Various Artists – Café de Paris – 40 Classic French Café Songs (2014)

FrontCover140 essentialrecordings evoking the charm of Paris´ café s and boulevards.

Over two hours of timeless songs and classic instrumentals featuring Maurice Chavalier, Edith Piaf, Tino Rossi, Jean Sablon, Juliette Gréco, Josephine Baker, Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and more …

A marvellous compendium of classic French recordings. I admit to being obsessed with France, its’ culture and its’ history. This set has been “played to death” since it arrived. I challenge any lover of France and French life to listen to this in the garden on a warm summer evening with some wine and cheese, and for them to not be mentally transported to a culture and way of life so different to the UK. (by Gremlin)

But: I have to dedicate this entry to all the victims of the terror attack yesterday on Friday, the 13th.

TerrorInParis02Let´s listen to this music as a sign of hope I know I´m a dreamer, but I´m not the only one


CD 1:
01. Charles Trenet: Boum! (Trenet/Breton) 2.34
02. Édith Piaf: L’Accordéoniste (Emer) 3.15
03. L’Accordéoniste: Under The Bridges Of Paris (Scotto/Coulon/Marcuse) 2.25
04. Maurice Chevalier: Dites-Moi ma mère (Yvain/Willemetz) 3.08
05. Café accordien du Paris: Pigalle (Ulmer/Luypaerts/Koger) 3.18
06. Juliette Gréco: Accordeon (Gainsbourg) 2.22
07. Josephine Baker: Chiquita madame (Misraki/Barro) 2.47
08. Charles Trenet: Douce France (Trenet) 3.10
09. Jean Sablon feat. Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli: Un amour comme le nôtre (Borel/Clerc) 3.06
10. Josephine Baker: De temps en temps (Homez/Misraki) 3.21
11. Tino Rossi: Guitare D’amour (Schmidseder/Potérat) 3.10
12. Juliette Gréco: Guinguettes (Stern/Bacri) 2.49
13. Frederic Lombert: Gigi (Lerner/Loewe) 2.51
14. Daniel Deauville: I Love Paris (Porter) 2.37
15. Charles Trenet: Le grand café (Trenet) 2.12
16. Édith Piaf: Les mômes de la cloche (Scotto/Decaye/Fortin) 3.21
17. L’Accordéoniste: C’est Magnifique (Porter) 2.14
18. Jean Sablon feat. Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli: Cette chanson est pour vous (Life is a song) (Ahlert/Young/Varna/Cabridens) 3.11
19. Tino Rossi: J’attendrai (Olivieri/Rastelli/Potérat) 2.51
20. Josephine Baker: Besame mucho (Rivera) 3.21

CD 2:
21. Maurice Chevalier: Mimi (Rodgers/Hart) 2.24
22. Nathalie et Guillaume: Je t’aime (Gainsbourg) 5.01
23. Charles Trenet: La mer (Trenet/Lasry) 3.23
24. Édith Piaf: Elle a dit (Becaud/Piaf) 3.50
25. Orchestre Cinema: The Summer Knows (Legrand) 3.41
26. Juliette Gréco: La chanson de Margaret (Verschueren/Dumarchey) 4.43
27. Maurice Chevalier: Ah si vous connaissiez ma poule (Willemetz/Toche/Borel-Clerc) 3.21
28. Josephine Baker: Les mots d’amour (Borel-Clerc) 2.52
29. Charles Trenet: Verlaine (Trenet/Verlaine) 3.24
30. Édith Piaf: Chante moi (Chauvigny/Piaf) 3.22
31. S B Playes: Petite Fleur (Bechet) 3.42
32. Tino Rossi: Tant qu’il y aura des etoiles (Scotto/Hornez/Vendresse) 3.06
33. Maurice Chevalier: La choupetta (Paiva/Jararaca/Battaille) 2.54
34. Jean Sablon feat. Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli: Prenez garde au grand méchant loup! (Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?) (Churchill/Ronell) 2.37
35. Josephine Baker: Si J’étais blanche (Lelievre/Varna/Falk) 2.44
36. Luc Montrose: Love Is Blue (Popp/Cour) 2.45
37. Paris Express: Chanson D’amour (Shanklin) 2.46
38. Juliette Gréco: Java Partour (Ferre) 2.59
39. Maurice Chevalier: Oui papa (Everybody loves my girl) (Abrahams/Young/Lewis) 2.10
40. Jean Sablon: Rythme du bal continental (The Continental) (Conrad/Magidson) 3.02


