On her debut solo album, English-born actress cum chanteuse Jane Birkin asserted her role as a scandalous androgyne courtesy of the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and arranger Jean-Claude Vannier (who co-wrote some numbers with Gainsbourg). Birkin allowed her image to be molded by the willfully scandalous Gainsbourg, who understood her persona entirely and helped to create an image of her as woman in a young boy's body -- one that Birkin claims she held all along but only Gainsbourg understood. That woman played roles both innocent and decadent; she was celebrated in film, but in the U.S., her thin voice resembled a choirboy's and underscored her physical presence.
Popular throughout the 1960s and '70s, Marie Laforêt is a French pop singer who garnered fame initially as a film actress during the early to mid-'60s. Born Maïténa Doumenach to parents of Armenian heritage on October 5, 1939, in Soulac-sur-Mer, Aquitaine, France, she made her film debut in 1960 in the René Clément drama Plein Soleil, a big-screen adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. Plein Soleil not only launched the acting career of Laforêt; it also made a cinema star of actor Alain Delon. In the wake of her showbiz breakthrough, Laforêt was offered one role after another, notably beginning with Saint Tropez Blues (1961) and La Fille aux Yeux d'Or (1961)…
It is difficult to think of this as anything but pure joy, although in some ways it is less intense than other releases led by the remarkable violist Mat Maneri and it is stamped with a cerebral quality from the start. There is a surprisingly charming density, too, that comes through on most tracks, though as with most of his work, there are few if any melodic references but instead a focus on color and sound. Maneri carefully paces himself and the quintet so that every note counts, resulting in some of his most interesting work on disk. At times it might seem somewhat slow, even morose, but upon close listening a diversity and a depth are revealed that belie the noir episodes.
Alexander Arutiunian was born on 2 September 1920 in Yerevan, where he received his education (he later completed his training under Genrikh Litinsky in Moscow in the period 1946–48). During the fifty years of his composing career Arutiunian has written a large number of instrumental concertos, rhapsodies, poems for piano, violin and cello, flute, oboe, female voice and orchestra, and also the first Armenian concertos for brass instruments: the trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba. As a result of his interest in brass instruments, he wrote his Armenian Sketches quintet that became a repertory piece. His vocal and orchestral works has strengthened the international acclaim accorded to him. Arutiunian holds titles including Professor of Composition of the Conservatoire of Yerevan, People’s Artist of 1 ashug: a Caucasian folk singer and poet
© 1997 Svetlana Sarkisyan
2003 career retrospective covers the period 1964-2002 with 93 tracks including all the massive '60s hits and rarities such as the famous Brits performance with Robbie Williams, as well as a brand new interview with Tom Jones. Features 'It's Not Unusual', 'Spanish Harlem', 'What's New Pussycat?', 'Thunderball', 'Green Green Grass Of Home', 'Delilah', 'Help Yourself', 'Love Me Tonight' and many more. Four CDs packaged in a digibook with a 64-page booklet featuring extensive sleeve notes, rare and classic photos, memorabilia, & discography.
This four-disc box from London's JSP Records collects an astounding 100 songs recorded by John Lee Hooker in Detroit from the years 1948 to 1952, including his first two sides ever, the signature tunes "Boogie Chillen" and "Sally Mae." Most of the tracks here are done solo, with Hooker's ever-present foot-stomping, although a few feature other musicians on loose-limbed blues boogies. Since Hooker never significantly altered his style during his long career, these first recordings set the stage for all that came after, and he arguably never sounded fresher or better. Four discs worth of this throwback Mississippi bluesman will be severe overkill for casual listeners, but diehard Hooker fans will find this box set absolutely essential.