What do you want? Three CDs of French music recorded by the greatest vocalists the country has ever known; the one non-native is Josephine Baker
who here sings in French for the French. All of these songs have to do with French life and the things it brought to the world, especially in the 20th century: wine, cabarets, love (illicit, devastating, redeeming), nationalism, high and low culture, and cinema, among other things. And those singing are it, from Juliette Gréco
, Edith Piaf
, and Catherine Sauvage
to Charles Trenet
, Maurice Chevalier
, and Yves Montand. The only obvious omission is Charles Aznavour
, but perhaps there were licensing problems. This is a gorgeous triple-disc with everything from cabaret songs to theater tunes to pop. Vive le France!