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 "V"
Emile Vacher "Createur Du Genre Musette: Enregistrements Originaux 1929-1942" (ILD)
Classic accordion music... Vacher is credited (here) as the inventor of the musette genre, which is a mighty hefty claim... Guess I'll have to look into this one!
Jean Vaissade "1911-1979: Anthologie D'Un Virtuose De L'Accordion" (Marianne Melodie, 2009)
A 2-CD set of accordionist Jean Vaissade...
Varel & Bailly "L'Orgue Des Amoureux" (Marianne Melodie, 2006)
Varel & Bailly/Various Artists "Chansons De Ma Jeunesse" (Marianne Melodie, 2012)
A collection of hits by the songwriting team of Andre Varel and Charly Bailly, covered by a variety of artists...
Le Vent Du Nord "La Part Du Feu" (Borealis Records, 2009)
A outstanding acoustic folk album with a mix of styles from the Quebecois and Celtic traditions. This supple French-Canadian quartet glides easily from style to style, with a lively brio yet a gentle vibe... Fans of Gabriel Yacoub, Malicorne and Great Sea, or Celtic counterparts such as Planxty or Silly Wizard, should be jazzed by these guys as well. A lively repertoire that gathers obscure material from both French and Canadian sources... Recommended!
Ray Ventura "Ray Ventura Et Ses Collegiens" (WEA, 1992)
A 20-song collection of vintage swing-novelty songs from 1930s bandleader Ray Ventura, who, along with his Anglicized stage name had also mastered American-style dance music. This is a pretty strong set -- the Pathe collection listed below has almost twice as much material, but either version is probably enough to satisfy most musical explorers.
Ray Ventura "Le Meilleur De Ray Ventura" (EMI/Disques Pathe, 1998)
An authoritative 2-CD set of one of France's preeminent jazz/swing bandleaders. Actually, Ventura's work is deeply anchored in the comedic traditions of the cabarets and music halls, though it's given a big-bandy twist. Although his band, the Collegians, were clearly an accomplished ensemble, much of this music winds up wearing thin rather quickly, especially when listened to in large doses... The comedy vocal chorus and humorous patter detract from the musicality, and while it's a hoot to hear covers of songs such as "Yes! We Have No Bananas," the thrill doesn't last for long. Still, this is a great archival collection, and I wouldn't part with it for the world, particularly the more straightforward swing ballads, such as "Tching Kong" and "Vous Qui Passez Sans Me Voir," which fit nicely into broader mixes of music from the era. This collection supersedes the earlier, single-disc, 20-track Ray Ventura Et Ses Collegiens listed above, but either one should be sufficient to satisfy your curiosity. Fun stuff from the 1930s... recommended!
Ray Ventura "...Et Son Orchestre" (Universal, 1997)
Ray Ventura "Les Plus Grandes Chansons" (Coppellia, 2003)
Ray Ventura "L'Aventure Sud Americaine: 1942-1944" (Fremeaux, 2003)
Ray Ventura "Y'a D'La Joie" (Collection Patrimonie France, 2004)
Ray Ventura "Qu'est-Ce Qu'on Attend" (Intense, 2006)
Verlor & Davril "Ma P'tite Amie Et Moi" (Marianne Melodie, 1999)
Jaunty, charming comedic duets -- these early-1950's recordings are a real throwback to the operette songs of decades earlier, with a lively air and a good-natured, lighthearted feel that is quite appealing. Like chanson star Mireille and the singer-composer duo of Pills & Tabet, Gabrielle Vervaecke (aka Gaby Verlor) and her partner Jan Davril take on characters and sometimes indulge in goofy voices, but like Mireille and Pills & Tabet, they are also immensely charming and fun. A nice, sweet set of songs from 1950-55, a time when French popular music was becoming more bland and staid, although glimmers of the good old days were still to be found. Hooray!
Gus Viseur "Compositions: 1934-1942" (Fremeaux & Associes, 2003)
Gus Viseur "Les As Du Musette: Gus Viseur A Brussels" (Sketch, 2000)
Cora Vaucaire "Disques Pathe, v.1" (EMI-Pathe, 1999)
The first of two 2-CD sets covering Vaucaire's work for the Pathe label...
Cora Vaucaire "Disques Pathe, v.2" (EMI-Pathe, 1999)
Cora Vaucaire "Le Meilleur De Cora Vaucaire: Enrigistrement Au Theatre De La Ville" (Because Music, 2006)
A wide-ranging, showy, theatrical concert performance... Not sure of the date, but I think this is later material, from the 1960s, perhaps. Anyone know for sure?
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