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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Guillaume De Chassy/Daniel Yvinec

By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published March 20, 2007

Wonderful World
Sunnyside

FRANCE

Pianist De Chassy and bassist Yvinec previously released Chansons Sous Les Bombes, an acclaimed album dedicated to the memories of the World War II era in France. With Wonderful World, the two adapt the concept to the standards that became popular during the same period in the United States. They recorded “man in the street” reminiscences, then integrated these comments into the production. Milt Hoffman, an 86-year-old man from White Plains, N.Y. who’s featured on half the tracks, comments on “What a Wonderful World,” “The White Cliffs of Dover,” and four others. A few guest artists, notably singer Andy Bey, also appear on a few tracks. De Chassy’s lyrical playing is highly evocative and Yvinec offers exquisite accompaniment. What makes the project especially clever, though, is the way the voices, whether speaking or singing, weave a thread throughout the album allowing listeners to hear these old songs with fresh ears.