However, we would have called it "Flute's Wind", because this song, which was chosen as our first single and was programmed in heavy rotation by Tonino Ruscitto on 'Supersonic', has allowed us to finally have this LP out.»
[Translated from the original back sleeve notes of "Jean Paul & Angelique"]
...well, despite what the liner notes say, when Jean Paul & Angelique's debut album was released in 1975, the couple had already recorded - and released - two full-lenght records using their early stage name of Elio & Angelique...
Those records are in a different vein compared to "Jean Paul & Angelique", but it's worth exploring them and I will try to present them here sometimes in the future. For the time being, let's take care of this Rare Groove gem!
Unfortunately there's not much more than I can add to what I already wrote in the previous post dedicated to them here on Stereo Candies, but anyway... Here we go:
Elio Giampaolo Nigi and Angelique San, best known by their stage name of Jean Paul & Angelique have been one of the most delicate couples of Italian music.
Giampaolo originates from Florence, Italy, while Angelique was born in Nancy, France; her father was French and her mother was Italian, so she has spent part of her youth in Tuscany. Sometimes in the late '60s / early 70s they moved from Florence to Milan.
Nigi has studied at the Music Conservatory of Florence and is a master of woodwind instruments, with a preference for flutes. Angelique usually plays guitar and sings; in 1968 she had a single on RCA Talent, a sublabel of RCA Italiana, which featured the songs "La tua Ninì" and "Il mondo m'insegnò".
They debuted together in 1972 with the album "Cos'è l'amore" (What Is Love), credited to Elio & Angelique, which was released by a small Italian label named CiPiTi.
In 1974 they released another album entitled "Tutti abbiamo un ramo di pazzia" (We All Have a Branch of Madness) in collaboration with Italian actor Giulio Brogi, once again on CiPiTi.
By 1975 they changed the name of their project and released a stunning, mostly instrumental, album simply entitled "Jean Paul & Angelique" on Charter Line / WEA Italiana.
Later on they released a few more singles, also as solo artists, before disappearing from the music scene in the early '80s.
Jean Paul and Angelique, circa 1974
"Jean Paul & Angelique" contains the following tracks:
01. Harmattan (3:45)
02. Africa Sound (4:34)
03. Latte caldo (4:04)
04. Pinco Pallino (3:00)
05. Mooning (4:51)
06. Saucy San (3:38)
07. Padrino N.2 (3:24)
08. Computer Man (3:54)
09. Viso di donna (3:19)
10. Flute's Wind (8:21)
All tracks were remastered from vinyl in December 2014 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files. Both formats offer complete printable PDF artwork.
Please have a look at the comments for the download links.
"Harmattan" is a slow and melodic piece co-written by Nigi along with Stelio Silvestri and Sergio Paolini; as most of the album, it features the flute as main instrument, along with strings arrangement and soft vocals - with almost no lyrics - by Angelique. This song was released as a single in 1976 by Elektra, backed up with "Africa Sound" (...see previous post here...), and was also used as the flip-side of "Flute's Wind", the band's first promotional single mentioned on the back sleeve of this album.
"Africa Sound" is a killer Rare Groove track which reminds of the Italian Library Music of the '70s; a strong Jazz-Funk and Psychedelic groove with percussions, wah-wah guitars and frantic flute solos and vocals... A masterpiece!
Introduced by a brief harmonica motif, "Latte caldo" (Warm Milk) is another of the stronger tracks of the album, filled with the delicate and alluring voice of Angelique. A few years later, as documented in this videoclip, the track was overdubbed with synthesizer effects and complete lyrics were added to transform it in a proper song.
Due to the use of pan pipes - or another similar-sounding woodwind instrument - and assorted percussions, "Pinco Pallino" (...an Italian placeholder name in the vein of John Doe, Jane Doe, etc.) reminds some of the best pages written by Inti-Illimani, the exiled Chilean group who took up residence in Italy during the early/mid '70s.
"Mooning" is a cover of "Moanin'", a piece written by Bobby Timmons which has become a Jazz standard nowadays. The song was first recorded by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers on the album of the same title in 1958; a live rendition of the original version is available here.
Side B opens with the uptempo "Saucy San", one of the grooviest and funkiest tracks on the album, which features extended breakbeats and flute solos. The title could be a reference to Angelique's surname, but who knows...
Along with the aforementioned "Moonin", "Padrino N.2" is the sole non-original composition on the album. Credited to Sergio Paolini, Stelio Silvestri (...who probably created the arrangement...) and Nino Rota (the original composer), it is an excellent cover of the main theme from "The Godfather: Part II" which features a strings section and various solos including bass clarinet (....or something which sounds just like that...) and harmonica.
"Computer Man" is a simple uptempo track which includes some special effects of unspecified nature, which could (...or not...) include direct manipulation of piano strings and tape echo. This is the only piece on the album that I would dare to call a filler and it's not that bad at all, really.
With the both dramatic and almost relaxing "Viso di donna" (A Woman's Face) the strings return and we enter in a sort of Easy Listening and cinematic territory which also offers a peaceful interlude in the form of a flute melody plus guitar/bass accompaniment which reminded me of Middle Ages and Renaissance music... At this point, it is worth mentioning that all the eight original compositions on the album are signed by Elio Giampaolo Nigi: give praise where praise is due!
The album closes with the more-than-eight-minutes-long cavalcade of "Flute's Wind", the only piece for which Angelique San is given a writing credit. The song begins with a crazier-than-crazy flute solo, then guitar and percussions are slowly added to the mix and, as soon as bass and drums join in with the other instruments, Angelique begins to tickle the listener with not completely intelligible Italian vocals, just before letting herself go free in frantic mode. At some point all the instruments stop and another wild flute solo begins, then the song structure takes a jazzy turn until it rarefies... That's when the flute and guitar emerge again from inner piano tricks and, after the rhythm section has completed the picture, the main theme and vocal hooks are repeated once again... Stellar!!!
The following clips offer a preview of the remastered album, enjoy "Harmattan", "Viso di donna", "Africa Sound" and "Flute's Wind"!
More information about Jean Paul & Angelique is available here:
If you have any other useful information about this post, or if you spot any dead links, just get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!