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Abbittibbi (Live)

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Album Review

Desjardins Abbittibbi Live was recorded at the Vieux Clocher in Magog (Quebec) during Abbittibbi's comeback tour of 1995. It is a mixed bag. Although the material from Chaude Était la Nuit, the group's 1994 CD, provided the bulk of the live set, none of those tracks are included on the live album. Instead, listeners get "Kooloo Kooloo" and "Déboutonne Ton Blues," both old pieces by the band. Desjardins performs a couple of monologues with incidental music from the band, à la Frank Zappa ("L'Embaumeur Forestier," on the misuse of natural resources by big industrials, is particularly truculent but will be lost on any non-Québecer). He also premiered a few new songs, namely "Les Bonriens" and "Au Pays des Calottes," which were unconvincing transitional pieces (his following solo album, the 1998 Boom Boom, would contain better material). The real treat resides in the rock arrangements of some of his old solo songs, especially the intense "Miami" and "Les Yankees," both given a lush prog rock treatment that brings the group's sound even closer to Octobre than before. The album ends with the ultimate Desjardins song, "Le Coeur Est un Oiseau," very poignant with three-voice harmonies. Desjardins Abbittibbi Live contains essential pieces for the fan, but the casual listener will find it a bit light on contents. Chaude Était la Nuit is more satisfying. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 1948 in Abitibi, Quebec, Canada

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s

A singer/songwriter in the tradition of Jacques Brel and Leonard Cohen, Richard Desjardins spent two-thirds of his career as an unknown and ignored musician, first with his group Abbittibbi and later as a solo artist. In 1990, his second album, Tu M'Aimes-Tu, propelled him to the forefront of intelligent French chanson. His activism for Quebec's independence and in defense of the poor and abused gave him the aura of a controversial figure. Desjardins was born 1948 in Rouyn-Noranda, a mining town...
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Abbittibbi (Live), Richard Desjardins
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