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Vocal Jazz - Released September 16, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - L'album du mois JAZZ NEWS
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Universal Music Group International

Booklet Distinctions Sélection JAZZ NEWS
On The Blue Room, her second Decca recording, Madeleine Peyroux and producer Larry Klein re-examine the influence of Ray Charles' revolutionary 1962 date, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. They don't try to re-create the album, but remake some of its songs and include others by composers whose work would benefit from the genre-blurring treatment Charles pioneered. Bassist David Pilch, drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarist Dean Parks, and pianist/organist Larry Goldings are the perfect collaborators. Most these ten tracks feature string arrangements by Vince Mendoza. Five tunes here are reinterpretations of Charles' from MSICAWM. "Take These Chains" commences as a sultry jazz tune, and in Peyroux's vocal, there is no supplication -- only a demand. Parks' pedal steel moves between sounding like itself and a clarinet. Goldings' alternating B-3 and Rhodes piano offer wonderful color contrast and make it swing. Her take on "Bye Bye Love" feels as if it's being narrated to a confidante, and juxtaposes early Western swing with a bluesy stroll. A rock guitar introduces "I Can't Stop Loving You," but Peyroux's phrasing has more country-blues in it than we've heard from her before. The use of a trumpet in "Born to Lose" and "You Don't Know Me," with Mendoza's dreamy strings, allow for Peyroux to deliver her most stylized jazz performances on the set. Buddy Holly's "Changing All the Changes" contains the same happy bump as the original, but there isn't any ache in Peyroux's vocal; it's all declaration. The simmering, busted blues in Randy Newman's "Guilty" reveals he could have written the tune for Little Willie John or Patsy Cline. Both singer and producer prove that John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" can be as much a jazz-pop tune as a country song. The shuffling train motion in Glen Campbell's iconic version has been traded for a less hurried pace. Peyroux employs her Billie Holiday-influenced phrasing to excellent effect. Mendoza's restrained strings color the tune from a simple, directly conveyed love song to an intimate reverie offered over time and distance; Goldings' shimmering piano and Parks' ringing guitar make it nearly elastic. Warren Zevon's "Desperadoes Under the Eaves" illustrates better than any selection here that Charles' approach to country to transcend genre and tell universal stories was indeed genius. Peyroux, her band, and Mendoza's strings offer a nearly cinematic legend of old Hollywood envisioned through the eyes of one of its most seasoned and heartbroken denizens. The singer leans out of the arrangements and into the depths of her heart, conveying loss and loneliness to the listener directly. The Blue Room is a brave experiment, but one that pays off handsomely. For anyone who hasn't spent time with Charles' classic country recordings, it doesn't matter, because what's here stands confidently on its own; for those who have, that experience will provide an additional reward. ~ Thom Jurek
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal Music Group International

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks
In 2009, Madeleine Peyroux issued Bare Bones, her first recording of all-original material with producer Larry Klein and a small group of jazz musicians and co-composers. Standing on the Rooftop is her debut recording for Decca with producer Craig Street. The group of players here is a diverse lot: drummer Charlie Drayton, guitarists Christopher Bruce and Marc Ribot, bassist Me'Shell Ndegeocello; John Kirby, Glenn Patscha, and Patrick Warren alternate on keyboards, percussionist Mauro Refosco, violinist Jenny Scheinman, and Allen Toussaint guests on piano. The program is richly and elegantly painted with modern production touches even as its songs are rooted in the historical past of classic Americana: pop songs, blues, jazz, and sitting room tunes. It includes eight originals and four covers, among them a poem by W.H. Auden set to music by Ribot entitled "Lay Your Sleeping Head, My Love." The music is summery and laid-back. The languid parlor-room reading of "Martha My Dear" by Lennon & McCartney has a deliberate old-timey feel and twins well with "Fickle Dove" (one of two Peyroux tunes written with Scheinman). Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain," with its strange pump organ backdrop and studio echo, indulges the kinds of production tricks Tom Waits might employ in disguising a blues. That said, this song too has a twin of sorts in the sonically similar title track; a clattering rag blues with ambient electronics held in check by Peyroux's elegantly earthy vocal. Ribot's acoustic guitar and Toussaint's upright on the Auden poem give the singer a perfectly loose frame to create a song inside. The thin, lean, funky blues on "The Kind You Can't Afford" (co-written with former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman) and Bob Dylan's "I Threw It All Away" are both slow shuffles and high points. In the latter, Peyroux's voice shifts the lyric's meaning to where the implied bitterness gives way to bewilderment. The album's final three cuts, "Meet Me in Rio," "Ophelia," and "The Way of All Things" make fine use of Peyroux's jazz chops; and because of Street's production, make an exact time-space continuum wonderfully imprecise. As an album, Standing on the Rooftop may not be as striking as its predecessor, but perhaps it wasn't meant to be. It is a seemingly effort that pushes the familiar toward an uncertain future where pop genres cease to need to exist at all. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | New Rounder

