “chanson française” typically refers to the music of singers such as Charles Trenet, Guy Béart, Jacques Brel, Jean Ferrat, Georges Brassens, Édith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Barbara, Dalida, Serge Reggiani, Léo Ferré, Mireille Mathieu and Serge Gainsbourg and more recently Mano Solo, Dominique A, Matthieu Chedid, Benjamin Biolay, Jean-Louis Murat, Miossec, Mathieu Boogaerts, Daniel Darc, Vincent Delerm, Maurane, Zaz, Bénabar, Renan Luce, Olivia Ruiz. Chanson can be distinguished from the rest of French “pop” music by following the rhythms of French language, rather than those of English, and a higher standard for lyrics. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a lob budget sampler with a few highlights from this genre, recorded in the Sixties.

Enjoy the magic of this music … and I have to travel again to Paris … sometimes …

This album was originally released in 1972, my copy is a re-release in 1979.

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Tracklist:
01. Gilbert Becaud: Je t’attends (Bécaud/Aznavour) 2.22
02. Edith Piaf: Milord (Mannot/Moustaki) 4.28
03. Charles Aznavour: Sur ma vie (Aznavour) 3.05
04. Adamo: Tombe la neige (Adamo) 2.53
05. Enrico Macias: Mon coeur d’attache (Dermarny/Blanc/Macias) 3.32
06. Richard Anthony: Donne moi ma chance (Hal/Bacharach) 2.27
07. Gilbert Becaud: Et maintenant (Delanoe/Bécaud/Bratke) 3.40
08. Edith Piaf: Non, je ne regrette rien (Vaucaire/Dumont/Siegel) 2.21
09. Charles Aznavour: Une enfant (Aznavour/Chauvigny) 3.43
10. Adamo; Quand les roses (Adamo) 2.31
11. Enrico Macias: Enfants de tous pays (Macias/Demarny/Blanc) 2.57
12. Richard Anthony: Aranjuez mon amour (Rodrigo) 4.54

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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)

Singles

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)