One of the things I love about Paris is all the musicians in the street and the metro, many of whom are really terrific. Recently, I was strolling through the Marais, checking out one of my favorite bookstores, Monalisait, when I heard music coming my way. It was a l’homme orchestre (lum or-kes-truh), or one-man band – always cool – but this performer was dressed like a giraffe. At first, I just noticed the costume and musical contraption, but then I realized that Gyraf, as he calls himself, was really darn good. Rather than just tossing a few coins in the hat suspended from a tennis racket, I took a chance on his CD, Gyrafrique, and I’m glad I did.
The CD is studio produced and far more polished than the live recordings that you can sample here (Tic Tac, Dans le métro). The music is heavily influenced by African instruments and rhythms, which is appropriate since the troubadour has spent the last five years there. The lyrics are witty and remind me a lot of Benabar. I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time when the giraffe came strolling through the Marais.