Booklet
The 2014 career-spanning anthology Keep Me in Your Heart for a While: The Best of Madeleine Peyroux, showcases tracks from throughout the Georgia-born, Paris-based vocalist's career. Starting with her 1996 debut album, Dreamland, and running through her 2013 studio effort The Blue Room, Keep Me in Your Heart for a While reveals Peyroux's transformation from a bluesy, Billie Holiday-influenced vocal ingenue to a mature and sophisticated interpreter of popular song, both new and old. Here we get such tracks as "La Vie en Rose," "Smile," "Between the Bars," "Dance Me to the End of Love," and more. Also included is Peyroux's previously unreleased recording of Warren Zevon's "Keep Me in Your Heart," from the film Union Square. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Universal Music Group International

Why it took vocalist Madeleine Peyroux eight years to follow up her acclaimed Dreamland album is anybody's guess. The explanation from her website bio claims, "I could have kept running with it, but I took a breather." Really it hardly matters, since there have been plenty of capable singers to fill that void. Produced by Larry Klein, Careless Love is essentially Dreamland part deux. She lost Yves Beauvais and Atlantic Records, as well as a stellar cast of edgy jazz and rock session players, but she did gain Larry Klein. There are some fine players on this album, including Larry Goldings, Scott Amendola, David Piltch, and Dean Parks, and it's a much more focused set than Dreamland. That she's on Rounder is just an "oh well." Since Klein is not reined in by having to be a "jazz" producer, his sense of restrained and subtle adventure is a perfect foil for Peyroux's voice and phrasing, which is still too close to the Billie Holiday model for comfort. The material is a curious collection of modern pop songs, country tunes, and old nuggets. There's an original as well in "Don't Wait Too Long," co-written with Jesse Harris and Klein. Peyroux's reading of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" that opens the disc is radical, sung like a German cabaret song, and lacks the drama of the original, which is on purpose but it's questionable as to whether it works. Her cover of Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" works much better. It keeps the breeziness of the original but focuses on the object of the song still being very present to the protagonist -- delighting in the presence of the Beloved. Parks' guitars play sparely and pronouncedly in the mix, as Amendola's brushwork complements the spare cymbal and tom-tom work of Jay Bellerose as well as Goldings' in-the-groove organ and piano. The hinge track on this record is the empathic and moving version of Elliott Smith's "Between the Bars." With tense sound effects whispering in the backdrop and Goldings' celeste setting the atmosphere, once again Amendola's brushes whisper and shimmer, giving the singer an anchor in the depth of the song's melancholy. It's simply awesome. The sparse haunted treatment of Hank Williams' "Weary Blues" is devoid of its country trappings and rooted firmly in the uptown blues tradition of Holiday's 1940s. Likewise, the title track, a classic standard by W.C. Handy, is turned inside out and made a gospel-flavored R&B tune, driven by Goldings on the organ and a Rhodes piano -- an instrument that makes a frequent appearance here. Parks' subtle yet dirty guitar gives the singer a platform and she swims inside the lyric, letting it fall from her mouth. The tune's swing quotient is formidable. In all, this is a stronger record than Dreamland, in part because Klein is obviously sympathetic to singers and because Peyroux is a more confident and commanding singer. It's a welcome addition to the shelf, but if she waits another eight years, that space reserved for her may disappear. ~ Thom Jurek
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Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Group International

