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Review: MAM, Paris Village

Paris Village
[Buda Musique (2011)]

A search for the word MAM in Wikipedia yields 34 entries. Nine are for the word itself and 25 are for MAM as an acronym. Unfortunately, the brilliant music duo known as MAM, which consists of François Michaud (violin) and Viviane Arnoux (accordion), isn’t among them. MAM, which has been together since 1992, seems to make a conscious effort to vary the approach to their recording projects. One album was called Jazz in my Musette and featured a second accordion player. Another album was a trio project while two more were done as a quartet. Michaud and Arnoux also accompanied a singer-songwriter by the name of Thomasi on a marvelous Gypsy swing-type album called Le Bazar du Bizarre. MAM’s album from 2010, known as Musique Acoustique Machines, was a multi-media project with their friend Fab on synths and beats. The next project will feature a human beatbox. The duo’s eighth album, Paris Village, is a throwback to their very first album as a duo. The 20 original and relatively short compositions that make up the new album, only two of which extend to four minutes, were recorded at their home in the small village of Ercuis, not far from Paris. While MAM’s music has encompassed jazz, musette, world music, classical, and modern grooves, Paris Village consists of highly lyrical and evocative compositions that are played exquisitely well. [www.mammusique.com; www.allegro-music.com]

—Paul-Emile Comeau (Comeauville, NS, Canada)

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