Boris Vian - Boris Vian Á Saint-Germain-Des-Prés - Pauline Julien Chante Boris Vian
3 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Box Set, France, 1978
In theory this 3 LP set captures the magic of Boris Vian’s early fascinating with playing traditional jazz in smoky bars that are located in the Saint-Germain des Prés area of Paris. So there is a great deal of romance with respect to listening to this album and reading the jacket as well. You can smell the existential angst off the vinyl!
For those who want to investigate and enjoy the early years of Vian making music, this box set is pretty much all you need. The first two disks focus on small jazz combos that he was in. The first disk is Vian in the Claude Luter band, and the other is with Claude Abadle and his jazz orchestra. Both recordings are from 1944, so it was slightly before Vian started writing his novels - both the Vernon Sullivan and the books under his name. What is interesting is that during this time there were two parts of the Jazz world in Paris at the time. One totally into playing New Orleans jazz and other grouping was into Be-Bop. Vian was unique in that he played New Orleans jazz but was a champion critic for the Bop scene that was making noise in Paris, as elsewhere. As usual, Vian was doing several things at once and just taking the whole Jazz music world in one gulp. His jazz criticisms are excellent and actually for its time it sort of reminds me of Lester Bangs or punk-era critics writing about music.
The third LP in this box set is a set of songs written by Boris Vian, all of them classic works, done by Quebec citizen Pauline Julien, a feminist and pro-Quebec personality. The beauty of having a rebel doing the songs from the ultimate rebel is simply fantastic. These recordings were made in the mid 60’s as Vian’s writings became better known through out the French speaking world.