Various Artists

The Best of Paris

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This 18-song compilation (with contributions from ten artists) is a nice look at the early part of French chanson, before either Serge Gainsbourg or Jacques Brel got a hold of it and made it his own. Instead, singers like Edith Piaf and Charles Aznavour are displayed here, as well as those whose fame in the English-speaking world is remarkably less (Gilbert Bécaud, Yves Montand). Of course, Paris' role in the development of jazz is included as well, as both Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli are given a couple of tracks each, which rounds out The Best of Paris well, and makes for a good overview of some seminal artists.

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