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.