Plus je t'embrasse
All I Really Want Is Love
Priscilla Badhwar - Vocals
David Pulkingham - Guitar
Eddy Hobizal - Piano, Rhodes
Daniel Durham - Bass
Steve Schwelling - Drums, percussion
Priscilla Badhwar is a Texas-based chanteuse (I'm not sure I would describe her as an out-and-out jazz singer). She is a Doctor of Pharmacy as well
as a music graduate and her day job has seen her working in a paediatric intensive care unit in Austin and in a hospital emergency department in
Dallas. She has a love of French music especially songs made popular by singers Henri Salvador, Charles Trenet and Blossom Dearie (the latter
actually lived in France from 1952 to 1956). She has assembled a group of musicians from the Austin jazz scene to support her in this project of
creating what she calls '… a French jazz recording with a bit of a twist'. Five of the songs are sung completely in French, the exception being All I Really Want Is Love where both English and French are used.
Badhwar has a husky, slightly breathless but appealing voice. The highlights for me were Jardin d'hiver and All I Really Want Is Love. She sings the ballad Jardin d'hiver expressively with fine accompaniment, particularly from David
Pulkingham on guitar and Eddy Hobizal on keyboard. The arrangement owes a debt to Latin jazz (bossa nova). All I Really Want Is Love is an
enjoyable cover of a Salvadore Poe song, once more delivered stylishly - Badhwar so much so, it brought to mind Stacey Kent's efforts in this
field, praise indeed. Again, Pulkingham's guitar is prominent. For the rest, Maladie d'amour is taken briskly, after a gentle
opening, and is sung with brio. Several tracks feature swing arrangements à la Hot Club De France. Those who appreciate that tradition will no
doubt relish Mademoiselle, for instance, though I always feel bass and drums are a bit short-changed in this context, given the rather
pedestrian nature of their duties.
My final reflection is this. I'd like to hear more of Priscilla Badhwar, freed from the chosen constraints of the material here. The highlights I
referred to, above, reveal considerable potential, even in a jazz scene as crowded with talent as the present crop of women singers.