Christian Escoude

Joue Brassens: Au Bois De Mon Coeur

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Veteran French guitarist Christian Escoudé explores the music of French songwriter/poet Georges Brassens, a popular artist in his homeland, though his music had been somewhat neglected until a flurry of recordings made after the turn of the century by various artists. Brassens' uncomplicated yet elegant melodies provide a great launching pad for improvisation. Though he plays electric guitar for most of the sessions, Escoudé captures the essence of Gypsy jazz in many of the performances, though with instrumentation that varies from the format established by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli in their quintet. The lyrical interplay within "La Non-Demande en Marriage" is complemented by the solos of violinist Fiona Monbet and the leader. "Cupidon S'en Fout" swings like mad, with fellow electric guitarist Jean-Baptiste Laya providing a great foil for Escoudé. "Dans l'Eali de la Claire Fontaine" features the young prodigy Swan Berger with two fine solos bracketing Escoudé's feature. With American distribution of this rewarding record date (first issued by Universal France in 2011), perhaps the valuable music of Georges Brassens will gain greater exposure to American jazz fans.

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