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Paris Combo

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 24, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The smoky ambience of a Paris nightclub permeates this cabaret-tinged debut from Paris Combo, who come off as a Gallic version of Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, albeit with their own distinctive repertoire and reference points. These 15 originally penned songs draw from Gypsy, Italian, and Spanish influences along with the swing of Django Reinhardt and some cool-jazz licks as garnish. The five-person combo, fronted by the delightful Belle du Berry, features upright bass, piano, trumpet, xylophone, drums, and guitar, with Berry's light and quirky contemporary vocals especially notable on the torch songs. She has elements of Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf but simply does not carry their weight. The lyrics (all in French with no English translations) are intelligent and witty, matching the inventive music arrangements from this eclectic and very musical group that can swing with the best of them. Paris Combo are no mere nostalgia act--they plot an innovative course of their own making with nods to many artists and cultures. --Derek Rath
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 24, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: November 20, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tinder
  • ASIN: B00000G408
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I first heard this group on NPR one morning, and went crazy trying to find anything about them online. After a while I gave up and went on with my life, always keeping an eye out. I, too, was at B&N and saw an endcap of French music. I was happy enough with that until my view panned down to the bottom shelf of the display. I put the headphones on, listened to two tracks, and realized that the cd was exactly wonderful, and bought it. I am so thrilled that I picked it up. Paris Combo is my favorite release of 1999. With their traditional French and Gypsy sounds mixed together in a perfect jazz cocktail, I find myself listening all the time. Also, a related recommendation: If you like this cd, you'll also like the cd Sympathique by the group Pink Martini.
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Format: Audio CD
I really like this CD. It's breezy, fun, acoustic (!), nostalgic... what more could one want?! If you are not familiar with Paris Combo, they are a jazz quintet from France. Belle du Berry supplies the singing, while the guys back her with an acoustic ensemble that blends American jazz and even a little swing with French chansons and even some Algerian / Moroccan music. To give you a little further idea, some of the guitar playing is in reminiscent of Django Reinhart. The sum total is an energetic, eminently listenable sound that will have you accompanying them, even if you don't know what she is singing because it is in French. This debut release is outstanding; in fact, I liked it so much I bought a copy for my brother, who liked it so much he, in turn, shared it with some co-workers. Buy it.
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By A Customer on July 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you have listened to Pink Martini's album or heard them live you'll understand when I say Paris Combo is like a french version of that band! The music is upbeat, cool, jazzy, french cabaret style which dares you not to fall in love with it. Put this cd on and close your eyes and you'll practically be able to smell the croisants baking. Paris Combo is a five member band using instruments like the accordian, trumpet, xylophone bugle and of course the beautiful voice of lead singer Belle du Berry. If you are a fan of Pink Martini you'll love this. If you haven't heard either of these bands go buy their cds! You don't know what you're missing.
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Format: Audio CD
I originally heard the song clips on Amazon and read the favorable reviews, so I asked my sister to buy it in the US and bring it to me during Christmas. Boy what a great buy! Although the music style takes some time to get used to,(French music sounds completely different from US pop or rock), the lush instrumentation and Belle du Berry's throaty voice is like velvet, what a delight to listen to this seductive, quirky album. My favorite cut is "Istanbul", a bewitching, Middle-Eastern sounding song which alone makes this CD a great listening experience.
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Format: Audio CD
Paris Combo is funky, cool, and new, and their debut CD is without doubt one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. Superlatives pale next to the five-person band's music: It's inventive and creative, exotic and eccentric, danceable and just plain fun. The combo hails naturally enough from Paris, and is made up of Gypsy guitarist Potzi, playing Favino and Dupont guitars; David Lewis on horns and piano; Mano Razanajato on string bass and percussion; François-François on percussion and xylophone. The band is lead by accordionist and chanteuse Belle du Berry, who penned many of the songs' music and lyrics. Describing Paris Combo's music is tough. One song is Edith Piaf gone punk. The next is Django Reinhardt on LSD. Then comes a grunge Joe Privat. Finally, there's Yves Montand doing hip-hop. Great stuff!
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Format: Audio CD
If you do share, you won't get it back without a fight. Sadly, I've bought FIVE copies of this CD. Everytime someone borrows Paris Combo, I have to buy them a copy so I can get my copy back.
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Format: Audio CD
Quietly slick band with a fresh, inexperienced (that is to say, un-French, more American) vocaliste. Successful mix of Euro-pop, le Hot Club, and lounge. Serious boulevardiers take a big step back toward tradition from the Negresses Vertes and it works. Dramatic. Great fun. Stand-outs: tr 7-Istanbul (Arabic; play it with (1) Dan Hicks: I scare myself; (2) They Might Be Giants: Constantinople), tr 8-Le roi et le forêt (ska), tr 9-St. Exubérant (Spanish/Moorish); tr 15-Berry-Bouy (klezmer) [53:36]
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Format: Audio CD
Well, I first sighted their video of "Moi, mon ame, et ma conscience" on an international video show. I had to have the CD. I looked high and low to find it and finally I bought it and was ironically blown away. I had an advantage. As a student learning french, it gave me a chance to have more exposure to the French culture. But this CD is one to keep. I cannot pick a song on this CD that is most enjoyable. It makes you just want to roll back and relax to chantez en francais, (even if you don't know the meanings.) One thing though, if you're not accustomed to listening to music in other languages, it'll take a little time for your ears to adjust.
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