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This wonderful CD is part of the classic "Jazz in Paris" series published by Gitanes Jazz Productions, and features Les Blue Stars, precursers, once removed, of the Swingle Singers. Vocal jazz wasn't real big with jazz fans in the mid-50s (and would not really become so until the eruption of Les Double Six, the "once removed"). The Stars were formed by Blossom Dearie, late of Woody Herman's band, who arrived in Paris in 1952 and chose for her vocal octet experienced jazz musicians Sadi, Christian Chevalier, Jean Mercadier, and Roger Guerin. Mimi Perrin was also present, as was a top-flight jazz ensemble headed by Henri Salvador on guitar, Mac Kac on drums and Pierre Michelot on bass. The result is 19 classic tunes, featuring some of the best scat singing we've heard, cool, driving jazz, smoky and laid-back. Some of our favorites are "Broadway at Basin Street," "Grapevine," "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "C'est la vie," "Bernie's Tune," "Smooth One," "Stardust" and "Move." After this recording they hit the jackpot with a recording of "Lullaby of Birdland" in French, which led to them opening at Birdland itself in 1956, and to some members forming Les Double Six, and later joining Ward Swingle. As for the "Pardon My English," we were charmed by the French accents of the singers - a little exotic seasoning on a sumptuous feast of vintage jazz!
Listen to C'est la Vie in RealAudio.
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