Usually Franglais is a gypsy jazz quartet featuring jazz singer Eve Seltzer. However during the COVID era, it necessarily became a duo comprised of Ms. Seltzer and her husband guitarist Ben Wood. For their fans, they performed on a weekly basis on their Facebook page. When they realized that they had enough material, they recorded this CD.
While Wood’s regular job is as a wine professional, he is an excellent rhythm guitarist. As for the singer, Eve Seltzer has been performing since the age of eight, spent time as a classical singer and in folk music and been involved in jazz for the past 25 years. Franglais, which was co-founded with her husband around 2005, has become one of the United States’ top Gypsy Jazz groups, based in New York but also performing in the Midwest and France.
On Pairings, the team of Seltzer and Wood performs two originals, Laura Nyro’s “Save The Country” (which adds accordionist Dallas Vietty and guitarist Justin Lees) and such classic standards as “Too Close For Comfort,” a touching “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most,” “Stolen Moments,” and “I’m Glad There Is You.” The song titles and lyrics took on added emotional meanings during the COVID period. The duo’s renditions are swinging and upbeat, some of the songs include some scat singing (which gets pretty wild on “I’m Old Fashioned”), and Eve Seltzer contributed the originals “I Don’t Wanna Sing” and “Lune de Miel.” She also wrote vocalese lyrics to Freddie Hubbard’s recorded trumpet solo on “Stolen Moments.”
The attractive and swinging singing of Eve Seltzer plus the sophisticated accompaniment of Ben Wood results enjoyable music throughout Pairings.
Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian
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