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Boulevard (the Complete Series)

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Album Review

The French tradition of fetishizing black American music didn't begin with Ludovic Navarre. Au contraire! The French have been fixated on jazz since before World War II, making it a haven for American artists who were persecuted in their home country. Perhaps it should have come as no surprise, then, that the landmark album in jazz-house would come from the streets of Paris. From the opening Fender Rhodes notes of "Deep in It," there is little doubt why this classic 1996 album had to be re-released. Exploring elements of house, reggae-dub, Latin, and bebop, some have argued that Navarre did little more than add his name and a few drum machines to the true talent of the hired musician. Admittedly, there are points when you can barely tell what makes this a modern electronic album. However, if Navarre's greatest feat is merely compiling the music of others, then it is still a feat that has had boundless influence on the electronic music scene and therefore deserves all the recognition it receives.


Born: Paris, France

Genre: Electronica

Years Active: '90s, '10s

One of the few producers to pursue a real fusion of jazz and house music, Frenchman Ludovic Navarre began recording in the early '90s using various aliases (Subsystem, Modus Vivendi, Deepside) for a range of French imprints. St. Germain debuted in 1994 for Laurent Garnier's F Communications label and Navarre released his first album, Boulevard, in 1996. Featuring trumpeter Pascal Ohse, the album worked as a hybrid of American R&B and jazz with the growing French house scene exemplified by Garnier,...
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Boulevard (the Complete Series), St Germain
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