150

Various Artists: Jazz a Saint Germain

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Various Artists: Jazz a Saint Germain Jazz A Saint-Germain is designed to evoke the Bohemian atmosphere of Paris during the German occupation. A series of vocalists (including Angelique Kidjo, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dee Dee's daughter China, Deborah Harry, and many more) turn in a series of highly original takes on standard English and French fare; most achieve a smoky, highly-charged feel, but within this obvious goal there is a tremendous variety. China sounds traditionally breathy and mournful on "Lover Man," but on "Les Joyeux Bouchers" Catherine Ringer (with the Renegade Brass Band) is strident. Angelique Kidjo constructs a peculiarly high-tech "Summertime," but presents it marvelously.

Dee Dee's "Watermelon Man" is as funky as it oughta be, but Francoise Hardy shifts gears in a big way by joining up with, you guessed it, Iggy Pop for a sly "I'll Be Seeing You" that is a clear highlight of this eclectic disc. The Jazz Passengers take Deborah Harry back into a jazzier (and quirkier) mode for "Il n'y a plus d' apres." Try to find the "Heart of Glass" girl amid all this! Jacky Terrasson's "La Javanaise" is a characteristically high-gloss, dignified performance, bolstered by an uncredited but engaging rhythm section. Patricia Kaas' "Black Coffee" is rescued from anonymousville by her nervy vocals.

Then comes "God Bless the Child," drained of all its emotional power in a ghastly techno arrangement fronted by Princess Erika. Call me a fogy and bring in Billie, but she ain't here. Les Nubians' "Autour de Minuit" is, by contrast, a thoroughly offbeat but understated and successful take on "Round Midnight" that actually breathes new life into the old tune. Jane Birkin and Jimmy Rowles tread softly through "Those Foolish Things" and hand off to Brigitte Fontaine, whose funky "La Caravane" is suitably oriental-tinged but otherwise undistinguished. Elli Medeiros' "Sophisticated Lady" is a delightfully rakish old girl, and Boris Vian's "J'Suis Snob" is the only real throwback, the only male voice, and one of the most interesting (if interrupted) tracks on an interesting disc.


Title: Jazz a Saint Germain | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Higher Octave Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Live 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Live 1972
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 5, 2017
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "The Dead Man" CD/LP/Track Review The Dead Man
by James Nadal
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Counteract This Turmoil Like Trees And Birds" CD/LP/Track Review Counteract This Turmoil Like Trees And Birds
by John Sharpe
Published: August 3, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.