Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

There is more to French music than Maurice Chevallier

I promised I would report on the best I find in multiple genres and I love the many flavors of World Music. For a long time, most World Music I found was old mono recordings of tribal music or tinny klezmer or gypsy music. Increased availability of good, cheap recording equipment and the proliferation of Western production techniques has led to a boom in the domestic audience for World Music. There is so much beautiful, rocking, and inspiring music being made all over the world and much of it is very accessible to American ears. Today I will share a few gems I found recently from a couple of French artists.

First, I strongly recommend you check out Mino Cinelu . He is primarily a drummer (though he plays guitars, flute,

Mino Cinelu does it all.

Mino Cinelu does it all.

keyboards and more) and has played with the likes of George Benson, Cassandra Wilson, and Miles Davis. His self-titled 2000 release, Mino Cinelu is a truly outstanding album. The complex percussion is to be expected but the beautiful melodies and his smooth alto voice make every minute of this album very pleasant. It didn’t leave my CD player for a week and I keep going back to it. Check out the samples of these four songs at least

  • Confians
  • See Yea-Salee Yea
  • Soon I Will Be Home — All three of these are beautiful songs
  • Will O’the Wisp — This is a funky, jazz influenced number that sounds like they had fun making it.

You can find his website here.

Freedom music?

Freedom music?

Next is French Pop star Camille’s album Le Fil. By no means is this entire album for everyone. She does a lot of a capella work and some of it is pretty weird, even to the open mind. However, the album is rich with organic percussion, minimalist instrumentation, and great hooks anchoring several of the songs. These are the best three.

  • Ta Douleur — If you listen to Amazon’s sample, be warned that 20 of the 30 seconds they picked are before the song gets going; most of the song sounds like the last 10 seconds of the sample.  I think it’s the best on the album.
  • Au Port — This track makes me think Camille may be French for Feist. Her petite voice drifts along on a stream of ethereal harmonies propelled by jazzy horns. It’s a pretty song that I think you’ll like.
  • La Jeune Fille aux Cheveux Blancs — I don’t know what she’s singing about but the sad melody is full of longing.

Her website is here.

Of all these recommendations, only Cinelu’s Soon I Will Be Home is sung in partly English, so if you have to know what they’re singing about, you may be able to pull up some translations on Google. Even if you can’t, however, the songs are evocative and pleasant.

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February 9, 2009 - Posted by | World Music

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