Eva sur Seine

Warm summer evenings mixed with cool jazz. Throw-in a few French Chansons with fresh arrangements and add some re-vamped Django Reinhardt classics. What’s not to like?

That’s the premise of Eva Sur Seine, a collaboration of Dutch musicians, the jazz trio the Thomas Baggerman Trio and Chaunteuse Eva Scholten.

The foursome, whose repertoire comprises not only French Chansons and Jazz standards, but also contemporary songs as well as the aforementioned reworking of Django Reinhardt, released their first eponymous EP last year and followed up with a collection of their take on some Django Reinhardt standards, “Singin’ Django” earlier this year.

Their collaboration has been incredibly well received and the band are currently regarded as one of the most promising talents off the burgeoning Dutch jazz scene.

As befits a Jazz-singer, Eva Scholten has a both a voice and vocal range that is well worth listening out, for as can heard here on their reworking of Michel Fugain’s “Une Belle Histoire.”

Here’s a video of their take on Charles Aznavour’s “Je me voyais déjà” – it’s very enjoyable and makes me yearn for a trip to one of those renowned European jazz festivals, especially with Eva moonlighting in the vocal quartet YesSisterJazzSister.

Faux French Fellas

amourettesThe masterminds behind Les Chauds Lapins are New York’s Meg Reichardt and Kurt Hoffman who formerly worked with indie celebs They Might Be Giants or the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. The songs of chanson genius Charles Trenet – »our quintessential art-pop guy« – inspired them to found their very own rive gauche French music hall of mirrors, echoing the surrealist wit of the 20s and 30s. Their 2011 album Amourettes features the funny, cheeky and irresistibly swingin’ Je t’aime, a vocal version of Django Reinhardt’s Swing ’39 with lyrics by the unforgotten Jacques Larue. If you’re looking for the missing link between faux French fellas Pink Martini and Nous Non Plus, this is it – a folie du jour to boot, and certainly a most sexy one.

Les Chauds Lapins – Je t’aime

Manouche Willie

williemarijane»Django’s Orchid Lounge [on Maui] is my little hideout on the ocean«, country superstar Willie Nelson writes in his 2012 memoir Roll Me Up and Smoke Me If I Die. »My brother-in-law named it Django’s Orchid Lounge since he knows how much I love Django Reinhardt. For those who don’t know, Django Reinhardt is the greatest guitar player who ever lived.« Introduced to the sound of Django by guitar teacher Paul Buskirk in 1955, Willie pays tribute to his guitar hero on his brand new album Let’s Face the Music and Dance with a fine, inspired version of Reinhardt’s all-time classic Nuages. And last not least, Our Holy Lord of the Trademark Pigtails is celebrating his 80th birthday today – the Willie way, for sure. Congrats from the FS staff!

Willie Nelson – Nuages