Michael Franks announces first album in 7 years

The poet and singer says the project is inspired by ‘travel... and tea’

US jazz singer and poet Michael Franks has confirmed that this summer he will release his first album in 7 years. Titled ‘The Music In My Head’, he says the project is “an audio travelogue that turns our attention to the wonders of Creation and Mother Nature strewn with bread crumbs that lead us to lofty literature, works of art, love, divinity…and tea”. 

A number of guest stars will feature including producer/arrangers Gil Goldstein, Scott Petito, Charles Blenzig and former Yellowjackets bassist Jimmy Haslip, along with guitarist David Spinozza and saxophonists Bob Mintzer, Eric Marienthal and Gary Meek.

During the making of The Music In My Head, Michael lost a close musical friend, guitarist Chuck Loeb, who contributed to the lovers' bossa “As Long As We’re Both Together” among his final recordings. Franks says “I met Chuck when he was a studio guy – just after he wrote the iconic theme for CNN. He played on a record or two of mine. When I hooked up with the Yellowjackets for a tour of Europe in ‘89, I hired Chuck to play guitar in my set. We had such a great time. Chuck and I would wind up with 3 days off in places like Copenhagen, Paris and Rome. We played a lot of tennis and logged in a lot of miles running. Another reason we were so simpatico is that we were both quiet people but Chuck had a great sense of humor. He would make a witty comment in this offhanded casual way – very low key – which made whatever he said even funnier. Chuck produced so many songs for me over the years, beginning with some of the cuts on Barefoot on the Beach. When we discussed recording the duet, ‘Now Love Has No End,’ Chuck asked Valerie Simpson to sing with me, which was both privilege and wish-fulfilment. After his surgery last January I sent him a few tunes. He seemed very confident about his health at that point but by summer he was gone. He only got to work on the one tune but I will always be so grateful for the energy he played with that makes the song come to life.”

‘The Music In My Head’ is out on June 8.

 

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