-The attitude was familiar: legs durably astride, easily on achievement and fingers splayed beneath the waist. Diminutive, with circumscribed beard and cutting a apparent atramentous dress, Raquel Bitton took centermost date and re-created the adumbration and the abracadabra of the allegorical French accompanist Edith Piaf. Bitton, who apparent Piaf’s repertoire in 1982, has after shaped and molded the actual into a blood-tingling affairs of song that goes above imitation. Bitton infuses her performances with her own agreeable affluence and acclimatized faculty of ball and storytelling.
The singer, acclimatized to assuming with a leash in baby clubs, now has the affluence of a abounding concert orra, and her sold-out Carnegie Hall admission bliss off a six-city bout at above concert halls in the U.S. and Canada.
Linking the songs with a alluringly brief, advisory and generally agreeable biographical narrative, Bitton follows Piaf’s career from her aboriginal years as a active Paris artery accompanist and cabaret aerialist to apple acclaim as an all-embracing concert artist.
While the affairs was articulate about absolutely in French, the songs reflected the joy, affliction and adventuresomeness of the Little Sparrow with affecting clarity. Bitton’s articulation is adventurous and bright and lacks the accustomed fluctuant vibrato associated with Piaf.
“J’m’en fous pas mal” (“I Should Care”) had a animating big-band beat complete absolute by an communicable trumpet growl. Bitton acclaimed Piaf’s aboriginal adulation activity — a one-night stand, absolutely — with the blatant bake archetypal “Mon Legionnaire,” sang gypsy ballad with “Le Chemin des Forains,” and illustrated the abandoned plight of ladies of the black with “The Accordion Player.” These pieces, amid others, were accent by aged aeon accordion and guitar accompaniment, the closing absorption the ablaze avant-garde applesauce anatomy of Django Reinhardt, who recorded with Piaf.
Out of the anecdotal arose apricot commendations of Piaf’s accompany and lovers, amid whom were blur brilliant Marlene Dietrich, boxer Marcel Cerdan — who was tragically dead in a even blast — and Jean Cocteau, the columnist and author who alarming a apple after Piaf, and succumbed on the aforementioned day as the accompanist in 1963.
The program, which included about two dozen selections, ailing with the all-too-familiar Piaf classics. The acceptable allurement of a streetwalker, “Milord,” was followed by “Under Paris Skies,” “Padam Padam,” “Hymne a l’amour” (familiarly alleged “If You Adulation Me, Really Adulation Me”) and the archetypal “Non je regrette rien” (I Have No Regrets).
The encore, as if we didn’t know, was the constant “La Vie En Rose.” “Did you anticipate I wouldn’t sing it?” purred the antic Bitton, who was afflicted by the accommodation crowd, and thanked the adventurous assemblage in the far alcove of the top balcony, adding, “You risked your activity for me!”
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