Alan Franks’s new album, Wherever You Go, is now available on iTunes. It has seventeen superb songs, in styles ranging from top British jazz to the astonishing voice of the fourteen-year-old West End sensation Isabella Pappas.
Here are some tremendous ballads of love and loss as well as lyrics full of sharp wit and brightness. All bear the stamp of an award-winning poet.
For this collection, all the words and many of the tunes, including those sung by Isabella, are Alan’s. A few of the tunes however come from other hands: saxophone virtuoso and composer Tim Whitehead, who became Tate Britain’s first ever musician artist-in-residence; Wisconsin country/folk singer Jon Doll and veteran Indie Punk frontman Glen Strachan.
The album also showcases the choral glory of the London Gallery Quire, of which he is a member.
Four of the five jazz numbers are sung by the dazzling Kathleen Williamson, who has performed them with Whitehead and his band at European jazz festivals.
The fifth, A Bout of The Blues, is sung by Tim himself.
The intensely moving Ballad of Daisy Waters is handled by the fine traditional Scots singer Amanda MacLean, backed by the highly respected London five-piece folk band Dorten Yonder. Shanty singer Syd Maddicott gives a powerful rendition of What Hope For Us O Lord, while Alan’s son Arthur contributes two beautiful performances from his days as a treble.
Franks’s previous five albums, made with the singer Patty Vetta, have won great praise from the music press as well as from such distinguished figures as Sir Tim Rice and Sir Tom Stoppard. Wherever You Go confirms his reputation as a writer of great emotional power and technical skill.
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