Benjamin Biolay —
GrandPrix ... CD Universal (France), 2020. New Copy ...
Rock-solid work from the mighty Benjamin Biolay – one of the few contemporary French talents who moves us as much as his counterparts from the 60s scene – and an artist who's maybe now got a legacy that's even larger than some of his earlier heroes! The album's got a sound that's as sharp and striking as its cover – well-penned tunes by Biolay, served up with inventive production, and a great ear for the sorts of tunes that work perfectly with Benjamin's oft-whispered vocals – a mode certainly inherited from Serge Gainsbourg's Melody Nelson years, but taken into directions that have definitely made Biolay his own artist over the years. Titles include "Visage Pale", "Ou Est Passe La Tendresse", "Souviens Toi L'Ete Dernier", "Vendredi", "GrandPrix", and "Ideogrammes". CD
The sound of industry, circa 1969 Italy – which means that everything sounds a heck of a lot groovier than you might expect! Soundtrack genius Alessandro Alessandroni handled the album – and it's completely fantastic right from the very first note – nothing like an industrial album, nor even some of the peppier "industry themed" sound library sets of the European postwar theme – and instead, the music is full of jazzy elements and cool wordless vocals – especially those scatting styles you'd know from Alessandroni's work with I Cantori Modern! Tremendous throughout – and quite possibly one of the grooviest albums the composer has ever given us. Titles include "Moto Blues", "Dialogando", "Circolazione", "Basso Regime", "Vie Motrici", "Escursione", and "Numero Uno". LP, Vinyl record album
A wonderful CD from Swedish jazz legend Monica Zetterlund – a record that's quite different than most of her earlier work, and done in an style that's part jazz, part folksy, part experimental – showing the changing modes of expression of the cutting edge European jazz vocal scene of the 70s! Tracks have a really great approach – often making good use of percussion to create skittish rhythms that have a slightly loungey feel, but which are also carried off in a style that's far from cheesy. All lyrics are in Swedish, but Monica's presentation of the material is more than compelling enough to make us forget the language difference – and titles include "Vals I Mejram", "Du", "Det Finns Ju Faktiskt Telefon", and "Svartvit Kalypso". CD