“Once again we’ve seen an outrageous attack to terrorize innocent civlians,” Obama said, adding that it is an “attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”


VA – Très Chic – French Cool From Paris To The Côte d’Azur (2013)

FrontCover1Retro French music is very much in vogue on this side of the Channel and Union Square have sought to capitalise on this by releasing this most entertaining overview of 1950s and 1960s French music. While any two CD compilation can only ever hope to scratch the surface and more in-depth anthologies are required to be fully comprehensive, for the neophyte this actually serves it’s purpose well of introducing the listener to a whole raft of musicians. The music is neatly divided up between male crooners, Left bank existentialist singers, women singers and jazzier influences that includes both instrumentalists from famous French new wave film soundtracks, or French jazzers. Among the crooners, Yves Montand deserves to be heard by an anglophone audience and his interpretations of the music of Prévert are near definitive. Here he delivers the smooth sounding ‘C’est si bon’. Talking of smooth operators, Sacha Distel takes some beating and it may come as a surprise to non-French readers to learn that he was a very accomplished jazz guitarist before becoming a singer. Arguably his most famous song is showcased here, ‘Scoubidoo’. Henri Salvador gained international recognition late in his career, but this early jazz scat, ‘C’est le be bop’, is an indication of what was to follow. While Charles Aznavour is best known in the UK for ‘She’, his late 1950s and early 1960s sides were full of emotion and jazzy orchestrations and ‘Je me voyais, déjà’ is typical of his output from the era. For more left-field sounds, this compilation deserves great credit for including some of the following singers. Bobby Lapointe came to prominence as a subversive singer who made a brief appearance in François Truffaut’s ‘Shoot the pianist’ film. Here ‘Framboise’ is boisterous, fast-paced and a delight from start to finish.

Inlet01APreceding the 1960s starlettes by a decade, Juliette Gréco possesses a deep, throaty voice that was ideally suited to interpreting Gainsbourg and Prévert and ‘Si tu t’imagines’ is just one of her vast repertoire and a fine example at that. Léo Ferré is the current French president’s favourite singer and the melodic ‘A Saint Germain des Prés’ is an early illustration of Ferré’s beautiful voice. He would later become famous for his lengthy literary raps and he was very much an anti-establishment figure. Barbara may be less known outside France, but has few equals in France as a singer-songwriter and ‘Dis quand reviendras-tu?’ is a fine example of her pared down sound. Jacques Brel needs little introduction, but for those as yet unaware ‘La valse à mille temps’ shifts gear as only Brel knows how and he is an all-time great of the French language. Last, but by no means least, Serge Gainsbourg is nothing less than a national treasure, but interestingly for those who are familiar with his later psychedelic period, here the focus is on his jazz period. Both ‘Intoxicated man’ and ‘Requiem pour un twister’ are superior examples of his early period that stand the test of time. A trio of French women singers includes the obligatory Françoise Hardy and her seminal ‘Tous les garcons et les filles’, another Truffaut sound track song by Jeanne Moreau, ‘Le Tourbillon’, featured in the delightful ‘Jules et Jim’ film and a melancholic sounding Brigitte Bardot on ‘Sidonie’.

