Born Jean-Louis Bergheaud in 1952, JL Murat spent much of his youth with his grandparents in Murat-le-Quaire, the village in Auvergne that presumably inspired his pseudonym. Though he began playing music with his father at an early age, he didn't record his first album until 1981, when he was nearly 30, and waited to go on his first real tour a dozen years later, then in his early 40s. When this double CD was recorded in 2003, he was 51; by the time I discovered it for 25 cents at the Alliance Francaise booth at Bastille Day on 60th Street in Manhattan this summer, he was 60.
According to one English-language webpage about Murat's life and work, this double album is his tribute to Neil Young. I totally don't hear it. What I hear is Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen. And, in some of the longer, complexly orchestrated pieces, like "Se Mettre Aux Anges," Scott Walker.
This record is all over the map in a way that continues to surprise, thrill and delight me. Oh, god, wait--did someone hit me over the head and now I'm writing music reviews for Time magazine or something? Whatever. The samples above, though I enjoy each of them, don't really do the full breadth of this record justice. If you're stuck indoors like me post-Sandy, take some of the time you've got on your hands and give it a listen ...
Soon after I moved to New York City in 1997 I began to notice that bodegas run by people from around the world sometimes stocked CDs and DVDs of music and film from the countries they had come from.
The music I've collected from these bodegas can almost never be found in the "World Music" sections of the few remaining places to buy CDs in the U.S.; nor, for that matter on iTunes (or cheapo MP3 sites like Soundike).
If you are an artist or publisher and do not want your music here, just let me know and I'll remove it.