Music Charts, Releases — November 20, 2015 at 8:19 am

Benoit Viellefon and his Orchestra announce début album ‘’Mon Amour’’

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Evoking fond memories of a bygone era, Benoit Viellefon and his Orchestra have announced their first album “Mon Amour,” taking listeners on a melodious tour of the sounds of the 1920s through to the early 1950s.

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By the beginning of the 21st century the swinging music of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940’s was considered passé, all but forgotten by record companies and the world of show business.

Since then, far from the realm of commercial music, from the fakery and manufactured artists of contemporary pop music, a revival has taken place across the world. The music, fashion, dance steps and lifestyle of this bygone era have captured the imagination of a new generation searching for a real experience. Retro clubs, period dance events, vintage fashion and swing music have spread just about everywhere in Europe and the USA, and it is no exaggeration to say that at the heart of London and the UK’s revival scene today is Benoit Viellefon & His Orchestra.

The formidable 7-piece line-up features a talented troupe of musicians – drummer, double bassist, pianist, tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, all providing backing vocals, and fronted by Benoit on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. And they are put to good use with a unique repertoire of Swing, New Orleans Jazz, Charleston, Ragtime, Jive, and taking influence from Benoit’s own Gallic roots, French Chanson and Swing Manouche.

Consistently first choice at vintage festivals, high profile events across Europe, as well as boasting residencies in London’s most exclusive clubs and concert halls, their busy diary is testament to the public’s love for their music and the atmosphere they create. Most recently they have appeared on national television and radio, and have played for the likes of Rowan Atkinson and Madonna.

 

 

After six years and over 700 concerts, Benoit Viellefon & his Orchestra are proud to present their landmark album Mon Amour. The album was recorded in February 2014 by extraordinary sound engineer Nick Taylor, at London’s Porcupine Studios, a well respected recording studio that has been a second home to successive generations of legendary British jazz artists since the early 1960s. Featuring a selection of tunes from the 1920s to the early 1950s, specifically the songbooks of the USA, England, and France, the album is an exciting look at the music of a time when dancing and entertainment were key, arguably show-business’ golden era!

At the core of the album is the admirable rhythm section of drummer Gaspar Sena, bassist Geoffrey Threadgold and pianist Joe Webb, never failing to provide the swinging beat that drives the music and gets people moving on the dance floor. With the assistance of Sena, Webb worked tirelessly orchestrating the music. Brought together tastefully and stylishly, the arrangements are the Orchestra’s chance to put their stamp on the history of this music. Executing the horn arrangements and weighing in with inventive and swinging solos are the horn section. Talented clarinetist Dave Shulman and trumpeter Pete Horsfall are founding members of the Orchestra. Completing the line-up with his scorching solos and tight section playing is Duncan Hemstock on the tenor saxophone.

Captured perfectly on the album are Benoit’s charm and personality, facets that tie the band together and give them a unique identity. In addition to contributing three original compositions, he provides both the quirky lead vocals (complete with French accent) and stomping rhythm guitar throughout. Making their debut with the Orchestra are Gabrielle Ducomble, an outstanding vocalist from Belgium now working in London, and talented actress and singer, Anna Tyrie. Their valuable contributions take the form of three duets with Benoit; title track Mon Amour sung in French by Gabrielle, the classic Cheek to Cheek, and original composition It Ain’t Me both sung by Anna. Not to mention their silky harmonies on Pennies From Heaven.

The album was launched at London’s prestigious jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s to a sold out house. Benoit and the boys received a standing ovation from the crowd as they called for more! Although there are many groups playing tunes from this era, few do it with such conviction and fewer still are able to write authentically in the style. Benoit & his Orchestra do just that, evoking the sounds and sensations of the golden era of jazz – on stage, in the studio, and when putting pen to manuscript paper. And their growing fan base demonstrates time-and-time-again the public’s love for this music and lifestyle. Wherever they play, they never falter in their endeavour to entertain their many audiences and to conquer each and every one of their hearts.

 

You can download the album via iTunes here