Liane & The Boheme Bar Trio

April in Paris

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The term cabaret can refer to a variety of musical styles. In Europe, you have the German-language cabaret of Germany and Austria, which differs from the French/Parisian school of cabaret. And in the U.S., various styles of American cabaret have developed over the years. Quiet frankly, some American cabaret of recent decades has been so embarrassing, so corny, and so unbearably campy that is has made many listeners wary of cabaret in general. And that's a shame because a lot of high quality cabaret has been recorded over the years. One of the finest cabaret vocalists of post-World War II Vienna was Liane Augustin, who simply went by Liane as a recording artist. The Austrian singer was impressively diverse; she sang in several languages and could handle the German/Austrian and French schools of cabaret equally well. Recorded in Vienna in 1962 and reissued on CD in 2000, April in Paris is a stunning example of Liane's mastery of French cabaret. Though a few of the selections contain English lyrics (including the famous title track), French lyrics are dominant, and Liane brings a wealth of soul and charm to such French delights as "Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir" and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rein" (which was defined by the great chanteuse Edith Piaf). April in Paris isn't a jazz release, but it contains jazz influences -- in fact, two of the CD's best selections are Sidney Bechet's "Petite Fleur" and George Shearing's "Lullaby of Birdland." For those who want to hear how soulful and enriching authentic European cabaret can be, April in Paris would be a wise purchase.

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