Thursday, February 04, 2016

Clare Fischer - Out of the Blue

Brent Fischer has been busy preserving and perpetuating his father's legacy since the legendary Clare Fischer passed away in 2012. "Out of the Blue" is the latest Clavo Records release of previously unissued old and new recordings by the pianist, composer and arranger with his original keyboards supported by his son and producer Brent who provided arrangements and played Percussion Instruments and Bass; Peter Erskine or Mike Shapiro on drums, and Denise Donatelli & John Prolux -providing vocals for "Out of the Blue."

This recording contains several of Fischer's original compositions along with seven jazz and Brazilian standards. Son Brent's notes in the attached booklet provide a context for this posthumous release as well as details each of the selections. Listening to this a number of times one notices a stately elegant quality to Clare Fischer's piano on the opening "Love's Walk,' with Peter Erskine and Brent accompanying him. What also one notices is the articulation and the fascinating development of the musical themes. He employed an electric keyboard for "Tema Do Boneco De Palha (Theme Of The Straw Doll)," one of several Brazilian performances here, and he makes use of the instruments tonality in constructing the performance here and at the same time retain the relaxed, uncluttered feel of his piano.

"When You Wish Upon A Star / Someday My Prince Will Come" is a marvelous solo piano feature where he finds common threads between the two songs. "Starbright" is another fascinating performance with his electric keyboard suggesting a vibraphone at times. "Cascade Of The Seven Waterfalls," is another Brazilian delight, while the title track features the vocals of Donatelli and Prolux adding both horn-like lines and scatting against the trio backing. "Millbrae Walk," inspired by the late Cal Tjader, again has the leader evoking vibes on his keyboards on this lively performance which is followed by a haunting solo rendition of the Jobim-Gilbert-De Moraes penned "Amor Em Paz." Johnny Hodges' "Squatty Roo," is a delightful, sprightly duet between father and son and then followed by an introspective, poetical reading of Django Reinhardt's lovely "Nuages." Again it sounds like vibes being (along with piano) played on a highly energized performance of Fischer's "Novelho," with a bass solo and trading fours with the drummer followed by some lively piano. The closing medley of Brazilian classics "Carnaval / A Felicidade / Samba De Orpheu," further displays his ability to bring out an emotive quality of each note.

In the notes, Brent Fischer hints at more musical delights from his father. Certainly "Out of the Blue" will whet the musical appetite for these.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is some vintage Clare Fischer.

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