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  • 29Mar

    The Decoders’ “Les Fleurs” takes Minnie Riperton in a dynamic new direction

    The most telling traits that define the excellence of Boston Fielder and The Decoders’ recently released cover of Minnie Riperton’s legendary 1970 single “Les Fleurs” are defined in everything the song is not. Says Fielder, “When Itai (Shapira, of the Decoders) first approached me about ‘Les Fleurs I was flattered,” he continues, “but also tickled because my natural vocal register is on the opposite end of the scale from Minnie’s.  I enjoyed the subversive simplicity of that idea and, of course, having Richard (Rudolph, Riperton’s widow) offer great encouragement about my approach was wonderful.”

    This song is everything right about what happens when talented session musicians and professional vocalists realize goals. The work here is straight up and without a chaser, the path of least resistance hopefully taken to the road of greatest success. The billowing builds and Riperton’s five-octave vocal range aren’t here. But what IS here is excellently rendered. Some of LA’s top session players sit in with MuthaWit frontman Fielder and deliver a reggae-tinged ballad that keeps “Les Fleurs” initial beauty, but covered has a dynamic energy all its own.

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