Madeleine Peyroux took significantly less time than the eight years between her debut and its follow-up to release her third album, Half the Perfect World, which finds a more mature -- or at least less vulnerable -- singer, one who chooses to express herself with nuance rather than overtness. Often, like in the opening "I'm All Right" -- one of four original songs -- this aversion to unconcealed emotion works well, playing off the swelling Hammond, the swinging rhythm of the acoustic guitar (contrasting nicely with the hook of "It's all right, I've been lonely before"), and the simple drums. But at other times, like in "A Little Bit" -- which is bluesy and more upbeat and practically screams for an outburst, a growl, something -- her hesitancy instead almost comes across as a flaw, as a fear of fully expressing herself. On "Blue Alert," where Anjani's voice was full and seductive, rife with curling smoke rings and lipstick-stained wineglasses, Peyroux seems desolate and flat and she simplifies the situation too much, though she does fare much better on the other Anjani/Leonard Cohen piece and title track of the album. Here, she changes its perspective, mixing the characters together and sounding beautifully fragile, yet at the same time strong and certain, as she sings about her love. The same can be said for her version of the Johnny Mercer-penned "The Summer Wind," which uses a cleaner, less dramatic arrangement to convey the feeling that, though she's thinking about past events with some nostalgia, she's also able to accept the outcome and move forward with her life. This kind of resignation hangs heavy throughout the entire album, making every song she covers seem sadder than the original. Joni Mitchell's "River," sung with k.d. lang, is slow and heart-wrenching (lang's voice, especially, brings a sweet melancholy to it), and Peyroux's version of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" has a kind of dejected resoluteness that makes you wonder if she can even follow the advice she's singing. This subtlety is two-fold, however. It's so prevalent in the music that it's hard to tell if it's hinting at greater depth or if it's really a protective blanket, an affected timidity to prevent exposure. The delicateness of Half the Perfect World is certainly nice, but Peyroux seems to be using it as a device to hide behind instead of an actual expression of feeling, and so while the album is an overall success, it still leaves questions lingering behind the softly clicking hi-hat, the wandering bass, of when the singer's really going to show herself completely. ~ Marisa Brown
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 27, 1996 | Atlantic Records

Madeleine Peyroux made a bit of a stir in 1996 due to her voice sounding remarkably close at times to Billie Holiday's. This wide-ranging set features Peyroux singing swing standards, originals and tunes that hint at country and folk music. Her supporting cast, which changes on each selection, includes a restrained James Carter on tenor and bass clarinet, Marc Ribot on dobro and guitar, trumpeter Marcus Printup, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and violinist Regina Carter, among others. A very interesting release which, despite the derivative nature of Peyroux's voice, is full of surprises. Highlights include "Walkin' After Midnight," "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," "La Vie en Rose" and "Muddy Water." ~ Scott Yanow
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Pop - Released January 1, 2009 | New Rounder

Madeleine Peyroux's fourth album isn't the normal mix of standards (contemporary or traditional) with a few songs of her own composing; each of the 11 tracks is a new song written by Peyroux, usually in tandem with producer Larry Klein or a guest. Still, she appears in her usual relaxed setting, with a small group perfectly poised to translate her languorous vocals into perfect accompaniment -- organist Larry Goldings, pianist Jim Beard, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, plus producer Klein on bass, Dean Parks on guitar, and Carla Kihlstedt on violin. Fans of vocal jazz may be disappointed to see that all the songs are new ones -- many a great conversation could consist solely of the standards she should perform -- but they may regret the disappointment. Peyroux is not only a great interpreter of songs, she also knows how to write in what might be called the old-fashioned way, the type of song with a universal, direct, emotional power that became a rarity during the late 20th century. Also, the help she gets from her co-writers -- Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Klein, and friend Julian Coryell -- is priceless. Becker delivers a pair of special gems, including the title track and a song called "You Can't Do Me" that delivers the priceless cutting wit he perfected with Steely Dan (a sample: "You know I get so blue and I go/Down like a deep sea diver, out like a Coltrane tenor man.../Blewed like a Mississippi sharecropper, screwed like a high-school cheerleader"). Granted, Peyroux faces an uphill climb by delivering new songs in the same musical context that most listeners hear standards; after all, comparisons to the half-century of American popular song aren't fair, but they certainly come easy. Still, Bare Bones is a remarkable work from one of the best artists in vocal jazz. ~ John Bush
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Jazz - Released September 14, 2004 | New Rounder

