Rhythm & Views

Naim Amor

Longtime Tucson-by-way-of-Paris expatriate Naim Amor has released a local anomaly: an actual LP. Like, 12-inch vinyl. Completely different versions of a few of the 10 tracks on Exsanguine will be released down the road a bit on Naim's next CD, Sanguine, making this a preview--sort of, but not really, as none of these versions will be duplicated.

Fans of the sophisticated, cosmopolitan French pop of the great Serge Gainsbourg will rejoice in the airy, jazzy instrumentals and melancholy love songs on Exsanguine. Naim sings (in English and French) and plays guitar, vibes, organ and bass, and adds superb violin to the standout track "Son Petit Sourire."

Many of Tucson's finest give supple, understated support: Drummer Dimitri Manos and bass player Ryan Eggleston anchor a few tracks, and Jeff Grubic (aka Mr. Tidypaws) blows saxophone. Grubic really stands out on "Sparkling Bossa," which also features breathy vocals by Emilie Marchand. Tasha Bundy and Nathan Sabatino back up "Quand tu es Passee," and Joey Burns duets with Naim on "Sketch." Elsewhere, Naim duets with himself on guitar and vibes on "Le Wepler," and electric and acoustic guitar on "Going Places." He also pens a lovely ode to summer nights in his adopted city on the dreamy "Tucson, AZ."

It's pretty much a guarantee that wherever Naim Amor can be found in Tucson--as a solo artist, duetist, bandleader, sideman or guest artist--good music will be made. Exsanguine proves that once again with a short but fully satisfying disc of romantic mood music that embraces Paris and Tucson alike.

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