Various Artists

Café Après-midi: Saravah

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With the money he earned from the worldwide smash film Un Homme et une Femme, singer/songwriter Pierre Barouh founded the small but influential Saravah Records -- during the late '60s and early '70s, the label was a guaranteed trademark of quality, embracing not only the most original French pop sounds but also casting its net over progressive Brazilian grooves and even avant jazz. For the special Saravah edition of his Café Après-midi series, compiler Toru Hashimoto assembles 25 of the label's finest moments, unearthing some absolutely fantastic music that in many cases has been out of print for a quarter of a century; the resulting composite reveals Saravah as a spiritual ancestor of the Café Après-midi aesthetic, with a fiercely eclectic spate of music coming together to create a seamless, richly atmospheric listening experience. Highlights include Barouh's own "Saudade" and "Samba Saravah," Barney Wilen's "Gardenia Devil," Marva Broome's "Mystifying Mama," and Brigitte Fontaine and Areski's "Comment Ca Va."