By Thierry Keller editor in chief of ‘Usbek & Rica’ magazine
“The nine tracks, selected from the worlds of jazz and pop (from Cole Porter to Prince and from Duke Ellington to Stevie Wonder), and enveloped by Hugo Lippi’s enchanting guitar, are a hymn to happiness and to life; a private journey where beauty and melancholy rub shoulders without seeking to rival each other.
“Hugo and I have shared a great complicity when we play together”, Clotilde explains. “I love developing my sound through playing with others, creating minimal arrangements that are nonetheless vivid, incredibly delicate and of the moment. It is this instantaneity that I adore.”
Live au 7 Lézards was born from this understanding, from this ‘free imprecision’. Seemingly classical in appearance, the music soon glides away on the wings of liberty that only jazz can offer, such as the surprising cover of Prince’s famous song ‘Kiss’, which is itself preceded by more than 40 minutes of pure enchantment in the company of the greatest or the most unexpected (Dorough, Rodgers, Lorentz, Jobim, Porter, Ellington, Irving, Wonder, Lennon & Mc Cartney). Lippi’s guitar dances with Clotilde’s voice, which itself caresses and surprises the hypnotised audience.
“I wanted to make a lively and intimate record, which was evocative and sincere”, admits Clotilde, who loves the ‘blue note’, the devil’s note that hovers on the border between suffering and joy.
As soon as one has reached the end of this interior journey, one has but one desire: to start all over again. But here lies the miracle of jazz, for the second journey will never be quite the same as the first. Her music is truly a therapy.”
Some press reviews
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“(…) with beautiful tessitura, perfect rhythmic placing, inflexion and remarkable expressivity. I am sure that you will love Clotilde Rullaud. She deserves to go far…”
Thierry Quenum – Jazzmag (FR)
“Another revelation is Clotilde Rullaud. She has a gripping voice, with a certain wonderful gravity, putting us in mind of Nina Simone.” (***)
Jean-Marc Gelin – Jazzman (FR)
“It’s always pleasant to hear a new voice, particularly when backed by a minimalist accompaniment in a crossover register. This is the music served up by Clotilde Rullaud and the guitarist Hugo Lippi on their live album recorded in the cosy surroundings of the 7 Lézards club in Paris, where the singer’s voice finds its fullest expression. It all kicks off admirably well with a cover of Prince’s Kiss ; a little easy perhaps, but in the next song the young woman confirms all the good that’s been said about her. Her voice deepens considerably on Devil May Care, evoking some of jazz’s greatest female vocalists. Hugo Lippi seems just as inspired by his partner’s propositions and gives us some very pleasant moments with his instrument. The guitarist also helps to situate the singer in the era, which makes it easier for her to sing a moving piece such as Stardust. Next it’s the turn of Ellington’s Caravan (spiced up with some oriental touches), Rodgers’s sublime My Romance and a Jobim tune (where Lippi truly regales himself), all of which make this a truly full-flavoured CD. Finally, we return to more accessible music with covers of The Beatles and Stevie Wonder (Blackbird and All in Love Is Fair), a shot of pure joy from this duo.”
Michel Maetracci – Jazzhot (FR)
“(…)Rullaud combines the laid-back hipness of a Helen Merrill or a Sheila Jordan with the kind of emotional interpretation of lyrics that one normally associates with rock or folk singers—yet her phrasing is pure jazz.
An excellent example of what I mean is Bob Dorough’s Devil may Care. I’m familiar with this tune through Dorough’s own performances of it, including a late live appearance on the Prairie Home Companion radio program, and his own laid-back hip is sort of the male equivalent of Merrill or Jordan, but Rullaud invests the song with not only a more emotional interpretation of the lyrics but with a sharper rhythmic attack in her phasing. In her hands, the song does not only swing, it jumps and thrusts, backs off and moves forward, the melodic line taking on a life of its own. (…)
She also surprises us in the Tizol-Ellington classic Caravan by starting it out with Arabic melismas, something you might not expect from a French singer of an American song, yet she makes it work and uses it to lead into the principal tune with ease.
In my enthusiasm for Rullaud I wouldn’t want to give short shrift to the fabulous guitar playing of Hugo Lippi. Here is a guitarist whose combination of mellow chording and clean, inventive solo lines reminded me of some of the best American guitarists of the 1960s such as Tal Farlow, Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass. He’s that good.
The two of them create real magic out of two songs that one would otherwise consider purely rock music, Prince’s Kiss and Stevie Wonder’s All in Love is Fair, the latter blending into the Beatles’ Blackbird with impunity.
Rullaud, in this set, scarcely ever rises above a mezzo-piano in volume, but she doesn’t have to. She has such great control of the voice and her material that she holds you, fascinated, in the palm of her hand (or, more accurately, vocal cords).(…)
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a concert by solo voice and guitar, this one concludes with two songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim, sung in Portuguese, of which only the second One Note Samba, is well known. The duo essentially ‘deconstructs’ Luiza to the point where the music evolves in bits and pieces — a mosaic put together in the mind of the listener — while One Note Samba begins with some wonderful scatting before moving into the familiar melody.”
Lynn René Bayley – Fanfare Magazine (USA)
Clotilde Rullaud – voix
Hugo Lippi – Guitare
Recording engineer : Zakariyya Cammoun, Live @ Le 7 Lézards, Paris (September 2006)
Mixing engineer : Zakariyya Cammoun, La cave à sons, Nogent (November 2006)
Mastering : Top Master, Paris (December 2006)
Art-work : Pauline Thomas
Photography : Benoite Fanton & Pauline Thomas
© & ℗ : Clotilde Rullaud – 2006 – Self produce with the support of the city of Paris
Barcode : 634479470738
Release date :
Digital & physical : February 2007