When it comes to smooth French cool no one, except perhaps Serge Gainsbourg, comes close to crooner Jacque Brel.
Les Marquises is the final studio album by Jacques Brel, who died at the age of 49 less than a year after its 1977 release. Brel is in fine form here. His songs are filled with with the same lyric themes of his earlier work, but are also imbued with cinematic production and arrangements, influenced by the prior five years of both acting in and directing films. Other new components here are the influences of AfroCaribbean rhythms and '70s jazz-funk, evidenced best in tracks such as "Le Lion" and "Les E...". This is a quirky, adventurous set to be sure, but it satisfies from top to bottom: Les Marquises is classic Brel. ~ Thom Jurek