40

St Germain

Tourist

May 2000

Put Dave Brubeck with Marlena Shaw and re-invented groove

Acid Jazz, Future Jazz and Downtempo

I can’t recall the number of movies that have used the rhythms of St. Germain’s mash-up Rose Rouge to depict speed or time passing – but it’s an anthem that will exert its lure for years to come.

Rose Rouge combines a live Marlena Shaw vocal sample from 1973 where she sings “I want you to get together” looped over a crucial snippet of Dave Brubeck’s Take 5. French jazz buff Ludovic Navarre created an infectious, fresh and utterly brilliant fusion of styles with killer samples to make something old yet new with an acid jazz twist. Unlike most sample-based work Tourist has a full scale, open sound that while slightly punched up reveals the quality of the originals and shows them in a new light.

Navarre’s cover of Ernest Ranglin’s Jamaican bopper Montego Bay Spleen is transformed into George Benson circa Breezin’ – cool guitar licks with a sexy acid jazz layer smothered over its vanilla rhythms. We go pure Jethro Tull as Flute launches into an eight-minute piano/flute funk workout (Edouard Labor is the player). But that’s nothing to the album’s other huge single – Sure Thing that samples a wicked John Lee Hooker guitar groove. It comes from Jack Nitzsche’s soundtrack to The Hot Spot, which featured an awesome collaboration between Miles Davis, Hooker and Taj Mahal.

Pont Des Arts is keyboard funk similar to Deodato’s Night Cruiser with vocals that shimmer when needed. Tourist ends on the slow and sexy What You Think About... which slinks its way into your living room like one cool cat.