Nino Ferrer – 1974 – Nino And Radiah

Nino & Radiah is the most elegant, relaxed and soulful approach to 70’s US groovy vibe/New Orleans funk made in France at that time.

You can find here the members of LaFayette Afro-Rock Band  aka Ice , that got notoriety in the parisian music scene ( with the producer Pierre Jaubert), Awesome band!
The wonderful Radiah Frye is gorgeous with that gentle nudity (in the original cover).

This is an incredibly solid piece of work. “Mint Julep” is a personal fave, although the motorcycle chase effects and murder mystery string section on “Looking For You” probably push it into the top spot as THE cut to send out to the aliens on a silver platter.

Hot Toddy” is probably the one that drags for me, but even there we have some ace musicianship. 
It’s pretty clear from the titles on this record that Nino and Radiah had a few beverages involved when putting this bad boy together. Players gotta play. 

This is a Must Have!
Nino Ferrer: Grande! & unforgettable genuine artist.

A1 South 5:00
A2 Moses 4:45
A3 Vomitation 2:35
A4 Hot Toddy 8:30
B1 Mint Julep 4:05
B2 The Garden 4:20
B3 Looking For You 5:46
B4 New York 5:00

AllMusic Review by Quint Kik

Taking into account Nino Ferrer‘s personal view of his discography, the album Nino and Radiah should be perceived as his third album (although chronologically this was in fact number seven).  The album is partly named after Afro-American singer Radiah Frye, and her pinup presence flanking Ferrer substantially upgraded the original album cover. Accompanied by the Lafayette Afro Rock Band (aka Ice), Ferrer set out on yet another shape-shifting exercise.

Building on the groovy vibe of Métronomie, the album ultimately steers toward majestically orchestrated, laid-back funk. Entirely different from his earlier take on Southern soul, the result requires several listenings before it gently entangles your subconscious and reveals its addictive qualities. Reminiscent of the New Orleans-inspired funk of Little Feat and California singer/songwriters from the same era, it’s perfect company for driving the French countryside or West Coast highways.

Just listen to this gem, to get in the mood

It was recorded in November 1973 and January 1974 ,and sung in English.  The song opening this album, South , will be reprinted in French, in 1975 , under the title Le Sud, sung by Nino Ferrer alone, while Radiah Frye dances on the music video of the song.

Ferrer’s longtime accomplice Bernard Estardy rearranged the track “South” adding some widescreen organ touches. The resulting “Le Sud” had huge commercial appeal, much to the chagrin of Ferrer: he felt the artistic compromise of aiming at chart success had rendered everything else on the album pointless in a similar way to what had happened previously to Métronomie and its leadoff track, “La Maison Près de la Fontaine“. However, the royalties did enable him to buy a 15th century fortress in the Quercy region, where he would retreat between albums and divide his time between his family and painting. “Le Sud”/”South” refers to a Louisiana-style mansion situated in Italy: a pleasant and idyllic place where the moody Ferrer seeks refuge from his dark side. Both versions serve as bookends to the album, which works best as a whole.

Still, standout tracks are the funky “Mint Julep” (a relative of the Mojito cocktail) with its fuzzy guitar and the lengthy but mesmerizing “Hot Toddy“. The Garden” with its lazy organ and the bongo-laden “New York” sound fairly close to what the French band Air would build an entire career on.

Remaining a relatively undiscovered gem, Nino and Radiah is in fact up there with classics like Melody Nelson and Polnareff’s

Finally, don’t sleep on this forgotten masterpiece