Charles Trénet

La Mer [Naxos]

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La Mer is an infectious, bubbly collection of Charles Trenet's work between 1938 and 1946 featuring such hits as the jaunty "La Mer," "Boum," and "Hop! Hop!" as well as the surging ballad "Que Reste-t-il de Nos Amours?." Trenet was an entertainer in the classic sense, his "Singing Fool" act a holdover from pre-World War II France. His music wasn't anything fancy. Normally, Trenet's expressive, mirthful scatting would appear backed by accordion, noodling clarinets, or muted trumpet. Nevertheless, the songs came alive in Trenet's hands. La Mer moves along at a brisk clip -- sometimes it's like riding in the back of a carriage on a chilly Paris evening, leaving one crowded café and heading to another. It's a fun set that never lets language differences get in the way of being entertaining or evocative.

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