Isabelle Boulay: Merci Serge Reggiani

 

Isabelle Boulay: Merci Serge ReggianiThank You Notes

Listening Post 1. One of the great French-language singers of the twenty-first century, Québec-born Boulay devotes her latest album to the work of her role model—and one of the masters of chanson française—of the twentieth. Like her mentor, Boulay uses spare instrumentation (a ukulele in “Ma solitude”, accordion in “Ma fille,” acoustic guitar in “Les amours sans importance”) that allows the richness of her voice retell Reggiani’s stories of love, freedom, loneliness, being a parent, or saying “je t’aime” over a café crème in Saint-Germain. Her main departure is a natural one—giving a feminine dimension that breathes new life into the songs of a man with a sensitive voice that went hand in hand with the rugged image he developed as an actor before turning to music. The entire album is worth savoring, but my personal favorite (video) is “Il suffirait de presque rien” (It Would Take Next to Nothing). Tribute albums often leave one constituency—either fans of the one paying tribute or those of the honoree—disappointed. That’s not likely here. (Disques Chic Musique)

 


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