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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove



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MINA AGOSSI

SIMPLE THINGS?

CCD 79864 CANDID

 

 



1. Simple things (intro) [Mina Agossi] 1.16
2. Feeling good [A; Newley, L. Bricusse] 3; 56
*with Manolo Badrena
3. Money [Pink Floyd] 3.58
*with Manolo Badrena
4. It hurts [Mina Agossi] 4.52
*with Manolo Badrena
5. Twisted [Wardell Gray, Annie Ross] 3.35
*with Fred Dupont
6. A good man is hard to find [E.Green] 2.27
French Lyrics by Mina Agossi.
*with Manolo Badrena
7. Brittany [Mina Agossi] 3.57
8.1983 [A merman I should turn to be] [Jimi Hendrix] 5.21
9. Aquellos ojos verdes [Nilo Menéndes, Adolpho Utrera] 3.42
10. What do you want? [Mina Agossi :music by Felix Bernard] 2.59
*with Fred Dupont
11. Funny [Mina Agossi, Eric Jacot] 2.48
12. Dardanella [Lyrics by Mina Agossi: music by Felix Bernard] 2.59
13. Simple Things [Mina Agossi, text: Racos] 2.44
*with Racos [rap]
Eric Jacot [bass]
Ichiro Onoe [drums]
Manolo Badrena [percussions]
Fred Dupont [Mini Moog]
Racos [rap]

Nina Agossi’s diction in all languages is excellent, but despite her voice lacking color and variation, one is compelled to follow the lyrics because they are so clear.

Suddenly in track 7 there is an explosion of Gallic outpouring which is almost incongruous in the context of the other items but has the desired effect of re-focusing the listener on the Music.

Yet regardless of the homogeneous quality of her vocal sound, Miss Agossi and her musicians capture the essential moods of the songs partially by invention and partially by reference to other works. The Bolero Rhythm in track 8 juxtaposed with Jimi Hendrix is surprisingly effective and a tribute to the superb musical foundation from the instrumentalists which supplies the foundation of the Music..

There are few wasted notes on this CD because every member strives for a minimalist relevance which never swamps the vocal line. There are hardly any fireworks and the restrained instrumentalists create an effect akin to listening to chamber music.

The addition of rap by Racos is not particularly significant, apart from showing the Miss Agossi’s melodic line is a cut above the spoken word.

I found this CD both interesting and infuriating.

If one goes along with the idea that vocal music without words would not work for long, then it is the words that should inject the color into the vocal line.

But there is little word painting, - just marvelous diction.

The reverse of the coin is the story of the man who complained to an impresario that he couldn’t hear the words in Opera and was told that if he just wanted a story to go away and read it.

I also thought of Bob Dylan, whose voice is not exactly a Pavarotti or a Sinatra but it is certainly enough to carry his messages and Nina Agossi can undoubtedly sell lyrics with equal skill.

Adrienne Fox



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