Saturday, 30 April 2011

Jazz at sunset


   The Luberon hills are like a great wide curtain, falling in folds created by steep gorges like a stage backdrop behind our land; all paths south through the property seem to end in ridged blue hills that deepen with the passing of the day. By early evening the folds are sharply delineated by black pleats, the crevasses that trap the dark.
  ~
   As the great range of hills slumbered in evening shades of rust and indigo, we listened to jazz on the CD player.

                                                            From The Lantern

On summer evenings, as the sun sends slants of red light up the slopes from the west, it carves blood red clefts in the hills. In this soft light, the distinctive ripples across the valley have the visual texture of velvet.

This is the time to sit, perhaps with friends, and drink a glass of ice-cold rosé, and nibble black olives, feeling the warm evening settle, watching the folds in the hills turn into dark rivulets.

Music plays a large part in the life of this place. If Rob isn’t playing his piano in the courtyard music room, trying out new pieces – like Dom, in the novel - then an eclectic selection wafts through the air from iPods and CDs. Early evening is often the time for laid-back jazz. There’s something about the style that captures the essence of the South of France, and this recording with a beguiling slow beat, by Stacey Kent is just perfect.

It comes from the album Raconte-moi… (Tell me…). The songs, some new, some old, are all in French though Kent is American, married to the British musician Jim Tomlinson who is also her arranger and producer. They have been hugely successful in France over the past few years – the French have such good taste! Here, then, is one of my favourites, Désuets, which translates loosely as “old-fashioned things” with a hint of vintage and obsolescence.


29 comments:

renilde said...

Beautiful, her voice made me think a bit of the Belgian singer-songwriter Axelle Red, who is also popular in France.

Lauracea said...

Yes, the French have great taste and I'm a great fan of laid-back jazz so I'll definitely investigate Stacey Kent. I also love your snippets from The Lantern - off to investigate that too!

ixy said...

What a beautiful song. I like the design of that lounger too - this sounds like the most relaxing place in the world.

Visiting from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party :)

Bunched Undies said...

Great description of the mountains as velvet. We have similar hills behind our home in Arizona and you're right - the light indeed transforms their texture. I'll have to check out more Stacey Kent as well.

Sara Louise said...

Gorgeous view! It does look like the perfect spot to sip rosé :-)

MuMuGB said...

She has a very young voice. I hope that you are enjoying the start of the warmer season in France...

Danièle said...

Super, cette chanson, je ne connaissais pas. Merci :-)

Richard said...

Hmmmm... Que le rêve devienne réalité!...
Vite Deborah, s'il te plaît... un autre verre de rosé.
Merci.

Steve said...

Stunning view, I have this feeling that one day we will have to move further south. The views, the jazz, and a glass of wine, the perfect way to unwind.

James Kiester said...

Nothing sets a mood like music.

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Il me semble profiter de cette douce et belle ambiance... Merci ! Et merci aussi pour ton message.

Franka said...

I like the music of Stacey Kent so much!

Salut!
Franka

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Aaaahhh...What a perfect view to sit back, sip wine and enjoy good music! Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

Janel said...

What a lovely song. I don't speak French, but it just seems to "go" with your excerpt.

Leovi said...

Really relaxing and I love your proposal as described. You do it with such precision that the reader (in this case me) and lives difrutar.

As for your question ... Zorongo?

Yes, my A to Z has been dedicated to titles of poems by poets, men and women, all now dead. Something like "Club Dead Poets Society. " I left for the end to Federico Garcia Lorca, murdered by his ideas and one of the greatest Spanish poets. The zorongo is a song and dance of Andalusian music itself. It is characterized by its metric ternary. The best known is zorongo La Argentinita and Federico García Lorca recorded the song and piano respectively in 1931. Not strictly a flamenco, Andalusian style allows aflamenque easily. (Wikipedia). "So in addition to the poem I wanted to stop singing and dancing .. I put some links to several versions of this famous Zorongo Garcia Lorca if you want to hear

With soprano voice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udfrABMn8z8&feature=related

Poular voice and dance man:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCKRRrlRJds

In Flamenco (as I prefer):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUjJPzvirAI

Kenza said...

Je viens avec mon petit brin de muguet te souhaiter un joyeux premier mai.
Bisous et très belle journée Deborha

Carol said...

Between the scenery, the description of the lighting, and the music, what an atmosphere you have set up. It's just uplifting to know beautiful places like this exist in the world. And thanks for introducing me to Stacey Kent. I can imagine myself cooking dinner with that music playing....

Nikki-ann said...

I haven't heard the song as this PC has no speakers, but the scenery is beautiful :)

Pétales de fées said...

As well you describe the wonderful scenery of the Luberon! We feel through your words, the deep love that you bear this place, the serenity it gives you! I also enjoy this wonderful artist! Nice day to you!

versus said...

Désuets ou des nuées ?
Avec la transparence de l' atmosphère du Lubéron au petit matin, café chaud dans les yeux pour ceux qui savent bien regarder !
Avec le soleil...

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Your posts are always so interesting Deborah.

Thank you!

Jill Kemerer said...

I love jazz, sunshine, black olives and wine. You pretty much covered all of these! Thank you--I needed the lift on another cold, dreary day!

joanny said...

A glass of wine, gourmet olives, a perfect company, and one can not resist the view... the peace, the quiet, the taste of the air, the smell of the lavender, the history of it all. "C'est Magnifique" and your writing is transcendental.

joanny

Kenya D. Williamson said...

Thank you for the beautiful words, photos and music, Deborah.

BookGeek said...

I've never listened to much jazz, but this is lovely. Thanks Deborah!

Cathy K said...

You given me just the lift I needed and I'm lining up Chet Baker, Kurt Elling and Horace Silver for an afternoon of window cleaning!

MiMi said...

What a view. Can I get lost here forever?

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Thanks to everyone for the great response to this - and for all the new names I've learned about!
Renilde - I will definitely find out more about Axelle Red.
Leovi - what an education in "Zorongo" and Lorca, gracias.
Cathy - Kurt and Horace are new to me. Will they work in France too, do you think? ;-)

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Absolutely beautiful! So glad that you came across my post with Le Gris!!


♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

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