Friday, January 30, 2009


Talking about Michael Franks is talking about someone who has contributed something very special in the jazz world. Simply an unquestionable talent. Inspirational lyrics, rhytmic balance, beautiful arrangement, and of course, who could resist his sweet and soft comforting voice. His way of singing is uniquely different. He always interpret songs in a very simple way and focusing on the beauty inside every songs. He just sing it simple without vibration, and that’s his trademark that loved by many over the years. Simply put, Michael Franks is one of the best talent in the jazz world.

Michael Franks was born on September 18th, 1944 in La Jolla, California. He bought his first guitar when he was 14 with six private lessons included, and that became the only music education he had. Michael began his music lane by singing folk rock with guitar. Then later on he started focusing on jazz. It was a perfect choice, because with jazz he could explore his ability widely, and soon after that people realized they got something new in jazz with him. Michael Franks’ first appearance in music industry was in 1973 with his first selftitle album. Until now, he has made 21 albums, and the good news is, it won’t stop there because he’s still active.

During his career he has been working with big talents in music industry such as Patti Austin, Art Garfunkel, David Sanborn, Brenda Russel and many others. His songs have been recorded by Patti Labelle, Diana Krall, Carmen McRae, The Manhattan Transfer and The Carpenters.

What kind of jazz does he bring? Mostly I can relate him with smooth jazz. Yes, smooth jazz is his base. I think his smooth, soft and relaxingly whistling voice really fits in it. But he also added many taste of jazz in his songs as well. There are many songs where he play around with mainstream or standard jazz, in other times he emphasize acoustically on guitar, then there are also touch of blues, even light bossa in his megahits “Lady Wants To Know” and “Antonio’s Song”. Both of this song are very famous in Asia, especially in Indonesia.

One thing for sure, it’s never difficult to enjoy his music. He never make it sound complicated. Simple, soft, smooth, cozy, relaxing and comforting music is the best way to describe Michael Franks’ music. His best piece of works include Lady Wants To Know, When I Give My Love To You, Barefoot On The Beach, Popsicle Toes, Rainy Night In Tokyo, Tiger In The Rain, Monkey See, Monkey Do and Antonio’s Song.

Everybody can listen to his music, his charm and simplicity put him in a very special stage in jazz and in the listeners’ heart.

Michael Franks’ Discography:
1973 - Michael Franks (Brut)
1976 - The Art of Tea (Reprise)
1977 - Sleeping Gypsy (Warner Brothers)
1978 - Burchfield Nines (Warner Brothers)
1979 - Tiger in the Rain (Warner Brothers)
1980 - One Bad Habit (Warner Brothers)
1980 - With Crossfire - Live (Warner Brothers)
1982 - Objects of Desire (Warner Brothers)
1983 - Passionfruit (Warner Brothers)
1985 - Skin Dive (Warner Brothers)
1987 - The Camera Never Lies (Warner Brothers)
1988 - Indispensable (Warner Brothers)
1990 - Blue Pacific (Reprise)
1993 - Dragonfly Summer (Warner Brothers)
1995 - Abandoned Garden (Warner Brothers)
1998 - The Best Of Michael Franks : A Backward Glance (Warner Brothers)
1999 - Barefoot on the Beach (Windham Hill)
2003 - The Michael Franks Anthology: The Art Of Love (Warner Brothers)
2003 - Watching The Snow (Rhino)
2004 - Love Songs (Warner Brothers)
2006 - Rendezvous in Rio (KOC)

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