SSC3609 2007-10-09

Track List

Ma Nouvelle Orléans - 3:47
Le Seul Survivant - 3:56
Comme La Planète - 4:34
Ça L'fait - 4:11
Les Caresses - 4:25
On Veut Des Légendes - 4:29
L'arche De Noé Revisitée - 3:53
Paloma Dort - 4:43
L'amour Se Trouve Au Coin D'la Rue - 2:58
Y'a Un Bon Dieu - 3:34
Excusez Votre Honneur - 3:54
Je Ne T'en Veux Pas - 4:19
Elle Est Terrible - 2:59
Jambalaya - 5:04


Eddy Mitchell - vocals, guitar

At this point in his long career, French chanson king Eddy Mitchell can do whatever he wishes to, and he's so skilled, such an expressive vocalist and stylist, that he almost always pulls it off. Jambalaya is his tribute to the roots music of America, done his way. While the vast majority of the tunes were written by his chief collaborator Pierre Papadiamandis, as well as a cover or two such as the title cut by Hank Williams, of course, and an adaptation of Eddie Cochran's "Something Else," titled "Elle Est Terrible," with guests Little Richard and Johnny Hallyday. Speaking of guests, Hallyday appears elsewhere here, and the venerable Dr. John helps out wit his trademark tasty chops on the opening cut "Ma Nouvelle Orleans." And Beverly Jo Scott sings with him on "Comme La Planètte." This is a wildly confusing and diverse album, whether Mitchell is singing part Cajun on "Ma Nouvelle-Orleans" or swaggering boogie rock & roll on "Ça l'Fait," or straight-up weird country on "Le Seul Survivant," or a spooky blues ballad on "Paloma Dort." Mitchell is simply wild, completely all over the place, and yet the music and his performance here is utterly focused, delivered with great theatricality, drama and soul. On the final cut, Hank Williams' title, Mitchell sings in English, accompanied by military rolling drums, an old-timey Cajun fiddle, and a dobro, and it sounds just like a back porch Cajun swamp number. This tune sounds so completely over the top it reveals Williams' intent and who he was trying to portray within it. Jambalaya is a surprise: Mitchell is always unruly, and always a master stylist, but the sheer delight and veracity and vision of this set are very special.
Thom Jurek, All Music Guide