Record Review: Annabelle Chvostek “String of Pearls”


An album for those who reckon there’s just not enough singer-songwriters celebrating the French and Weimar cabaret era, the former Wailin’ Jennys member Annabelle Chvostek digs into her East European heritage alongside her Canadian background and marital Uruguayan influences for this gloriously ebullient sixth album ‘Strong of Pearls’. Co-produced, from Montevideo, by composer and multi-instrumentalist, Fernando Rosa who assembled an array of tango and classical musicians to evoke the days of 30s tango and jazz swing while, back home in Toronto, David Travers-Smith recruited members of the gypsy jazz scene alongside regular drummer Tony Spina. Added to all this, Chvostek drew on her time as artist-in-residence with the city’s Echo Women’s Choir to work on the vocal arrangements.

She raises the curtain, singing in both French and English on the frisky brushed snares flapper shuffle Je T’ai Vu Hier Soir (I Saw You Last Night),  keeping the swing sizzling with the double bass, clarinet, mandolin and classical guitar feline slinkiness of the title track, not the Glenn Miller number but certainly evoking a similar vintage. Continue reading “Record Review: Annabelle Chvostek “String of Pearls””