In the style of an operetta, like director Jacques Demy's more famous film the Umbrellas of Cherbourg, this melodramatic story is set in Nantes in 1955 and centers around the tragedies of three or four intertwined lives. First, there is the young steel worker (Richard Berry) who is out on strike and has rented a room from an upper-class widow (Danielle Darrieux), a woman in sympathy with the strikers. The blue-collar worker has a girlfriend he finds less and less interesting just as she is more and more pregnant, and their relationship seems fated to end, one way or another. Then there is Edith (Dominique Sanda), the daughter of the widow, married to a wealthy, impotent, skinflint of a merchant caught up in his own neuroses, and, whether for that reason or several others, Edith is a part-time hooker. One evening she shows up in the worker's rented room, wearing a fur coat and nothing else – and the two share a night of passion. Now mother, daughter, the worker, and the daughter's husband have formed a very unstable chain of relationships, due to snap because at least one link is exceedingly weak.
Unreleased material from a really wonderful group – one that features killer alto work from the great Sonny Red – working here in the same kind of small group setting he brought to late 60s performances with Donald Byrd! Yet this time around, the trumpeter is Blue Mitchell – who blows with a lot more bite than on some of his records of the time – really taking his time to craft out long solos on the very extended tracks from this live performance – reminding us that he can be a hell of a creative soloist when not caught up in some of the larger arrangements that would mark some points of his career!