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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Who Is Colette Magny?????, 3 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Blues -Digi- (Audio CD)
So... What do you do when you're hunting down obscure albums featuring your favourite musician and you come across a French woman you've never heard of who bears a striking resemblance to your grandmother? On the evidence of this album, my best suggestion would be for you to slap down your money and buy it straight away!

This album has cropped up on my radar several timesaver the years but I've never had enough enthusiasm to buy it. Now that I finally have, i wish I'd taken the plunge so much sooner. It cropped up originally because Henri Texier plays on it, and that in itself should be recommendation enough. That said, there are also a lot of other people involved in various capacities, so the great French bassist doesn't have anything other than a supporting role. But that ibecomes inconsequential when you hear Magny do her thing.

Colette Magny has a very distinctive voice, built up over a career and discography dating back Ito the sixties when she was singing out against the Vietnam war. Her ability to work through material and find something new shows her French heritage with traces of the Piaf/Brel shriek-and-strain that makes the chanson tradition so passionate. She works her magic on some seemingly innocuous jazz standards but also brings in pieces such as the Black Panther Party Anthem that few other singers would even know of, let alone record. The real stunner, however, is her version of Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'. To take on something so inextricably linked with its originator takes a lot of guts - like trying to out-Coltrane Coltrane on 'My Favourite Things' - but Magny brings a heap of passion to the song and even before the song had finished I was already ranking this as possibly the greatest version since Holiday. This is a truly brilliant album, full of new and untracked territory, full of surprises and charms.

So... The next time you come across something strange and unfamiliar, featuring someone's gran on the cover and a host of names you've never heard of ... Pick it up.
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