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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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PRISCILLA BADHWAR

Mademoiselle

Self-released EP

 

 

  1. Mademoiselle

  2. Boum!

  3. Jardin d'hiver

  4. Plus je t'embrasse

  5. Maladie d'amour

  6. 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 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.

James Poore



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