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Mélanie Dahan

La Princesse et les Croque-Notes

(Sunnyside; US: 9 May 2009; UK: Available as import)

The French jazz singer Mélanie Dahan and the piano player Giovanni Mirabassi met a few years ago at a tribute to the poet-songwriter Bernard Dimey, who died in 1981. Dimey’s presence runs through La Princesse et les Croque-Notes and so do the presences of other respected, popular, French performers and songwriters: Charles Aznavour, Claude Nougaro, Georges Brassens. Dahan’s swinging alto is the focus here, but attention should also be paid to Mirabassi, who darts around, innovating joyously. She glides and gleams. He pecks and chimes. The album is illuminated by their partnership. The drama of “L’Enfant Maquillé”, the conversational intimacy of “Je Hais les Dimanches”—all of this is electric, attractive.

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