Monday, June 23, 2014

A Little Night Magic: Jazzamor and "Nuit Magique"



Why is it that I am not enamored of French? It's a fine language, but I've never felt it to be the most beautiful language as the movies and Francophiles make it out to be. Sorry, French people and people of French descent and those who speak French. Perhaps I have a tin ear for languages, or something.

It is different for me, however, when French is used in music. When I listen to a jazz song in French, the music elevates. It doesn't especially matter if the voice singing is male or female, though I must say that given my gender I do find a female voice singing French to be very irresistible. However, French just seems to make the song that much more sophisticated, mysterious, sexy, longing, romantic, whatever.

Here's my biggest surprise. I am not a huge fan of rap and hip hop, though I like some offerings. I don't go in for the "gangsta" rap and all of the hypersexualized, treat women as objects to be passed around and used type of rap and hip hop but I do like rap and hip hop with social messages. Again, it's nothing personal against anyone. However, when I heard my first rap song in French, I didn't care. They could have been singing about anything, even reprehensible things that I would never agree with, and yet the language somehow made it different and interesting even within the conventions. I've since heard rap and hip hop in other languages as well, such as German, Dutch, Spanish, a couple of different African languages, and I find it more interesting than what I get in English.

So I'm strange, I suppose.  But, if you like songs in French you'll find today's selection very interesting.  It's not hip hop or rap (at least this time) but it's a jazz selection infused with bossa nova by a German duo named Jazzamor.  Jazzamor was founded in 2002 by Bettina Mischke and Roland Grosch.  Originally part of a jazz quartet, they decided to explore jazz in a different direction by minimizing the instrumentation and blending in bossa nova rhythms and a lounge sensibility.  Jazzamor's first album, Lazy Sunday Afternoon (2003), yielded a hit in the song Way Back, which was picked up by Nikon for an ad campaign.  Since then, they have released five more albums to date.  This song, Nuit Magique (Magical Night) is off of their 2006 CD release Travel.