The Claude Bolling Big Band: Paris Swing (2003)
The ensemble has seven selections to itself, and is typically magnifique on every one, including Charles Trenet’s well-known melodies, “La Mer” (Beyond the Sea) and “I Wish You Love,” Bolling’s “Borsalino,” Michel Legrand’s “Pair of Twins” (from the film Les Demoiselles de Rochefort ) and a souped-up version of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise.” The opener, Bolling’s breezy, Basie-like “Suivez le Chef,” is a quick-witted “conversation” between his piano and the band. Bolling slows the tempo for a romantic version of “Beyond the Sea,” then picks it up again for “C’est Si Bon,” which was introduced by Yves Montand and became a mega-hit for Eartha Kitt in the ’50s. Maud sings “Autumn Leaves” in French and English, exposing only the slightest trace of an accent when abandoning her native tongue to interpret Johnny Mercer’s lyric. Instrumental soloists aren’t credited but they include Bolling and several members of the ensemble, each of whom is splendid. A delicious box of French bon bons, neatly packaged by maestro Bolling, his admirable big band and singers Thomas and Maud.
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Track Listing: Suivez le Chef; Beyond the Sea; C
Personnel: Claude Bolling, conductor, arranger, piano; Philippe Portejoie, alto, soprano sax; Claude Tissendier, alto sax, clarinet; Pierre Schirrer, tenor sax, flute; Romain Mayoral, tenor sax; Andr
Record Label: Milan Records
Style: Big Band