Mixing the old with the new in the music of St Germain…
I confess to being rather ignorant of new music and its trends, blissfully so usually. But every once in a while when I think it is all hopeless along comes an artist or track which makes me reconsider and lead me down new, unchartered territory. The French musician Ludovic Navarre, better known, it seems as St Germain combines musical traditions more familiar to this blogger than the current trends of RnB, Techno, EDM and the like.
Navarre’s music is an intriguing blend of jazz, blues and anything else which falls under the category of ‘black music’. If he must be put into a box then one supposes ‘Nu-Jazz’ would best fit the sound. I am all for it, jazz has wandered down many avenues over the past eighty years and what is happening now in New York, Paris, Berlin and London in particular is fresh, innovative and exciting. In Nu-Jazz we hear cross-overs from jazz, electronic, house, funk and soul and it is notable for the artists gone by such as Bob James and Miles Davis who have influenced this new breed of musicians to carry forward the tradition of improvisation and innovation.
St Germain has sold over three million albums since the early nineties and his direction reminds me of Robert Plant who has embraced North African and Middle Eastern musicians and their techniques, brought them to the fore and blended their music with other Western styles to brilliant and commercial effect.
Not all of it hits the mark for me but it is different and refreshing to discover. The track I have chosen is not new but remains fresh and vibrant with just the right amount of ‘house’ to stop this writer from switching off. There’s life left, it would seem, in old Retro yet!
Categories: The Music Lounge