With an album called L’Amour, you know what you’re going to get – love songs, right? Yes, but don’t expect any saccharin-sweetness here. Brigitte Zarie is much more sophisticated than that.
This eagerly-anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Make Room For Me is a stunning collection of jazz numbers – all but two of them new, but with the feel of timeless classics.
These are all love songs, sure. But they cover the whole range of experiences that love can throw at us, from the overwhelming joy of Good to Be Home, and unswerving devotion of Nobody Else, to the misery of impending break-up in Don’t Forget Me and devastating pain of unrequited love in How Can It Hurt.
I first came across Brigitte Zarie on Twitter, and back in 2012 she kindly spoke to me about her use of social media for my business blog at Weltch Media. It proved to be one of our most popular posts of the year, and is still attracting views. Make Room For Me was newly-released then – a powerful sound, and self-penned songs that seemed to come straight from the Great American Songbook.
“Make Room For Me had a bold, raucous big band sound,” she said. “While L’Amour uses strings to evoke a more lush and passionate feeling.” That’s true, but there’s plenty of brass here too – not least the great Randy Brecker and Don Harris (who played with Chic on their UK dates last year).
The thoughtful, moving lyrics for most of the songs are by Brigitte, who co-wrote the music with producer Neil Jason; and the album includes two covers – fresh and distinctive versions of the bossa nova classic Corcovado (aka Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) and the Johnny Cash favourite Walk The Line.
And I haven’t mentioned her voice yet. What a voice! You may be reminded of the talents of Ella Fitzgerald or Norah Jones, as you enjoy Brigitte’s velvet vocals, sweeping you along and singing straight to your heart.
In short – ah, oui, j’aime L’Amour. I suggest you get your own copy here.