Sunday, August 2, 2009

Long Songs: Rose Rouge

St. Germain: Rose Rouge


My first trip to Amsterdam was as an adult, in March of 2000; my wife had just miscarried after several years of earnest attempts at bearing a first child, and although the doctor advised against flying, we really needed to get away from it all. I have fond if somewhat inevitably hazy memories of a week museum-hopping and roaming the castles and small rustic villages of the countryside, sitting by the side of canals eating bread, cheese, and salami -- about all we could afford on my teacher's salary.

But my strongest memories from that week are of St. Germain's Tourist, an album whose jazz-informed rhythms, jazz-club instrumentation, and long, trance-inducing tracks emanated from what seemed at the time like every coffeeshop and bar, providing the perfect atmospheric soundtrack to what otherwise could have fast become an insular and morose period in our lives. I bought the disc at overseas prices -- a comparative fortune, back then -- and have kept it with me ever since. Rose Rouge is one of the shorter pieces on the album, but it really blows away the blues, even now.

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