Caroline Moreau,
Paris is Burning
(Circular, 2005)

Caroline Moreau grew up in the north of France with the sound of the best French chansons in her ears. When in 2003 she met gypsy violin virtuoso Oleg Ponomarev, the pair started a great collaboration that cumulated in Moreau's debut album Paris is Burning, featuring some of the most beautiful French songs.

Scottish jazz guitarist Nigel Clark joined them and guest musicians including Drazen Derek on guitar, Dermot Dunne on accordion and Steven Parker on piano complete the lineup.

When you listen to Moreau, you're instantly captured by her singing and the wonderful sound of the gypsy violin that opens the first song, "La Foule." It is a song by Rivegauche/Cabral and has been sung by the sparrow of Paris, Edith Piaf. The playing together of guitar and violin with Moreau's voice are inspiring and you feel like sitting in a tiny restaurant somewhere on the Montmartre.

You can find la grande tristesse (the big sorrow) on "Balada para mi muerte" from Tarenzi /Piazzola or Gainsbourg's piercing humour on "le Poinconneur des Lilas" alongside Pink Martini's groundbreaking song "Sympathique." Aznavour's "Deux Guitares" is inspired by the changing rhythms of Greek dance music and Gainsbourg's "Accordeon" is a perfect showcase for Dunne's accordion playing and one of the great samples of danse musette on the album.

Caroline Moreau has released a wonderful collection of French chansons and her music makes you dream of a concert hall somewhere in Paris 30 years ago. Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Leo Ferre, Barbara and Astor Piazzola have passed away, but their music keeps haunting our ears with Caroline Moreau, a brilliant singer.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Adolf Goriup

1 November 2008

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