Following on the enormous success of Tzadik's Burt Bacharach collection, this second installment of Tzadik's Great Jewish Music series focuses on the songs of French composer Serge Gainsbourg. A superstar since the 1950's in his native France, Gainsbourg is barely known here in the United States - a condition this special tribute to his genius hopes in some way to remedy. In addition to Tzadik regulars, Tzadik is proud to be able to include tracks by Cibo Matto, Elysian Fields, Kramer, Franz Treichler (of the Young Gods), Blonde Redhead and many, many others. 21 tracks by 21 artists - over 74 minutes of music, all on one dynamic disc. This is an unusual project that you will play again and again, discovering new delights with each listen.
The sounds of bird song, singing bowls and water rippling invite us to Peradam, which takes as its entry point René Daumal’s early 1930s novel Mount Analogue: a Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, in which the French writer, critic and poet mapped a metaphysical journey to “the ultimate symbolic mountain” in search of meaning. In it, Daumal introduced the idea of the “peradam”, a rare, crystalline stone – harbouring profound truths – that is only visible to seekers on a true spiritual path.
Being familiar with some of his work (basically the hit songs) I had no idea of the legacy this brilliant man has left behind. To my complete surprise this (ridiculously low priced) box set opened a new musical world before my ears and from the very first listening I have felt madly and hopelessly in love with Serge Gainsbourg's music. The quality of these recordings is matched by the quality of sound. The remastering is top notch and superior to most digital transfers heard today. I only wish this incredible set had been released on vinyl as well.