Keri Chryst | The French Connection, Vol. 1

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The French Connection, Vol. 1

by Keri Chryst

...a transatlantic love-hate musical romance... Join this sassy Parisian-American chanteuse for a trip across the big pond to discover the sophisticated musical interplay the two cultures have fostered through this very American art form we call jazz!
Genre: Jazz: Swing/Big Band
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Si j'avais un chat (If I Had a Cat)
2:34 $1.23
2. C'est si bon
3:18 $1.23
3. Que reste-t-il de nos amours / I Wish You Love
6:37 $1.23
4. Sympathique
3:11 $1.23
5. Les feuilles mortes / Autumn Leaves
4:30 $1.23
6. Take 5 / Ne boude pas
3:32 $1.23
7. Work Song / Sing Sing Song
3:45 $1.23
8. Plus je t'embrasse / Lullaby of Birdland
3:54 $1.23
9. What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life
3:11 $1.23
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
America’s fascination for Parisian sophistication and "joie de vivre" rivals only that of the French for the "vim and verve" of the "American way of life".

Join chanteuse Keri Chryst and friends on a musical journey, back and forth across the big pond, and discover the delicate interplay between these two cultures and the musical bond they have forged over the years through this very American art form – Jazz.

From Josephine Baker to Louis Armstrong, to the modern day’s Pink Martini and back again via Edith Piaf, Django Reinhardt and Michel Le Grand…

C’est Si Bon* to contemplate The Autumn Leaves while living La Vie en Rose** somewhere Beyond the Sea…

This collaboration between two talented musicians – one American, the other French – was born one Sunday evening over a couple of American-style cheeseburgers after a hot jam session at les Têtes Brulées in Paris, France.
Keri Chryst ha been cooking up the idea for the project for some time, when she finally has the pleasure of meeting and playing with well-known French pianist Philippe Petit. She tells him a bit about her ideas for a lecture-concert series around the theme of Franco-American collaborations in Jazz…
“Ah, bonne idée! Good idea! I’m sure you’ve already thought about Autumn Leaves”, he says.
“Mais bien sûr! But of course! ” she raises an eyebrow.
“And My Way?”
“Of course!”
“But have you considered Take 5 by David Brubeck?”
“Why, Is that French?” Keri asks.
“No, but there’s a nice version by Monsieur Richard Anthony… and then there’s always Mon Homme or My Man…”
“Yup, that one’s originally French too!”
Philippe’s enthusiasm for the project, along with his apparent expertise on the subject lead Keri to hit him up one week later to officially come on board!
They get straight down to business, and start rehearsing regularly to work up a few arrangements, and begin the difficult selection process of just which songs to include in the project (so many good ones to choose from!).

…But for Keri it has never been a question of putting together “just” a concert. Long inspired by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic’s “Young People’s Concerts”, and by a number of other programs she’s attended over the years which had proved as educational and informative as they were artistically inspiring – Keri is bent on developing her own series of concert programs with one primary goal in force: that the audience come away with a deeper connection to the music than they walked in with.

She has several ideas in mind, but quickly settles on what seems to be the most obvious starting point – simply build on a decade’s worth of personal experience as an American in Paris, combined with her existing jazz repertoire which frankly is already generously sprinkled with a number of fond favorite French and Franco-American tunes.
During one late-night brainstorming session at home in her Paris apartment, the structure for the concert begins to take form – drawing on the socio-historical context of each song as a through-line, and enlisting the audience as the applausometer for the famous:
Pop-Quiz – Is this song originally
American, or French?
Which of course fools ‘em every time.
And thus…
The French Connection is born!

From its first performances in Paris in early 2011, in front of a multi-lingual, multicultural audience, The French Connection project is met with great enthusiasm.

A few months later, Keri is invited by the American Embassy in Paris to take this project, along with her collaboration on a Roots 66 theme, on the road for a series of tours across the far corners of both Francophone and Anglophone Africa, alongside her new partner, guitarist Jumpin’ Jeff Hoffman. Both programs are lauded as an unqualified success no matter what the audience – from top dignitaries to young orphans and school children, as well as high school and university students.

Back from Africa, via an Artist Residency with schools in Hastings, Nebraska and settling back into the Paris rhythm, the calls for gigs start up again and Keri and her colleagues are eager to continue sharing this beautiful musical experience with audiences of all ages!

You’re invited to visit the official web-site where there are regular updates on The French Connection (gigs, road journal/blog, photos, videos, album) as it takes this transatlantic love-hate musical romance around the globe!

(The album is accompanied by a lecture-concert experience which actively engages participation from audiences of all ages – to help tell the rich history of socio-cultural exchange between these two countries throughout the years, all thanks to this exquisite music born in the 20th century.)



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