SummaryExactly 40 years since the release of Histoire De Melody Nelson (his seminal and essential Serge Gainsbourg collaboration) Jean-Claude Vannier, France's most lorded arranger and composer of orchestral funk-rock and pop returns to the same artistic territory that has since come to represent his most iconic period and continually inspire five inclusive generations of experimental rock luminaries. The signature sound of JCV, complete with his brooding orchestral sweeps, pensive drum-drops, loudly plucked bass and biting clavinet has earned him a firm fixture in the top-ten album lists of virtually everyone with a passing interest in latter-day European rock and conceptual music. But don't call it a comeback. Unlike the many re-dux events or commercial updates of passed classics that we have recently come to expect, the latest LP by Jean Claude Vannier simply extends the authentic vintage winning-formula which he truly OWNS with utmost attention to every last detail. As pop music and technology changes with time some things are best left in their purest form which is why 40 years later JCV has returned to the same studio hands, with the same musicians and the same crystal clear vision that simply cant be equalled... despite the countless attempts. This all new LP comprises a personnel of the legendary European session players that appeared on classic Vannier & Gainsbourg scores such as Cannabis, La Horse, Slogan and Les Chemins de Katmandu as well as Melody Nelson itself, and his own bizarre and mythical follow-up LP, the truly bizarre 1973 avant-garde ballet L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches (which was finally rescued from obscurity in 2005 by Finders Keepers as the labels debut release). The rhythm section line-up for the album alone reads like a European record collectors wet dream.
Recorded partly in Paris and partly in the U.K. (Not unlike the classic Gainsbourg LPs) the album Roses Rouge Sang (Blood Red Roses) hears Jean-Claude taking care of vocal duties in his own inimitable gallic style combining the macabre and the optimistic with ingenious world play and expert poetic use of the French language. Flourishing from initial rehearsal sessions for the first ever live performance of Melody Nelson (which was eventually staged by Finders Keepers at the Barbican Theatre in London in 2006) Roses Rouge Sang captures the authentic line-up just weeks after their initial re-union. The LP also features Jean-Claude experiment with a wide range of timeless, unique and untreated instruments such as mélodica, dactylocorde, célesta, harmonium, Wurlitzer, accordéon and métallophone (and of course Piano) many of which appeared on his individualistic 60's and 70's pop compositions for the likes of Brigitte Fontaine, Anna Saint Claire, Michel Corringe, Claude Nougaro, Leonie and Jane Birkin (amongst others) as well as his rare and unreleased instrumental recordings (which were finally presented on the 'Electro Rapide' Vannier Vaults LP for Finders Keepers this year) and his abstract tribute to the music of George Brassens in 1975. Via his recorded output for film and song-based compositions JCV has maintained a steady successful career since his initial workaholic days of the early 1970's, but most of his LPs have seldom travelled outside of French speaking territories. With this LP JCV combines years of experience working with some of the best orchestras and pop rhythm sections in the world with a return to his roots and initial, radical ideas on how contemporary music could combine the two.