By Denise Sullivan | Published August 2019
A vocalist matched with the right accompanist can work magic on any repertoire. And that’s exactly what Serena Fisseau and accordionist Vincent Peirani do on So Quiet across 14 interpretations of well-traveled songs from various traditions, each intended for children’s listening.
Fisseau has made her career in France as a singer for tykes, and her mulit-instrumentalist husband, Peirani, is an award-winning player. Nevertheless, it takes a measure of confidence to tackle versions of the world’s most recorded songs, whether it’s “What A Wonderful World,” “Over The Rainbow” or something on the pop spectrum, like Lennon and McCartney’s “And I Love Her.” Fisseau and Peirani just wrest charm from well-worn works.
“La Javanaise,” originally by Serge Gainsbourg, is swoon-worthy as the duo channels the playfulness of an early ’60s chanson. Widening the scope to Brazil, Fisseau and Peirani turn in lovely versions of Caetano Veloso’s “Alguem Cantando” and Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “Luiza.” With a lightness of spirit to all they touch, the pair creates interesting juxtapositions, thanks to Peirani’s quirky choices and Fisseau’s rich vocals; he goes positively wild with Burt Bacharach’s “Close To You,” while she plays it fairly Karen Carpenter-straight.
With songs sung to perfection by Fisseau and augmented by Peirani’s light touch, So Quiet brims with effective intimacy that anyone in the mood for quiet will appreciate, regardless of age.
So Quiet: Bengawan Solo; La Javanaise; What A Wonderful World; Close To You; La Tendresse; La Bourdique; Bintang Kecil; Malandrinha; Luiza; Alguem Cantando; Small Song; And I Love Her; 3 Petites Notes De Musique; Over The Rainbow. (46:09)
Personnel: Serena Fisseau, vocals, body percussion; Vincent Peirani, accordion, accordina, Wurlitzer, piano, plastic bags, music box, vocals.