Despite the accent aigu, American crooner Mel Tormé wasn’t of French, but Russian heritage. His version of the eternally wilting Feuilles Mortes – lyrics by French poet and scriptwriter Jacques Prévert, original recording by Yves Montand in 1946 – is a rare example of an American showroom vocalist singing in French, accompanied by an expert all-star jazz combo lead by renowned arranger Marty Paich who also plays the accordion on this fine, port-in-a-fog after hours adaptation recorded on February 22, 1957 live at the Crescendo club in Los Angeles. Picture on the right: Autumn Nude, by Ken Howard.
Mel Tormé – Les feuilles mortes
Dance entrepreneurs and Ninjatunes founders Matt Black and Jonathan More alias Coldcut put them dead leaves in a new vase in 1994. Here’s their transcendent chillout version featuring singer Janis Alexander, the slimmed-down variant without beats and breaks, and the Irresistible Force remix. Let’s go clubbing, and beyond. Merci à Roy Black.
Coldcut – Autumn Leaves
Coldcut – Bare Leaves
Coldcut – Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Remix)