French pop/jazz chanteuse Zaz’s self-titled debut will finally be released in the U.S. via Sony later this summer. Zaz, whose real name is Isabelle Geffroy, bears such a striking vocal resemblance to Edith Piaf that it’s uncanny. The poor kid must be sick of the comparisons, but what else can I say here? This little gem of an album sounds like Edith Piaf singing modern, slightly quirky, jazz and pop tunes. I adore it.

The stunners on the disc are “Prends garde à ta langue” and “Ni oui ni non.” Other highlights include the opener “Les passants,” the piano torch number “Dans marve” and the jaunty pairing of “Je veux” and “Le long de la route.”

There really are no weak tracks on the album, the intricacies and charm of the arrangments are a perfect match for Zaz’ superb and distinctive voice.

I was not granted permission to share an mp3 of any of the studio tracks directly, but her label did authorize this free, legal, live mp3 (click the arrow icon to download)…

*mp3 widget uploaded by & posted w/ permission of label

You can also received a free, legal download from the album by signing up for Zaz’ email newsletter at her official site and hear samples of several other tracks at the links below…

Buy Mp3s @ Amazon

Buy CD @ Amazon

Zaz - ZAZ

Zaz MySpace

Mario Grigorov: Paris to Cuba

Paris to Cuba is the new release from Oscar winning composer Mario Grigorov. As the album’s title suggests, these rhythmic instrumentals and chanteuse vocal numbers blend energetic Cuban instrumentation with romantic elements of classic French music.

Latin guitar rhythms are burnished with robust but unobtrusive trumpet in the instrumental opener “Cuban Soil, Cuban Sun”.

Singer Melissa Newman’s mellow croon joins Grigorov’s piano and Sam Newsome’s soprano sax to add a Parisian flare to the Cuban percussion of “I See”. Newman also sings “Every Little Movement” and “Snake Eyes”.

The standout track is “Ice Hotel”, in which Lynchian guitar snakes through a sultry brass arrangment. Grigorov plays a second, sparse piano version of the song at the end of the album.

Also of note is the twirling, twinkling delight “Magic Circus”, and the atmospheric “Three Dozen Roses” closes this lovely and unusual collection.

Buy @ Amazon

Mario Grigorov Official Site