Bonjour Swing: The Flame (fragilecolours.com)

 |   |  <1 min read

Bonjour Swing: The Flame Once High
Bonjour Swing: The Flame (fragilecolours.com)

Those with a long memory may recall multi-instrumentalist Robbie Laven who impressed discerning ears back in the Seventies with the short-lived band Red Hot Peppers. Their Toujours Yours album (see here) is much sought after.

This band -- which includes Laven, his wife Marion Arts, also a Pepper back in the day, their son Oscar on saxes and trumpet, with bassist Milan Wilshier -- explore an easy, jazzy, French-flavoured swing style on a series of originals which nod to Django Reinhardt and a touch of Gypsy folk.

Recorded in Tauranga, it has a homely, cafe-style feel with deft touches of humour (the Woody Woodpecker reference in Two Birds) and excellent playing by all participants, notably Oscar whose clarinet sounds appropriately beamed in from the Thirties.

There are sprightly instrumentals, moody ballads (When Love is Gone), interesting tunings (Wasat Waltz, the quietly dramatic The Flame Once High), some songs in French and the odd misstep (the ecologically well intentioned but rather clumsy The Wild Places).

This is apparently the 10th album by Arts and Laven who seem to keep their bright light rather too far under the bushel.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this. Marion Arts has a website offers and overview of her long career and lists her extensive recording catalogue, it is here.

Share It

Your Comments

Jamie Macphail - May 28, 2012

What a thrill to discover that these fabulous people are still around and still making sublime music!

Is this cd on general release? I need to get hold of it!

Jamie Macphail - May 28, 2012

Duh, sorry! Followed the link you included in the heading for this! Amazing to discover whole new record labels that I have never heard of!

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Peter Posa: Golden Guitar; The Peter Posa Anthology (Sony)

Peter Posa: Golden Guitar; The Peter Posa Anthology (Sony)

Where the recent chart-topping White Rabbit compilation of the great guitarist Peter Posa picked up his hits and more familiar tunes, this 46-track double disc draws on the extraordinary... > Read more

James McCann: Where Was I Then (Torn and Frayed/Border)

James McCann: Where Was I Then (Torn and Frayed/Border)

McCann was once in the Australian rock band the Drones who get my vote for their great album title: Wait Long By The River & The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By. (Don't we wish?) The... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

GUEST WRITER OWEN WOOD sees the writing on the walls

At some time in the mid Nineties when I was working in Parnell, there was an open air carpark just off the main road. The back wall was perhaps two storeys high and painted white. One day,... > Read more

NEXT STOP IS VIETNAM: The sound of history being debated

NEXT STOP IS VIETNAM: The sound of history being debated

On Christmas Day 1969, at age 18, I flew in to Saigon. It was 10 months after the Tet Offensive which saw Vietcong soldiers at the door of the American embassy in Saigon and the war was at a peak.... > Read more