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Sample Track 1:
"Amor Amor" from Amor Amor (Wrasse)
Sample Track 2:
"Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" from Amor Amor with Julio Iglesias (Wrasse)
Buy Recording:
Amor Amor (Wrasse)
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Arielle Dombasle, Amor, Amor (Wrasse Records) International Woman of Mystery: Actress and Singer Arielle Dombasle Embodies Romance of Another Era

The story of French actress Arielle Dombasle’s life is like something from another era, a time that exists in old movies and Harlequin romances: raised on both sides of the Atlantic in the company of diplomats and bohemians, the young Dombasle leads a jetset life of intrigue, finds love in a widely followed seven-year romance before marrying one of the most famous men in France. The elegant couple's flat on Paris' storied Left Bank is a magnet for confidantes such as Salman Rushdie and Yves Saint Laurent and also hosts politicians, dignitaries, leading figures from the arts, as well as Afghan dissidents, Latin-American revolutionaries, and Chechen rebels. For a bit of rest the superstar couple might dash off to one of their getaways on the French Riviera or the eighteenth-century palace in Marrakech that once belonged to John Paul Getty. All of this while being voted one of the most beautiful women in the world, year after year, by her fellow French.

Her mystique has earned the admiration from men of stature worldwide: Roman Polanski adores her passion, Omar Sharif her subtlety, Jean-Paul Belmondo her soul, Christian Lacroix her incandescence, Tom Ford her spirit and John Galliano her femininity. She has been described as dangerous, complex, and a seductress. She is half of one of the most high-profile couples in France: following a seven-year long affair during which they traveled abroad regularly, meeting secretly in hotel rooms, she married superstar-philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Lévy—a man famous enough in France to be known simply by his initials, BHL. “Elevator men and doormen were our best friends,” Domabasle says. “Our private life was very secret, the most secret of secrets.” The two are regular fixtures on the cover of Paris Match, as much for their fashionable lifestyle as for Dombasle’s films and music and BHL’s political activism.

The multi-talented femme fatale—who has worked as actor, director, and screenwriter on more than 100 films and television pieces, ranging from projects with John Malkovich to Miami Vice—has outclassed herself again, reinventing her musical career, appearing as a crooning songbird from a bygone era that bespeaks her romantic life story. “Je suis inclassable! (I am unclassifiable),” declares Dombasle.

Amor Amor, released on Wrasse Records on April 18, 2006, is a sparkling collection of Mexican boleros and Latin-tinged classics that transports us back to the romantic starlet’s childhood in Mexico, where her grandfather served as the French Ambassador.

Born in Connecticut, she had a charmed youth later in Mexico, living “like Tintin among the Mayans”, until the age of 11, when her mother died from cancer. From one to eighteen, she absorbed street Spanish “and songs from the cook.” It was then that she “returned” to Paris to study theater and performing arts, and entered the artistic, literary and society life in the footsteps of her grandmother, a grand Bohemian figure who translated the words of Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore into French and entertained artists and writers at her home in Versailles.

Dombasle has made public very little about her upbringing in Mexico, and this album is a way of connecting with her past. “When I first came to France I very much hid the fact that I was Latin American,” she confided to the French newspaper Metro. “Then suddenly, I wanted to express the ultra-emotional, sensitive and suffering side of this continent in relation to love.” Previous musical projects have earned her a reputation as a chanson singer, but she is determined to connect the roots of her music as much as the roots of her own identity. She reminds us, “Mexican bolero has French roots. After all, it was brought from Vienna by Napoleon III and adopted by the populations of the Caribbean.”

The album showcases her opera-trained voice on old standards “As Time Goes By,” “Rhum and Coca-Cola”, the beautiful “Cuando Caliente El Sol, as well as a duet with the ultimate lady’s man, Julio Iglesias on “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas.” The sound is reminiscent of old Hollywood musicals; Arielle’s soft and very effeminate French vibrato, backed by Recoveco, “a wonderful orchestra that sounds straight out of yesteryear,” paints a dreamlike picture of memory, fantasy, and mystery.