Archive for June 3rd, 2018

Michael Franks – The Music In My Head

Celebrating 45 years as a recording artist since his highly collectible self-titled debut album on the Brut/ Buddah label bowed in 1973, singer/songwriter Michael Franks hovers dragonfly-like in a sacred space all his own within his contributions to the artform of music. Liberatingly non-categorizable, Franks is in possession of unique fan bases around the world across jazz, quiet storm, adult contemporary, pop, contemporary jazz, folk and even blues styles. His songs have been lovingly covered by a wide range of artists that includes Ringo Starr, Natalie Cole, The Carpenters, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, Al Jarreau, Carmen McRae, The Manhattan Transfer and Patti LaBelle, to name only a few.

And some of his most well-known compositions – lyrical marvels wedded to his laidback delivery of vocalizing, produced, arranged and cast with some of the finest musicians in jazz and session lore – range from ethereal (“The Lady Wants to Know”) to sensual (“Tell Me All About It”) to playful (“Popsicle Toes”) to edgy (“The Camera Never Lies”) to evocative (“Tiger in the Rain”) to cinematic (“Nightmoves”) to seasonal (“Christmas in Kyoto”) to comforting (“Inside You”) to outrageous (“Now That Your Joystick’s Broke”) to sublime (“Still Life”) and beyond. What James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon have contributed to pop-rock music in terms of singer/songwriter excellence, Michael Franks has accomplished as their iconic equivalent in the realms of contemporary jazz and the quiet storm.

For his 18th album and first in seven years, Michael provides America and the world at large a cerebellum-massaging musical survival kit of 10 new songs…an audio travelogue that turns our attention to the wonders of Creation and Mother Nature strewn with bread crumbs that additionally lead us to lofty literature, works of art, love, divinity…and tea. Titled The Music in My Head, it is a snapshot of the artist in his autumnal here and now, lost up in the fruits of his quietly profound career success, his loving wife Claudia, seven cats and two dogs, the idyllic wooded environ in which he lives, and the blessing of still firing on all cylinders in his wondrous endeavors of expression. Joining Michael in the process are producer/arrangers Gil Goldstein, Scott Petito, Charles Blenzig and former Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip, along with stellar guest musicians such as guitarist David Spinozza, saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Eric Marienthal and Gary Meek, friend and guitarist Chuck Loeb (Fourplay), and for the first-time pianist Rachel Z (to whom Michael pays a major compliment comparing her solo on “To Spend The Day With You” to the work of Joe Sample and Joao Donato on his early classic albums.) Continue reading

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