As you may have guessed, these songs are sung in French, so unless you've brushed up with a Berlitz course lately, you'll be left to enjoy the mellifluous language and able musicianship. Parker can be breathy and coy on one song and strident and forthright on the next; her changing tone enhances the drama. As a saxophonist and flautist, Parker plays sweet, sonorous lines that never step over her backing trio. "Gato, Gato," her tribute to fellow sax player Gato Barbieri, works off of a shuffling Latin beat and gives the band one of the few borderless moments on an otherwise ordered record. And what would a collection of French songs be without a pass at "La Vie en Rose," Piaf's signature song? Here, Mike Carosello's piano sets the tone, languid and bittersweet, over which Parker lightly treads.
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