This page is part of a larger guide, reviewing various French chanson and musette recordings, focussing mainly on older, classic material, but also branching out to include some newer performers working in the same styles. Suggestions, recommendations and corrections are always welcome...
This page covers the letter "R"
Jean Raphael "The Dansant Chez" (Mariane Melodie)
Jean Raphael "Mes Chansons De Charme" (Mariane Melodie, 2007)
Fernand Raynaud "J'm'amuse" (Marianne Melodie)
Serge Reggiani "Collection Chanson Francaise" (Marianne Melodie)
Django Reinhardt - see artist profile
Maria Remusat "Mes Chansons Des Annees 50" (Mariane Melodie, 2005)
Jerome Richard "Musette Plaisir" (Mariane Melodie, 2008)
Michel Rivgauche "Mes Dames Et Mon Tour" (Marianne Melodie)
Claude Robin "Les Anges Noirs: 20 Succes Inoubliades" (Marianne Melodie, 1999)
Corny postwar romantic vocals, from 1947-51. This is pretty tame and overly smooth, still kind of nice, but tilting towards the blander production style of the 1950s/60s chanson scene. Some of the later tunes on here are noteworthy for their appropriation of Latin American themes -- mainly rumbas and boleros -- as refashioned by French composer Francois Llonas. Many of these songs came from film soundtracks; the material's okay, but it didn't really drive me wild.
Paulette Rollin "Volume One: Une Chanson Douce" (Marianne Melodie, 1999)
Pleasant, but lesser work from 1950-51, with sweet, simple arrangements mainly by clarinettist/bandleader Hubert Rostaing, but also a few tracks with backing by Eddie Barclay, Emil Stern or Daniel White. Rollin is not a particularly arresting performer, a bit lackluster overall, but perhaps that's because she was trying to emulate some sort of plainspoken quality from American pop-vocals(?) of the time. Anyway, this is okay, though nothing to write home about, compared to many other French singers of the time. Probably for completists only. Nice to hear a cover of Henri Salvador's "Une Chanson Douce," which is a favorite song.
Paulette Rollin "Volume Two: Mes Chansons Favorites" (Marianne Melodie)
Romane "Impair & Valse" (Fremeaux & Associes, 1999)
A solid set of Django Reinhardt-style gypsy jazz from guitarist Romane Leguidcoq... The repertoire leans towards waltzes, but with a special lilt to it that these French pickers get. Nice stuff from one of the notable players of modern times.
Tino Rossi "Paris, Voici Paris" (ASV-Living Era, 1996)
Tino Rossi "Les Etoiles De Chanson" (Marianne Melodie, 1996)
Tino Rossi "Compositions: 1932-1950" (Fremeaux & Associes, 2003)
Corsican-born crooner Constantino Rossi (1907-1983) had a bright, inviting voice, that dipped into flowery operatic curliques, but also lent itself to the sparkling charm of 1930s popular song. He may be a bit corny for some, but unforgettable for others. This is a fine 2-CD set, spanning the first two decades of his career, including songs taken from his numerous film appearances, and includes glowing but useful liner notes in English and in French. Other Tino Rossi collections may be more compact and more fun to listen to, but this one is fairly authoritative, and gives a good sense of Rossi's stylistic range.
Tino Rossi "Ecoutez Les Mandolines" (Naxos, 2002)
More of Rossi's delightfully schmaltzy, stagey romantic singing, with touches of opera, the tango and Latin American boleros mixed in with the classic chanson sound. This is another superior, and quite affordable, collection from Naxos... Recommended!
Tino Rossi "100 Titres D'Or Des Annees 50" (Marianne Melodie, 2008)
A 4-CD box set of Rossi's recordings of the 1950s...
Tino Rossi "Volume One: Adios Pampa Mia" (Marianne Melodie)
Tino Rossi "Volume Two: Envoi De Fleurs" (Marianne Melodie)
Tino Rossi "Volume Three: Charmaine" (Marianne Melodie)
Hubert Rostaing/Maurice Meunier "Jazz In Paris: Clarinettes A Saint-Germain Des Pres" (Emarcy, 2001)
Sweet sets by two Benny Goodman devotees, smooth, swank instrumental nightclub jazz from the 1950s or '60s (I'm guessing) These recordings may lack originality but are pleasant nonetheless. Worth checking out, even though there's little that's particularly "French" about it... Rostaing also did a lot of soundtrack recordings, and also worked with Yves Montand.
Gilbert Roussel "Les Archives De L'Accordeon: 25 Enregistrements Incontournables" (Marianne Melodie)
Some more accordion music... Vintage work from an artist who had a long career...
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