SONG: Dans mon ile
ARTIST: Henri Salvador
Listen to it here:
There is not much information about the song itself, only that it was written by Maurice Pon and Henri Salvador and recorded in 1958. It was added to the soundtrack of a small Italian movie that got noticed by Bossa Nova great Antonio Carlos Jobim. Salvador re-recorded this hit for his final album “Révérence” in 2006.
Henri Salvador was born in Cayenne, French Guiana on July 18, 1917. His music career started as a guitarist, working alongside and imitating the style of Django Reinhardt, eventually moving to singing, dancing and playing on stage. By the 1950s Henri was appearing in movies and recording rock music. In the 1960s he became a TV host and continued to record music, showing an interest in Brazilian music, and in return was embraced by the people of Brazil and was quite popular there. He continued to record until his death in 2008 at the age of 90.
Salvador recorded his rock songs under the pseudonym Henry Cording (a play on ‘recording’), and it was later revealed that he despised rock music and refused to talk about it.
Salvador was the voice of Sebastian the crab in the French dubbing of the 1989 Disney animated hit The Little Mermaid.
I’d never heard of Henri Salvador before listening to this, so I was excited to be listening to a Caribbean/Latin American song on here, but was somewhat pleasantly surprised to see that this song is DEFINITELY French. I mean, besides it being sung in French, it feels like a languid summer evening along the Riviera. I can see why Jobim was so jazzed to hear this because I can hear the Brazilian laid back bossa nova flow to it. I like Henri’s voice a lot, it’s very smooth – exactly the way I would expect a French/South America chanteur to sound. I don’t feel like I have a lot to say about this song? It’s fine, but it doesn’t make me feel anything. And honestly, I don’t want to sound like a butt but if I want to listen to French music, I’ll listen to Serge Gainsbourg and if I want to listen to bossa nova, I’ll listen to Jobim.
I am not at all familiar with Henri Salvador, and have no idea if he was a big deal in France, but I guess his legacy hasn’t fared quite as well as Serge Gainsbourg and some of the other big chanteurs of the 1950s. Salvador’s voice has a very silky, deep quality that lends itself well to this chill, beachy song. This felt so much like some B side to Girl from Ipanema to me that I kept expecting a very sub-toned tenor sax to come out of the woodwork. I like the congas in the background, and I especially like their little fill right when Salvador changes key. It’s a weird, unexpected detail. I like this song, I do. But that’s about it. It’s just nice. I feel like I may have to come back to it and see how it sits with me over time.
Average mark out of 10:
Other notable versions of this song:
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