Isabelle Antena Carpe Diem

With last year’s reissue of early ’80s cult faves Antena’s bossa electro debut, Camino Del Sol, and the current renaissance of France’s "nouvelle chanson” scene, it is a fitting time to reintroduce the warm voice and tropical soul of Isabelle Antena. Carpe Diem was originally released in 1992 in only France and Japan (not surprisingly the most receptive markets to bossa nov-influenced music) and the self-produced album captures Isabelle’s trademark soft and sensual vocal delivery, which floats amongst romance languages while a small band of core jazz musicians keep the tunes rolling between lively Latin jazz numbers and quieter bossa nova and acoustic ones. Reminiscent of Britain’s sophisti-pop scene of the early ’80s and much akin to luminaries such as Everything But The Girl and Saint Etienne, Antena strikes a balance between the traditional methods of jazz and a modern swing that is refreshing and more organic in a time of overly-produced lounge music. As an added bonus, the album also includes ten extra tracks from Antena’s 1991 release, Les Derniers Guerrriers Romantiques. (LTM)