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Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Henri Salvador Alias Henry Cording and his Original Rock and Roll Boys" CD, Album, France, 2002/1956 (Philips)

The first French Rock n' Roll and it may have been a joke, but alas, it does rock.  Henri Salvador is a jewel in the French music world.  Entertainer, incredible jazz guitarist, songwriter, and humorist.  Also a great pal of Boris Vian, who signed him to Philips, in his later career as an A&R man for a record label, after a career in writing, translating, singing, songwriting, and of course, engineer.  Vian and Salvador wrote what sounds like a parody of rock, played by French jazz musicians.  This originally 10" release (Oh, how I wish I own that version) in 1956, saw the presence of rock entering the French market place.  My guess is that Vian, a total Jazz-head, probably liked the Black American elements of rock n' roll and not that crazy about the commercial push of that genre.  But that's just an educated guess on my part.  Half the album is Salvador/Vian, and the other is Vian/Michel Legrand songs.  Big band, honking horns, excellent cutting electric guitar, and Salvador singing the absurd lyrics by Vian.   Superb music.