Purple Songs (Dreyfus Jazz)

Anne Ducros

Released April 10, 2001

Prix Billie Holiday de l’Académie du Jazz 2001






We know what’s coming from the very first notes of A Time Place, a classy ballad, a luminous jazz sound, full of tension and flavour, momentum and abandon.
This album by Anne Ducros includes the legendary keyboardist Gordon Beck, Bruno Castellucci on drums, Sal La Rocca on double bass and Didier Lockwood on violin and trumpet, and it immediately drifts into a discreet blues in Ode To Billie Joe, then bubbles into swing and scat (Dreamer Alone, Softly As In A Morning). Delicious, Anne Ducros performs brilliantly the standards on this disc, flowing beautifully into the elegant poetry of Michel Legrand (You Must Believe In Spring). Indispensable for all fans of great vocal jazz.

Track Listing:

1. A Timeless Place [The Peacocks] (Norma Winston – Jimmy Rowles) 6:37

2. Ode to Billie Joe (Bobby Gentry) 6:29

3. Dreamer Alone (Anne Ducros) 4:12

4. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (Billiard B. – Mann D.) 4:36

5. Softly as in a Morning Sunrise (Sigmund Romberg – Oscar Hammerstein) 2:56

6. You Must Believe in Spring (Michel Legrand / Jacques Demy) 7:31

7. Who “R.U.” [d’après “Saint-Eustache”] (Anne Ducros / René Urtreger) 4:27

8. Sea Lady (Norma Winston – Kenneth Wheeler) 3:17

9. Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn) 6:29

10. AOVOATTT [Another Version of a Trio Type Tune] (Anne Ducros / Gordon Beck) 3:48

11. Send in the Clowns (Stephen Sondheim) 4:07


Anne Ducros: vocals

Sal La Rocca: double bass

Bruno Castellucci: drums

Gordon Beck: piano

Didier Lockwood: violin, trumpet

Recorded in 1999, at Studio de La Forêt (Macherin, France)

Producers: Anne Ducros, Didier Lockwood


Anne Ducros is a jazz singer even if this definition seems very restrictive to me. Born in Longfossé (Pas de Calais) the year Charles de Gaulle became the first President of the Fifth Republic, she first studied classical singing at the Boulogne-sur-Mer conservatory before perfecting her vocal skills in Lille. with some eminent professors including Mady Mesplé.
Here she is adorned with a rich classical training which gave her essential foundations, even if naturally her voice was already exceptional. In 1986, influenced by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and a few other big names, she changed direction and founded the “Anne Ducros Quartet”. And the jazz adventure begins.

Success is not long in coming. The group won numerous competitions and, in particular, the first prize for soloist and vocalist in 1989 at the Jazz Festival in Vienna. It must be said that, even without being an expert, the exceptional color of Anne Ducros’ voice added to a mastery of scat, this technique which consists of replacing words with onomatopoeia, places her inevitably above the lot: the student has since this time largely exceeded all his masters, even the most prestigious.
The proof is that, in the same year, she recorded her first album “Don’t you Take a Change”and goes on tour all over the world, alternating large and small venues, public concerts and private galas. But what does it matter as long as she sings! Indeed, the real flying carpet that takes her ever higher is the stage and the audience.
It will nevertheless be necessary to give time to time to see showing up, before the spotlights of glory, the soft light of recognition. During the years 1992 and 93 she was introduced to the teaching of vocal jazz before becoming in 1994 until today still director of “Prélude”, the first school of vocal jazz in Paris while pursuing her career.

And this real recognition will come in 2001 with the release of the album “Purple Song” supported by Didier Lockwood and recorded with pianist Gordon Beck. The album won the Billie Holiday prize from the Jazz Academy and the vocal artist prize at the “Django d’or” at the Victoires de la Musique.

Journal de François