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Paris Combo
Tinder (

cd cover Once again recreating the gypsy jazz that swept through French cabarets in the 1930s, Paris Combo's sophomore effort shows they are more than a passing novelty act. Though the band's focus is on the playful vocals of front chanteuse Belle Du Berry, its supporting musical accompaniment is, if not flashy, clever enough to keep this music cruising.

While the group has an obvious debt to pay to guitarist Django Reinhardt's swinging jazz, it also incorporates elements that hint at Paris Combos' contemporary cosmopolitan character: Middle Eastern flavors on "Mobil'homme," or the percolating bongo on "Seņor." The group aims to entertain, and this album includes an even greater percentage of upbeat tunes, rather than ballads. Although translated lyrics would have been a nice addition to the liner notes, it's a small quibble for an album that is one of the most consistently enjoyable to come out in 2000. - Marty Lipp

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