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May 2002

Henri Salvador
Room With a View
Blue Note Records

New York night owls of a certain age might remember Henri Salvador from his mid-'50s appearances at the Waldorf Astoria. Now, at long last, all others can be formally introduced to the 84-year-old French icon with the stateside release of Room With a View (Blue Note CD 36710; 48:24). You'll be delighted to make his acquaintance. Best known in his native land for TV work and top-selling novelty tunes, Salvador surprised his legion of continental fans by ending a six-year recording hiatus in early 2000 with this change-of-pace collection of soft ballads and gentle bossa novas. It has since been certified double platinum in France and gold in Belgium, and earned both album of the year and male artist of the year honors at Les Victoires de la Musique (the French equivalent of the Grammys). In addition to a noirish teaming with Toots Thielemans on "Un Tour de Manege" and a breezy reading of the more familiar "Mademoiselle," Salvador neophytes will delight in "Le Fou de la Reine," his gorgeous duet with fellow French legend Francoise Hardy. For Room's American release, two of the most popular selections-the title track and "Jazz, Silver Moonlight"-have been rerecorded in English and "All I Really Want Is Love," a peppy duet with Swedish pop star Lisa Ekdahl, has been added. Magnifique!

Originally published in May 2002
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