Sunday, December 15, 2019

CD Review Review: Fleur Seule "Standards and Sweet Things"


The Fleur Seule Band, pronounced "Fleur" "Sull", has recently released their 5th studio album "Standards and Sweet Things" that captures the heart and soul of what this band is all about.  It turns out that this band is about fabulous songs played by musicians who appreciate and understand the great music played in America during the 1940's.  The heart of the band is represented by their beautiful and talented bandleader and vocalist, Allyson Briggs.   When I played the first song on this CD, "Taking A Chance On Love" I immediately liked Allyson Briggs' voice and phrasing along with the outstanding musicians that supported her perfectly.  By the time I had listened to all 16 classic songs on this CD, I was in love with Allyson's voice.  In this CD, the band takes us on a multilingual journey, from the Swing Era days of Old New York, to Paris during WWII, to the tropical sounds of Puerto Rico.   The talented bandleader and vocalist Allyson Briggs sings in 7 languages and speaks 4.  Her voice is dead-on perfect for the song gems that are included in the CD.  Listening to this CD is like listening to an old friend who is warm, friendly and comfortable!  

The Fleur Seule Band has been performing in New York for many years and I can't believe that this is my first experience with them.   The band has performed to sold out crowds at Dizzy's Club, Coca Cola, The Friar's Club, Birdland Jazz Club and a 5 year residency as the house band of Tavern on the Green.   This CD would be a fabulous Christmas present for any of your friends or family.  

The great Michael Feinstein had this to say about Allyson Briggs, "One of the most incredible talents out there today!".  I fully agree, Allyson Briggs singing is as near perfect as one can get.

Playlist:
1. "Taking a Chance on Love"
2. "Piel Canela"
3. "I Only Have Eyes For You"
4. "Zou Bisou Bisou"
5. "Sabor A Mi
6. "Them There Eyes"
7. "Tenderly"
8. "Manuelo"
9. "Misty"
10. "Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy"
11. "Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan"
12. "Almost Like Being In Love"
13. " La Vie En Rose"
14. "Sweet Happy Life"
15. "Embraceable You"
16. "S Wonderful"

Players:
Allyson Briggs- Vocals, Bandleader, Producer
Andy Warren- Trumpet, Arranger, Musical Director
Jason Yeager- Piano
Michael O'Brien- Bass
Paul Francis- Drums
Richard Miller- Guitar
Ivan Llanes- Percussion
Martina DaSilva, Vanessa Perea, Marg Davis- Background Vocals
Music Mixed by John Kilgore

I have attached 3 "YouTubes" for your enjoyment that cover the wide range of talents of Allyson Briggs and the Fleur Seule Band.  Take particular note of Allyson's vocal timing singing  "Tenderly",  its as good as any vocalist can produce.  Take my strong recommendation and the next time you find yourself in New York City and Fleur Seule is performing, catch their act for a night of pure enjoyment of songs from the "Great American Songbook". 

"Them There Eyes"



"Tenderly"



"La Vie En Rose"




Sunday, December 8, 2019

CD Review: The Flying Horse Big Band, "Good News!"


Recently I have discovered several new big band CDs that are outstanding.  It's always a pleasure to find new big band CDs because this type of CD is so expensive to record,  not to mention the difficulty of getting all the members of the band together in the same place at the same time.  But there is no stopping big bands and the musicians who love to play a part in producing wonderful music!  Today I have the pleasure of reviewing the "The Flying Horse Big Band" directed by Jeff Rupert.  This CD is a collaboration with the UCF Studio Orchestra made up students from
UCF'S Jazz Studies program.   These students are first-class musicians and playing together this band really cooks!

There is a beautiful version of John Lennon's "Imagine" by Jeff "T-Bone Gerard and a superb recording of "Round Midnight"tby the Jazz Professors who teach in the UCF Jazz Studies Program including the band director, Jeff Rupert producing lush and warm tones from Tenor Sax.  It's an outstanding recording!

The playlist chosen for this CD is from the A-list of Jazz composers: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Bob Mintzer.

Playlist:


Players:


I have attached two "YouTubes" that highlight how good this band and its talented musicians are.  The first one is the first cut on the CD "  a musical gem from Miles Davis, "The Serpent's Tooth".  The second is perhaps the most famous composition from Monk, "Round Midnight".  You must add this CD to your big band collection.
                                                                       "The Serpent's Tooth"


                       
                                                                 "Round Midnight"


CD Review: John Vanore, "Primary Colors"

Trumpeter, Composer, Producer, Educator and Bandleader John Vanore has just released a long-forgotten studio recording of a duet he reco...