A French chanteuse, cheerfully singing covers of famous songs about Paris. Sounds dreadful, you’d think. Like I did. Now when Ms Geffroy sings not one or two but a whole album of such covers and, on top of that, names it Paris, it feels — and sounds — like the most natural thing in the world. I’ll tell you more: Paris by Zaz (not to be confused with Parises by Paris, Supertramp, The Cure, Paris Hilton, etc.) is a definitive one. It should have been named The Paris. I say, one has to wait another fifty years before undertaking anything as Parisian again.
The audio CD of Paris, Encore! is the same as Paris plus a bonus track, yet another beautiful version of Sous le ciel de Paris featuring Pablo Alborán. The DVD is a live recording of Zaz performing at Stuttgart Jazz Open 2015, with her own band and, on the last six tracks, with SWR Big Band, playing mostly Paris material but also a few hits from the singer’s debut album. The musicians and music are excellent; the production and sound quality, considering that it is 2015... well, will do. A duet of Zaz and Rhiannon Giddens (of Carolina Chocolate Drops) is the absolute highlight, I’d love to hear more of this pair.