Notes & Reviews:
Alexandre Tharaud is one of today's most creative and acclaimed pianists. In his newest release, 'Le Boeuf sur le toit,' Tharaud proves his versatility by presenting an album of 26 jazz gems inspired by the singular Parisian cabaret known as Le Boeuf Sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof). Featuring a spread of composers ranging from Ravel to Gershwin to W.C. Handy, Tharaud takes us back to the swinging 20s, where the avant-garde scene and American jazz grew and developed hand-in-hand.
Accompanying Alexandre are a kaleidoscopic collection of musical talents - classical stars such as pianist Frank Braley, percussionist Florent Jodelet, and the soprano Natalie Dessay (who makes her debut on 'mouth trumpet'), as well as jazz luminaries such as guitarist David Chevalier and singer Madeleine Peyroux, plus two other French artists very much in the idiosyncratic tradition of the French chansonnier: Juliette and Bénabar.
Tharaud previewed the album to great acclaim this past spring, playing to a packed house at New York City's (le) Poisson Rouge, and he will be making his Carnegie Hall debut just two days after this album is released. Additionally, he played a significant role in the Michael Haneke film Amour, which one the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year (Tharaud also provided the soundtrack, which will be released on Virgin Classics).
American Record Guide, March / April 2013
This is an amazing release. All of the music is from the 1920s, most of it French, and the arrangements are as varied as you might expect from the list of artists. This is the brainchild of Tharaud, a pianist I have enjoyed many times before. An excerpt from an operetta, Louis XIV, calls for a chorus; and everyone listed joins in. There is more music making and fun on this disc. I played this for a number of people with different musical sensibilities over the holidays and not one failed to offer favorable comments. You'll find many enjoyable numbers here.
Personnel: Alexandre Tharaud (piano).
Recording information: Cité de la Musique, Paris, France (01/02/2012-01/08/2012); IRCAM, Paris, France (01/02/2012-01/08/2012); Salle Colonne, Paris, France (01/02/2012-01/08/2012); Cité de la Musique, Paris, France (03/05/2012); IRCAM, Paris, France (03/05/2012); Salle Colonne, Paris, France (03/05/2012); Cité de la Musique, Paris, France (04/30/2012); IRCAM, Paris, France (04/30/2012); Salle Colonne, Paris, France (04/30/2012).
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