When you heard Gad Elmaleh was working on something new, you probably got excited for a Netflix standup special, sitcom, comedy album, or international tour. But this giant of French comedy, so widely revered as to be referred to as “the French Seinfeld,” has something new up his sleeve: some surprising singing chops.
Over the course of the pandemic, Elmaleh has been recording an album of covers under Blue Note records, called “Dansez sur moi,” and re-envisioning the songs of the French master chanteur, Claude Nougaro. The Toulousian singer, who passed away in 2004, blended American jazz and Brazilian and African musical influences into the French chanson style. His hits range from the twangy, percussive “Bidonville,” a song about France’s slums; to “Cécile ma fille,” whose haunting hook describes Nougaro’s fear and wonder at becoming a father.
Elmaleh released the album’s first single, “Armstrong,” back in September, followed by “Nougayork,” and “Le cinéma.”
The album was set to be released in November, but was delayed due to COVID-19. A video for the song “Toulouse” was released in December. Set outside, with Elmaleh and his band playing by the river, the love song to Nougaro’s hometown was shot on site, the lyrics cut with footage of the city, include one lingering image of a larger-than-life mural of Nougaro on the side of a building. Continue reading “Gad Elmaleh releases ‘Dansez sur moi,’ an album of Claude Nougaro covers”