Fancy something a little different? Yes?  Then may we point you to a beguiling new album from French outfit, PARIS COMBO?  Their upcoming set is ‘Quesaco?’ and, yes, it’s not soul and not jazz in its varied accepted forms but there’s a joyous quality to the 11 tracker which might, for a while, at least, take you away from the myriad problems we all seem to be facing right now.

Despite the light and lovely music on ‘Quesaco?’, there’s a poignancy behind it all. The LP is the Combo’s seventh studio album, but also the last recorded with the group’s late singer/songwriter Belle du Berry, who died suddenly on August 11, 2020, aged just 54, following a brief battle with cancer. Throughout this album her voice  brings an intoxicating, light  quality to the sound which weaves together elements of Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy jazz and Latin music, as well as exotic and cinematic influences.

The rest of the Paris Combo are David Lewis on piano and trumpet, Potzi on guitar, François Jeannin on drums, Benoît Dunoyer de Segonzac on bass and Rémy Kaprielan on percussion and vocals. Between them they craft a sweet, relaxing  music cocktail which offers plenty of optimism, typified by the album’s lead single, ‘Seine De La Vie Parisienne’ which captures the simple joy of walking along the Seine with your partner.

‘ Quesaco?’ is released on Friday May 6th via Six Degrees Records. And the album title? We’re told that ‘Quesaco?’ is an ancient Provençal expression, which might be translated as “What is all this?,” or “What’s happening?” and which lends a charming nuance to Ms du Berry’s  questions about the mystery of existence.