** 2021 Stock ** In the land of Presidents Giscard and Mitterand, thermal clothing and elbow pads, Sautet films and Sunday roasts, the carpeting of a nursery is strewn with a handful of 7-inches. There, exotic birds and courteous elephants guarding a castle built with cakes form a Front for the Liberation of the Imaginary: colourful, systematically framed illustrations standing out against the cream background of gatefold sleeves… doorways to a maze of sounds at the crossroads between the neatest form of chanson and the most prospective jazz.
Founded in the course of the 1970s by Philippe Gavardin, the small collection named Chevance is above all the story of buddies who were out and about between the twilight of the Trente Glorieuses and the disenchantment that followed the socialists’ rise to power, gravitating around this mentor known for his kindness and curiosity. Originally a linguist, Gavardin was one of these open-minded intellectuals, with one foot in the Contrescarpe cabarets and the other in step with the avant-garde, combining his apparently classical tastes with a keen interest in the novelties of his time. It is notably with Jean-Louis Méchali—a drummer from the free jazz scene who became Gavardin’s team-mate and arranged a good deal of the releases—that he forged the identity of this series of recordings for the younger generations: musically janus-faced, definitely literary, impregnated with a surrealism that echoed the decade’s psychedelic and libertarian experiments. The label developed a real editorial policy disregarding commercial constraints. Each record took a clear direction: modern fables, bestiaries, musical tales, cookbooks… Words were the backbone and every release was both carefully designed and perfectly manufactured.