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Album Review

Imagine Parliament played on marching drums, sousaphone, and banjo — you'll get a good idea of what Debout! is about. Ceux-Qui-Marchent-Debout ("Those Who Walk Standing Up," because the group performs standing up, even the drummer) perform a mix of street-band funk songs and jazz-funk instrumentals using banjo, tuba, trumpet, trombone, bass drum, and a light drum set. Arrangements are inventive and playful, the playing is as tight as can be. Elements of ska and reggae add an extra party note. Lyrics are sung in French; they're witty and humorous and explain the superiority of mayonnaise over any other condiment ("La Mayo") or how the group deals with its neighbors ("Les Voisins"). More generally, lyrics are limited to a couple of lines and used for their rhythmical and singalong qualities in true funk fashion. Instrumental tunes tend to sound similar to one another, like variations on a single theme — the inevitable downside of playing such a precisely defined type of music. Less varied and daring than the albums of the Rhythm 'n Truth Brass Band or L'Orkestre des Pas Perdus, Debout! makes a better party CD. Moviegoers who heard the group in Cedric Klapisch's When the Cat's Away... can safely try to locate a copy of this album, very friendly for the non-French speaker. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Debout, Ceux qui marchent debout
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