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Jazz - Released September 16, 2016 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Recorded at the Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, England, Madeleine Peyroux's eighth studio album, 2016's Secular Hymns, finds the vocalist/guitarist delivering a stripped-down, largely acoustic set of warm, eclectic cover tunes. Backing Peyroux this time out are guitarist/vocalist Jon Herington and bassist/vocalist Barak Mori, both highly sought-after New York-based musicians with deep jazz, blues, and rock credits. While technically a studio album, Secular Hymns was recorded as if a live concert, a choice inspired by Peyroux's 2015 performance at the venue. The result is an album that's a 180-degree turn from her previous effort, 2013's ambitious homage to Ray Charles, The Blue Room. Where that album framed Peyroux's earthy vocals in organ, electric guitar, horns, and a lush orchestra, Secular Hymns feels like you are sitting in the front row of an intimate Peyroux concert. Here, Peyroux eases into the session, kicking things off with a supple, harmonized, Western swing-tinged take on John Greer & the Rhythm Rockers' 1951 side "Got You on My Mind." She then struts through Tom Waits' "Tango Till They're Sore," imbuing the song with a wry sensuality that's equal parts Billie Holiday and Marlene Dietrich. Despite the acoustic, minimalist nature of the production, Peyroux still manages to defy expectations, offering up a delicately swaggering take on Allen Toussaint's "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)" and transforming Linton Kwesi Johnson's reggae anthem "More Time" into a something that sounds improbably like Eartha Kitt doing a cabaret homage to Bob Marley. Thankfully, it works, as do other selections including her more traditional readings of songs like the swinging Sister Rosetta Tharpe number "Shout Sister Shout" and her folky, sad-eyed version of Townes Van Zandt's "The Highway Kind." Particular effective is her bittersweet take on Stephen Foster's parlor song "Hard Times Come Again No More." A poignant rumination on life's inequities and hardships, particularly those visited on the less fortunate in society, the song is a perfect fit for Peyroux's throaty, highly resonant voice, an instrument that has only ripened in the decades since her debut. ~ Matt Collar
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Universal Music Group International

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Jazz - Released May 19, 2017 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

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Country - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Group International

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Country - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Universal Music Group International

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Group International

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Vocal Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Hi-Res Booklet
That Leonard Cohen is still offering inspiration should come as no great surprise. Dubbing her album Anthem after a song by the Canadian singer, Madeleine Peyroux shows us her hand from the off. Perhaps it's her desire to get shot of the ghost of Billie Holiday to whom she has often been compared… But in 2018, Madeline Peyroux is very much Madeleine Peyroux! Style, voice, writing, she has mastered every part of her art and has nothing left to prove. This time, she leaves covers behind and offers new songs, written or co-written with Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen), Brian MacLeod (Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner), David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow) and producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, Herbie Hancock). The lyrics are often politically-engaged, and she sets them lovingly to soft-to-downright-melancholy music. The overall effect is one of weightlessness. The arrangements and the production have a velvety feel, and while she takes on Paul Eluard's powerful poem Liberté, she does it with a delicate touch that renders the words even stronger. As is often the case with Peyroux, the boundaries between jazz, pop, soul, blues and folk are savvily blurred together. This makes for a great showcase for her voice, one of the most addictive of her generation. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
£13.49

Vocal Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | Universal Music Division Decca Records France

Booklet
That Leonard Cohen is still offering inspiration should come as no great surprise. Dubbing her album Anthem after a song by the Canadian singer, Madeleine Peyroux shows us her hand from the off. Perhaps it's her desire to get shot of the ghost of Billie Holiday to whom she has often been compared… But in 2018, Madeline Peyroux is very much Madeleine Peyroux! Style, voice, writing, she has mastered every part of her art and has nothing left to prove. This time, she leaves covers behind and offers new songs, written or co-written with Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen), Brian MacLeod (Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner), David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow) and producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin, Herbie Hancock). The lyrics are often politically-engaged, and she sets them lovingly to soft-to-downright-melancholy music. The overall effect is one of weightlessness. The arrangements and the production have a velvety feel, and while she takes on Paul Eluard's powerful poem Liberté, she does it with a delicate touch that renders the words even stronger. As is often the case with Peyroux, the boundaries between jazz, pop, soul, blues and folk are savvily blurred together. This makes for a great showcase for her voice, one of the most addictive of her generation. © Max Dembo/Qobuz

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