Under the Radar 6: Jasmin Tabatabai

Germany’s adult pop fashion of the hour is the coffee table recycling of songs from the 20s to 40s – think Tukur, think Alsmann, and German actress Jasmin Tabatabai makes no exception. On her recent album Eine Frau, released last September, she covers songs by Hollaender, Tucholsky and others, all cushily bossa- or jazzified – by and large what Diana Krall or Norah Jones do, with less production value. Probably for reasons de chic, her lieder album also contains a French composition, La chanson d’Hélène, originally written by Philippe Sarde and Jean-Loup Dabadie for the 1970 movie Les choses de la vie. While the rest of Tabatabai’s album sounds, well, somewhat menopausal, her version of Hélène isn’t even that bad – just as clean and empty as a tumbler from a desolate dishwasher.

Jasmin Tabatabai – La chanson d’Hélène

Extra: Romy Schneider’s classic film chanson (w/ Michel Piccoli), plus a bunch of other worthwhile versions, including an English language one.

Romy Schneider – La chanson d’Hélène
Marina Celeste – La chanson d’Hélène
Francoiz Breut – La chanson d’Hélène
Berry – La chanson d’Hélène
Youn Sun Nah – La chanson d’Hélène
Dream Makers – Helen’s Song

FS Rerun: The Other Serge

Casque d’or, La ronde, Le doulos, L’armée des ombres: Serge Reggiani  was already a highly acclaimed star of the French silver screen when he – encouraged by Simone Signoret and Yves Montand – turned to singing in 1965 with SR chante Boris Vian. His chef d’œuvre may well be Rupture (1971; see right) – a brilliant album oscillating between grand melancholy, mild cynicism and mature knowledge unsurpassed in the history of French song. La putain combines Reggiani’s unique phrasing with a perfectly arranged composition by Michel Legrand and the classy poetic imagery of lyricist Jean-Loup Dabadie – a 3:42 min short story about the lost bird of youth and those secrets behind the jalousies.

Serge Reggiani – La putain

Bonus: Serge G. with his seldom-played take on whores from the soundtrack of Just Jaeckin’s 1977 soft-porn flick Madame Claude (PG recommended), with a wink and a sneer towards Bach’s Jésus, que ma joie demeure.

Serge Gainsbourg – Putain que ma joie demeure