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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

CD Review: Fred Farell - Distant Song

Fred Farell (vocals, lyrics); Dave Liebman (sop and ten sax, wooden recorder); Richie Beirach (piano).
(Review by Ann Alex).
In 1971 Fred Farell had his first singing engagement in a jazz club in Lakewood, New Jersey, and he later studied with pianist Richie Beirach in New York, singing in various NYC clubs and also writing lyrics. After experiencing a dramatic conversion to Christianity in 1978, by June 1980 he had decided to leave the jazz community. However in 2013 he looked again at the lyrics that he had written for the musical compositions by Liebman and Beirach, and decided to record the music and lyrics, and this CD is the result of that project.
The lyrics have a deeply spiritual ‘feel’ but are not at all preachy or directly religious. For example, take “Do you hear? Everywhere/A resonance so haunting/A song that’s been Alive/Since the Dawn of Sound” (Distant Song). The singing is not particularly jazz-like and the songs come in verses, rather than the usual AABA form of jazz songs, and there is often an instrumental break before the singing of the last 4 lines, which are sometimes spoken. On a first hearing I was inclined to dismiss the lyrics as too loose and ‘wandering’, but I listened again and came to the conclusion that this was best regarded as a concept album (remember them from the 1970’s?) because of the linking spiritual ‘feel’ and the similarity of the tunes. The instruments supply the jazz element in abundance, with superb playing, rippling piano, lively saxes, and the sweetness of the recorder. The sax sounds are unusual, burbling, calming, with effective ‘Eastern’ riffs on one track.

The tracks Broken Wing; Leaving; Sunday Song; Mitsuku; and the instrumental Zal were composed by Beirach, who gives us fine piano, with some long flowing introductions. Liebman contributes  Lonnie’s Song; Tomorrow’s Expectations: Places; Distant Song; and the instrumental Forgotten Fantasies, with lots of musical comments and sounds that I didn’t think saxes could make.
‘Wonderful music and wonderful lyrics by a fantastic singer’ is quoted by no less than Sheila Jordan, so I won’t argue with that.
The CD is available on iTunes and amazon.com
Ann Alex 

1 comment :

Fred Farell said...

ATTN: ANN ALEX
I wanted to thank YOU for Your Review of my Distant Song Project!
And for including some of my history preceding the actual Recording.
Solid information for the Listener.
Overall, I do believe that both Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton in their
Quotes said it best, for which I am most grateful.
"Keep Up the Good Work", ANN!
GOD BLESS YOU and YOURS...
FRED FARELL

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