Yoyage – D’une Ile A L’autre – Louis Capart, vocal and guitar/ Christine Maringer-Tries, vocal/ Hans-Peter Tries, vocal and guitar/ Johanna Single, concert harp/ Iris Kramer, flugelhorn/ Hrolfur Vagnsson, accordion/ Ian Melrose, flute/ Dominik Jung, guitar/ Thomas Biller, upright bass/ Hans-Jorg Maucksch, fretless bass – Stockfish Stereo-only SACD SFR 357.4043.2, 54:17 ***:
Audiophiles take note: this is a stereo only SACD, no multichannel involved. The singing is close and a little intrusive. But the instrumental balance is generally very good. Louis Capart is a singer and songwriter from Brittany (outskirts of Paris) and sings in Breton and French. Here he is joined by the Duo Balance (Christine Maringer-Tries and Hans-Peter Tries, both German, plus assorted instrumental artists), and many of the songs are simply exquisite, tender, pathetic, melancholy, and bittersweet—just my kind of songs. Except—and it’s a BIG except—when marketing to an English audience you have to include translations. I have no idea what they are singing about, except what my broken French may hint at, and this is a huge setback to an album like this.
This concept reminds me very much of Jacques Brel’s heyday in the late sixties and early seventies, and I loved Brel. I sense that the troubadour and “free thinker” (notes that comprise his philosophy are of the same ilk as Brel’s though perhaps not so overtly political. I don’t care—I just want to be able to understand the message without taking a Berlitz course, and this is a huge hindrance to an otherwise fine album. For Francophiles, French majors, and natives only.
TrackList: 1. Au Large du Gueveur 2. Floraison 3. Il Faudra Que Je Me Souvienne 4. Marie-Jeanne-Gabriellle 5. Berlin 6. Maintenant ou Jamais 7. Göttingen 8. Cette Chanson Qui Ne Vient Jamais 9. Loguivy de La Mer 10. Différents Mais Tous Pareils 11. Le Présent Têtu 12. Patience 13. Au Large du Gueveur (Reprise)
— Steven Ritter