At Last - Available in the UK !!
Zaz is the stage name of Isabelle Geoffroy, the French singer and songwriter.
She became well known in Europe with the release of her first album (also called 'Zaz') in 2010 and regularly plays to packed concert halls and open air festivals.
Her trademarks are immense versatility, an excellent vocal range and stunning energy levels, which come out in her songs and live perfomances.
A number of observers have noted a similarity in her voice, when singing in the French 'Chanson' style, to that of Piaf but in reality this does her a disservice - whilst Piaf will always be better at being Piaf, I doubt that she would have effortlessly crossed over into superlative 'Scat' singing, jazz, pop and even on occasion rock in the way that Zaz does. Many capable singers would run for cover rather than take on the fist line of the song 'Eblouie par la Nuit', which Zaz dispatches with a style and poise which is rarely seen elsewhere - and most would not even attempt the tongue-twisting comic song 'Oublie Loulou'.
She is backed by a band of supple and talented musicians, who like the proverbial French chefs can produce a superb result from anything they take on - at one moment producing the guitar and bass sound that would do justice to The Hot Club of France and the next credibly knocking out a rock track as if they had been working with Axel Rose all week.
The UK iTunes album is takes tracks from her two French releases, the first also called 'Zaz' and the second 'Recto Verso' an additional track (Laissez-moi) is added which does not appear on either of the French albums. The French albums keep some tracks for themselves, which do not appear in the UK release.
The tracks have been remixed slightly compared to the French ones, which seems a bit unnecessary but does no harm and the album features Zaz's skills across a wide range.
It has been said (and possibly this is right) that we are seeing the emergence of a talent that might appear only a few times in a generation. Apparently she speaks little English (who cares...) but she expresses her art so well in French that this is hardly a drawback.
In reality it is probably only a question of time before she breaks though in the UK and the USA to a wider audience (where is Jools Holland when you need him...!!).
When and where that breaktrough will occur no one can tell - my guess is that it could easily come from a track out of left field, like a rock track (Zaz isn't known for that style particularly but I've just seen her at the Dranouter Festival in Belgium and trust me - the girl can rock).
After that her talent and the range of what she can do, combined with her impressive band and her impish sense of fun, will take her anywhere she wants to go.