Cyrille Aimee: It’s a Good Day

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Cyrille Aimee

It’s impossible to not be charmed by French moppet Cyrille Aimée and her infectious joie de vivre. Her footloose curiosity has resulted in a slew of indie and self-produced recordings, many hard to find. It’s a Good Day, brimming with Aimée’s ebullience, is being billed as her major-label debut. It was in fact recorded over a year ago and, with a slightly different track list, released by Victor in Japan. Mack Avenue, as part of a three-album deal with Aimée, has licensed it for the American market.

Though Aimée’s previous discs featured everything from big bands to horn-fueled combos, she has a particular penchant for guitarists (her longtime hero is Django Reinhardt). That passion is brought to heightened fervor here via three distinctly gifted axmen: French-Italian Michael Valeanu on electric guitar, Gypsy-influenced Frenchman Adrien Moignard on steel-string and Brazil’s Guilherme Monteiro on nylon-string. According to Aimée, the goal, magnificently achieved, was “to create a roadmap for each guitar to make the sound beautiful and exciting, without creating a musical traffic jam.”

The clever program blends standards with pert originals in English and French, and Aimée adds a musing reading of Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall,” the sweet, tender “All Love” (composed by Django’s son Babik Reinhardt, with lyrics by Aimée) and a buoyant, wordless ramble across Oscar Pettiford’s “Tricrotism,” solely propelled by bassist Sam Anning. Sadly absent from the U.S. release, however, is her cunningly furtive take on the Doors’ “People Are Strange.”