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Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord
Music brings people together from all over the world. The Netherlands has multiple musical traditions, varying from contemporary Dutch popular music (this style is sung in both Dutch and English) and more traditional Dutch music called Levenslied (songs about life). And then there are singers and groups we cannot define in one category. Each edition of In Your Pocket we introduce a famous (or a not so well-known) Dutch band to our readers.

Most of the members of Gare du Nord grew up in a small town near ‘s-Hertogenbosch, except sexy singer Dorona Alberti who was born in Italy. In the spring of 2001 Gare du Nord kicked off when producers Doc and Inca were asked by a French promoter to deliver a soundtrack for a Fashion & Lifestyle event in Brussels.

Instead of going just for moody sounds and lounge atmospheres, the twosome decided to go beyond synths and beats and they composed a song cycle to express their contemporary interpretation of traditional jazz and blues. The soundtrack for the event became the first Gare du Nord album and the single Pablo’s Blues was released to high critical acclaim in the Netherlands, a country that has a tradition of picking up new sounds and trends. That album, written, recorded and produced in just under three weeks, generated a lot of international reaction as well.

Although the first album was largely Paris oriented, the second album Kind Of Cool (2003) took in just about the whole world with songs conceived in Brussels, Memphis, London and Berlin. After a Russian tour in the wake of the second album, the third Gare du Nord album Club Gare du Nord hit the streets at the end of 2005.

With loads of radio airplay for the Steely Dan-tribute track Go Back, Jack! and very good reviews, Club Gare du Nord marked the return to the typical and non-traditional soundscape structure of Blue Note recording. Artist and trumpet player Erik Truffaz contributed to several tracks on the album. In November 2007 Gare du Nord signed a contract with legendary jazz label Blue Note Records. A new mix album, Jazz In The City, is out now in the Netherlands and is highly acclaimed by the Dutch press. The album Sex ‘n’Jazz , certified gold in October 2007, enjoyed a 52 week stay in the Dutch Album Top 100 and is still going strong.

The hit single Beautiful Day is a real smash on Dutch Radio 2 with lots of repeat airplay. The Sex ‘n’Jazz album, the first of a trilogy, offers 13 new originals and features guest performances by, British pop/rock legend Paul Carrack and legendary soul singer Marvin Gaye (sampled). Among the new tracks is the soul blues track Ride On, written and recorded with singer-songwriter Paul Carrack. Also included is the track You’re My Medicine, written for the new bio-pic Sexual Healing based on the life of legendary soul singer Marvin Gaye. This track features the original vocal track from Marvin’s classic 1982 hit single Sexual Healing: it is the very first time for a European release that Sony/BMG New York has given the permission to use the original master track for a new song. Sex ‘n’ Jazz, the album, comes as a deluxe limited edition digipack with artwork designed by famous fashion designer Marlies Dekkers. The title song, a grooving jazz track in the Miles Davis mode and Kind Of Cool’s key track, the bluesy Sold My Soul, found it’s way to American TV documentaries, TV series and movies.

On 15 May 2009, the latest Gare du Nord album Love For Lunch got released by Blue Note Records. This fifth album is the successor of the platinum Sex 'n' Jazz (2007) which caused the band's all time breakthrough, with such hits as Marvin & Miles and Beautiful Day. The new tracks include Come To The Ball, originally written by the duo for the 2008 comeback album Hurricane by Grace Jones. "We wanted to compose a track that would remind one of the soundtrack of a James Bond movie. I am a 007 lover and A View To A Kill from 1985 with Grace as May Day is one of my favourites. Many of our songs are used for films and documentaries, which makes the link between sound and vision obvious. When our singer, Donora Alberti, sang the demo for Grace, she turned out to have the perfect timbre for the track. So we decided to record the song ourselves; it is the opener of Love For Lunch and instantly sets the film-like atmosphere that characterises the album", said songwriter Barend Fransen.

Love For Lunch
leans on the delta blues, more than in the past. Songs such as Call It Quits, Voodoo and the sweltering Poor Boy's Blues #2, a song that refers to the debut single Pablo's Blues with a starring role for American singer Elijah Newsome, betray a love for the global language of the blues. Since 2007, Gare du Nord with their mix of jazz, blues and soul, has grown to have a steady place in the pantheon of Dutch world of music.

Between September and December 2010 they will tour the country as the Dutch Club Tour.

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Four of our readers can win the latest album, Love For Lunch, by sending us an email ( explaining why they would like to receive this CD.

The most witty, funny or heartbreaking requests will be chosen. Good luck!

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