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Monday, November 18, 2013

Boris Vian, Marie-José Casanova - "Marie-José Casanova chante Boris Vian" Vinyl LP

Boris Vian, Marie-José Casanova - Marie-José Casanova Chante Boris Vian
Vinyl LP, Album, Canada, 1965
Disques Jacques Canetti

A very interesting album on a couple of accounts.  First of all between the songs of Marie-José Casanova (is she a relative?) there is poetry by Vian recited by Pierre Brasseur, an actor who played the  great insane doctor in Les Yeux sans visage (“Eyes Without A Face”)  Also Jimmy Walter who co-wrote a lot of songs with Vian, arranged this album.   So what is one getting is very much an on-hands-because-I knew him approach to this specific record.  Also there is Vian himself either reciting his poetry or making commentary about his work.  I don’t speak French so I am not sure about this.

Nevertheless this is a fantastic album.  In a way it reminds me of Lotte Lenya’s great recordings of her husband Kurt Weil’s music.   Which is not a bad comparison because Casanova covers a Brecht/Weil song here that was translated or re-worked by Vian.  The beauty of this album is that it is very much a late-in-the-evening type of feel.  The arrangements are full but simple, and never gets in the way of Casanova’s smokey bluesy voice.