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A New American Songbook?

Legendary New York born lyricist Fran Landesman augments her already impressive oevre with It's A Nice Thought, a new CD of songs recorded with vocalist Sarah Moule and pianist/arranger Simon Wallace for Scottish jazz label Linn Records (AKD 192 www.linnrecords.com).

The jazz world's answer to Dorothy Parker, Fran Landesman's acid wit and penetrating insights first emerged in her 1950s collaborations with composer Tommy Wolf. Songs such as Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most and The Ballad Of The Sad Young Men soon became standards boasting recordings by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand and Sarah Vaughan. Nearly half a century later Fran's lyrics are sharper and more perceptive than ever. In her work with the Welsh born, world traveled composer Simon Wallace, the music and lyrics combine to create a tough, witty, ironic expression of contemporary life in songs that caress the heart and remain in the head long after the music is over.

Fran Landesman is still the poet laureate of lovers and losers: her songs are the secret diaries of the desperate and the decadent. No one can convey the bittersweet joys of melancholy or the exhilaration of living on the edge like Fran. In Sarah Moule she has gifted interpreter with intuition, taste and impeccable timing who has studied the prodigious Landesman/Wallace output since it first began in 1994 and has used it to build a repertoire that is irresistible.

A Note from Sarah Moule:
"One of the reasons I love the songs on It's a Nice Thought is that they speak of universal themes in a voice that is original, contemporary and unafraid. They're also really enjoyable to sing. Words and music are equal and balanced and the songs are a true collaboration. I've seen and heard Simon and Fran writing, negotiating (gloves off) over words and notes until they come to a truce. It can be quite a bloody battle.

Musically I like Simon's fresh take on harmonic and melodic formulae, the melodies are strong and always have a twist and the songs often have unusual lengths of phrases (When Your Computer Crashes, Some Boys, Heart of Love), not often found in the standard repertoire of show tunes. Quite post Bacharach in that respect."

It's a Nice Thought is available now from Linn Records Direct at http://www.LinnRecords.com/ where you can also download soundclips from this dazzling new recording.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Fran Landesman
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