La Bergere - Ouvarosa
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La Bergere
Elf 002

cd cover Ouvarosa is a short but sweet debut from this French trio. Singer Sylvie Berger has a gentle, understated way around an art song. She is backed almost entirely acoustically by multi-instrumentalists Julien Biget and Emmanuel Pariselle. The three come up with some vocal harmonies that hark back as far as the Renaissance yet maintain a contemporary sensibility. They derive their texts from sources as disparate as Victor Hugo, Carson McCullers, and Gabriel Yacoub (who also contributes his guitar and arranging talents).

The Nathalie Serval/Yacoub song "Le Soleil dans ta poche" captures the unhurried flow of childhood with its lilting 3/4 time shored up by accordion. "Petits cailloux," penned by Yacoub and Berger, is a quirky little number with bass clarinet accents and electronic scrapings. "Malinda/Chanson tendre" fades in with a robust traditional dance played on accordion and guitar, and then segues into a loopy song by Francis Carco. "Krouchy Kazouchy Kalouchy Kazir," based on a work by Carson McCullers, is light and breezy with a touch of banjo at the end. Though the volume rarely goes above a whisper throughout the album, the arrangements and the tone colors contributed by Biget, Pariselle and a handful of guest artists pull the listener in, creating a warm space to spend a little time. Unfortunately, at just shy of thirty-five minutes, it's all too little time. - Peggy Latkovich Available at cdRoots

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