February 27, 2011


Brigitte Fontaine recorded a solid string of avantfolk albums for the ineffable Saravah label in the seventies that started with her pop-oriented debut, Est Folle... (1968, arranged by Jean-Claude Vannier!). Beginning in the late 60s, Fontaine partnered up with fellow musician/actor Areski Belkacem; the pair continue to record together today. Their records in the 70s were a mix of theatre performance, non-rhyming chanson folk, and a sophisticated confluence of musical styles accentuated by Areski's exotic percussion and the duo's constant experimentation. Le Bonheur is Fontaine and Areski's follow up to L'Incendie (1974), a cult favorite as the years go by and their most cohesive record (not to say cohesive's the gold standard). Areski also joined Fontaine for Comme à la Radio (1970), a mind-blowing collaborative album with the face painting free-jazz troupe, the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Within a minimalist aesthetic, reflected in their sparse 2-track recording style, the pair create a hushed atmosphere and steadfast intimacy that doesn't appear to age. Naturally, Le Bonheur was recorded in the dead of winter in a theater, a kitchen, and also a studio.


Holly said...

Thank you! Thanks also for the Art Ensemble link, also new to me.

Murky Recess said...

It's my great pleasure, friend. That Art Ensemble record is one of my all-time favorites. I recommend also their collaboration with Fontella "Rescue Me" Bass, a magical soul-jazz masterpiece. Be well

sara may said...

I got you a present, Stretch.


All 13 volumes of the Girls in Garage set.

Miss ya, love ya, prouda ya.


Holly said...

Well hey, sara may, I don't know you, but thank you! I was missing vol 11 and the 2 eps - which I didn't even know existed! :-)