The Spine

French Connection


The last time I was at New York's Supper Club, off Times Square, was to hear Yo-Yo Ma with the Buenos Aires-New York Connection, and what they were playing in this very chic nightspot was the great tango music of Astor Piazzolla. Last night, I went again to the Supper Club to hear Arielle Dombasle, a remarkable film actress and true French chanteuse. But the fact is that she was born in America and brought up in Mexico.

OK, so she is an international chanteuse. I'm not exactly an expert on the genre. Still, I have memories--live memories, in fact--of Edith Piaf, Nana Mouskouri, Judy Garland, and Maria Callas. (Why do I mention Callas? Because Arielle was trained in opera, and it shows.) Sultry and sparkling all. Arielle is a brilliant low-register songstress, and she roams from country to country for her fare. Tonight is the last night, if you want to catch a glimpse and earshot of her. She will probably sing "Besame Mucho," "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas," "C'est si bon," "C'est Magnifique," "Darling, je vous aime beaucoup," and songs from her big-hit album in France, "Amor, Amor." It's true, of course, that this is not the kind of music I follow closely. The first time I met Arielle, she was Bernard-Henri Lévi's girlfriend. She is now his wife, and we are friends. Having confessed that fact, I make no apologies for writing about her. She is a lithe and gorgeous force of nature.

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