Inlet02AJazz musicians featured include Miles Davis and his stunning contribution to Louis Malle’s ‘Lift to the Scaffold’ film and pianist Martial Solal and the terrific soundtrack to Jean-Luc Godard’s seminal ‘A bout de souffle’/’Breathless’. Noteworthy are two other pieces, the Latin-jazz influenced ‘No hay problema’ by Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers and a vocal number by Claude Nougaro. This French singer deserves a compilation of his own for an English-speaking audience, such is the richness of his 1960s jazz and 1970s Brazilian flavoured songs. A final mention should be made for France’s answer to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, les Double Six who deliver a stunning version of one of Art Blakey’s staple tunes ‘Moanin’. All in all a musical experience that is truly a ‘joie de vivre’! (by Tim Stenhouse)


CD 1:
01. Françoise Hardy: Le temps de l’amour (Dutronc/Salvet/Morisse) 2.23
02. Serge Gainsbourg: Requiem pour un twisteur (Gainsbourg) 2.37
03. Jeanne Moreau: Le tourbillon (Bassiak/Delerue) 2.03
04. Les Double Six: Rat Race (Jones/Perrin) 2.35
05. Claude Nougaro: Le cinéma (Legrand/Nougaro) 2.56
06. Sacha Distel: Brigitte (Brousolle/Distel) 2.17
07. Magali Noël: Alhambra-Rock (Goraguer/Vian) 2.35
08. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: No hay problema (Marray) 4.33
09. Charles Aznavour: Je m’voyais déjà (Aznavour) 3.22
10. Claude Nougaro: Les Don Juan (Legrand/Nougaro) 3.17
11. Léo Ferré: À Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Ferré) 3.01
12. Michel Legrand: Blues chez le bougnat (Legrand) 2.08
13. Charles Trenet: Que reste-t-il de nos amours? (Trenet/Chauliac) 3.10
14. Henri Salvador: C’est le be bop (Vian/Dieval) 2.05
15. Sacha Distel: Marina (Reardon/Distel) 4.11
16. Mouloudji: Comme un p’tit coquelicot (Grasso/Valery) 3.43
17. Anna Karina: Chanson d’Angela (Legrand/Godard) 2.23
18. Boby Lapointe: Framboise (Lapointe) 2.39
19. Catherine Sauvage: Black Trombone (Gainsbourg) 2.29
20. Corinne Marchand: La joueuse (Varda/Legrand) 1.52

CD 2:
01. Claude Nougaro: Le jazz et la java (Datin/Nougaro) 2.24
02. Françoise Hardy: Tous les garçons et les filles (Hardy/Samyn) 3.05
03. Serge Gainsbourg: Intoxicated Man (Gainsbourg) 2.35
04. Line Renaud: Sexe (Gaste) 3.32
05. Jacqueline Dano: Chanson de Lola (Varda/Legrand) 2.12
06. Jacques Brel: La valse à mille temps (Brel) 3.48
07. Martial Solal: New York Herald Tribune (Solal) 1.26
08. Les Double Six: Moanin’ (Timmons) 3.09
09. Magali Noël: Strip-Rock (Goraguer/Vian) 2.16
10. Boris Vian: Je suis snob (Walter/Vian) 2.49
11. Brigitte Bardot: Sidonie (Cros/Spanos/Riviere) 2.52
12. Barbara: Dis quand reviendras tu? (Barbara) 2.52
13. Juliette Gréco: Si tu t’imagines (Queneau) 2.42
14. Yves Montand: C’est si bon (Homez/Betti) 2.33
15. Henry Cording: Vas t’faire cuire un oeuf man (Sinclair/Mike) 2.51
16. Sacha Distel: Scoubidou (Teze/Distel) 3.00
17. Gilbert Becaud: Me-que-me-que (Becaus/Aznavour) 2.27
18. The Miles Davis Ensemble: Générique (nuit sur Les Champs-Élysées) (Davis) 2.53
19. Brigitte Fontaine & Areski: Il pleut sur la gare (Areski/Faintaine) 1.47
20. Valérie Lagrange: Si ma chanson pouvait (Lagrange) 5.25