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Baker's Dozen

Angel On My Shoulder: Serafina Steer’s Baker’s Dozen
Stephanie Phillips , January 26th, 2022 14:38

From a song so good she almost forgot her shopping, to the iconoclastic brilliance of Alice Coltrane, Bas Jan’s Serafina Steer guides Stephanie Phillips through thirteen songs and albums that have inspired her


Brigitte Fontaine – Comme à la radio

I definitely do love Brigitte Fontaine. I've probably tried to copy her loads. The first track of this one is a brilliant song. I think she's saying, “Oh Brigitte, always hanging around the cafés, what are you doing?” It's just so gorgeous with the music. I think it's Art Ensemble of Chicago and they are all brilliant musicians.

I was going to put a Les Stances a Sophie on this list because that's got two tracks, I think they're called ‘Variations Sur Un Theme De Monteverdi’, where they’ve got the trumpets and bass bowed bass played by really amazing jazz players. The mood they bring is a similar mood to some of the tracks on this album. There's a very received way that you play if you're playing Baroque or Classical music and having people that don't come from that tradition just being really awesome musicians and doing it their own way is something that I find more than great. I think Brigitte Fontaine is great and I love her voice.

Even in jazz, there’s this the idea of the female vocalists that can be this kind of stuck on thing, and they're meant to be sultry and beautiful. I don't mean that to be reductive to people that do that, but just as a role it can be like, you got the guys in the band and then the singer doing something, but I think Brigitte Fontaine is someone that really properly doing something experimental and not intended to be pretty or palatable. Although sometimes it is. She's just genuinely her own self. It's nice because she's not even trying to be pop.