Topic: Bonjour Swing (band)

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Tauranga band Bonjour Swing released their album 'The Flame' in February 2012.

‘The Flame’ is Marion Arts and Robbie Lavën’s tenth album. As Bonjour Swing, with their son Oscar Lavën on saxes, clarinet & trumpet and young gun Milan Wilshier on double bass, this new recording consists of fifteen songs and instrumentals by Marion and a petite waltz by Robbie.  The compositions are artfully sculpted in the mood of the Parisian Gypsy swing scene of the thirties.

Stylistically, the album continues Arts/Lavën’s innovative eclectic forays into folk/jazz fusion, a hallmark of their music.  There is a New Zealand perspective in the lyrics and the earthiness of the performances, and the legendary Gypsy Jazz instrumental setting – two acoustic guitars, double bass and reeds/trumpet soloist – together with Marion’s easy jazz vocals, captures the excitement and romance of the French Jazz era.

Bonjour Swing (2012)

Marion’s lyrics are insightful, often passionate observations on nature, society and relationships; sometimes whimsical and humorous, sometimes abstract and always poetical.  The lyrics cross seamlessly between English and French, which, together with Oscar’s lush jazz tones and phrases, adds a touch of nostalgia to the vibrant and flamboyant Gypsy Jazz improvisations.

Each track is a revelation, from waltzes to blues, haunting exotica to sweet thirties dance band sounds to the irresistible driving Gypsy ‘pompe’ rhythms.

‘The Flame’ was recorded and engineered by Tim Julian at his Colour Field Recording Studio.  Tim has captured an intimate atmosphere as if Bonjour Swing were playing in your lounge.  The guitars sparkle, Marion’s vocals and Oscar’s horns beguile, the bass growls and purrs, and the overall sound is clean and sonorous, inviting close listening as much as providing a perfect mood-setting ambiance.

‘The Flame’ can be ordered by contacting Bonjour Swing at

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Bonjour Swing (band)