Jazz à Saint-Germain
A Collection of Covers of Classic Jazz Tunes
A Tribute to the Free Spirit of Paris in the 50s
1997 Higher Octave Jazz/Virgin HOJCD 45262
Catherine Ringer and the Renegade Brass Band
Dee Dee Bridgewater
Françoise Hardy and Iggy Pop
The Jazz Passengers with Deborah Harry
Jane Birkin with Jimmy Rowles
This album has many, many fascinating approaches to consider, and it continues to intrigue me even years after I added it to my collection. For sheer magnitude, Dee Dee Bridgewaters smackdown performance of Watermelon Man rules this CD, but there are several other striking presentations here. Angélique Kidjos Africanized Summertime would be intensely interesting in any context, as it marries a few distinct cultures styles with seemingly effortless grace, and Princess Erikas take on Black Coffee somehow works despite seeming to be a contradictorily lively reading of its jaded base.
I think I got this album in the first place because Catherine Ringer of Les Rita Mitsouko provided the vocals for the second track, but I soon forgot about that reason as the overall diversity of styles dazzled me. Ringers track is stately and pleasantly old-fashioned, a nice oddity among other oddities.
There are a couple of missteps, and certainly Il ny a Plus dAprès is the most jarring of them: Deborah Harry may be great, and she may be brilliant and intense and whatever else has been said about her, but apparently she cannot speak French, because this track is torturous to listen to.
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.