At Cafe Accordion Orchestra's performances, the most frequently posed question to the band is, "Which of your CDs has the most French music?" Now, the answer is, "this one!"
This recording is a testament to CAO's ten-year love affair with French music. Many styles of French popular music from the 20th century are included here. Musette, the lovely gypsy-influenced waltz, is represented by two classics from accordion giants Tony Moreno and Jo Colombo: Indifférence and Méprise.
We pay tribute to the seminal gypsy guitarist Django Rheinhardt with two of his best-known compositions: Swing 42, and a rumba version of Nuages.
Bad-boy cultural icon Serge Gainsbourg is feted with Elaeudanla Téïtéïa, featuring our own bad-boy Joe on typewriter. CAO breaks new personal ground in a rocked-out rendition of the cabaret star's rant against rock, Chez les Yé Yé. We hope Mr. G. would appreciate the tongue-in-cheek delivery.
The influence of Latin rhythms on French popular music is evident in Henri Salvador's bolero, Jardin d'Hiver, and a 1920's mystery tango for which we have never discovered a title. We call it Jim's Tango for our friend and cover artist, Jim Dryden.
The romance of old Paris is captured in the sentimental waltz Ton Amour C'est ma Vie (Fredo Gardoni - Manuel Puig). The gaiety and abandon of the Hot Club craze is embodied in the comic Sheik of Araby (Smith-Wheeler-Snyder). Keep your pants on!
The infatuation of many American performers with French music is acknowledged in the lounge classics C'est Si Bon (Scelen-Hornez-Betti), and La Mer (Charles Trenet). These are the songs that earned CAO's music the label "world beat music of the Kennedy era".
While this collection is a tribute to music of times past, the performances are not simply re-creations. CAO brings its own ideas and creativity into play, giving a fresh, new sound to a timeless music. Whether it makes you feel like dancing, or sitting back with a glass of wine, we hope the music inspires you as much as it does us, and perhaps brings you a little closer to Paris.