No chance Franks is going to change the formula now after all these years, but what a great formula it is. Michael Franks delivers another superb collection of idiosyncratic pop songs as only he can - this time out with a bit of a Brazilian flavored twist. Features Chuck Loeb (guitar, keyboards, programming), David Sancious (piano, keyboards), Jeff Lorber (keyboards, programming), Michael White (drums) and Eric Marienthal.
Michael Franks with Crossfire Live is a live jazz vocal album by Michael Franks featuring the Australian band Crossfire. It was recorded over a series of three concerts in Australia and New Zealand in September 1980; at the Capitol Theater in Sydney on the 25th, St James Tavern in Sydney on the 27th and The Town Hall in Auckland on the 29th.
One Bad Habit is a jazz vocal album by Michael Franks, released in 1980 by Warner Bros. Records. It was Franks' sixth studio album, and the first to receive significant radio play in the United States.
The Best of Michael Franks: A Backward Glance is a good 15-track collection that is equally divided between soft rock like "Popsicle Toes" and smooth jazz. Any curious listener looking for a one-stop introduction to Franks would be well served with this collection. Among the highlights are "The Lady Wants to Know," "Antonio's Song," "When the Cookie Jar Is Empty," "Tiger in the Rain," "Baseball," "Your Secret's Safe with Me," "When I Give My Love to You," "The Art of Love," "Soul Mate," and "Hourglass".
Michael Franks' first album of the '90s and his first in three years was a complete return to form and his best album since 1979's Tiger in the Rain. Meditative, lush and clearly the work of an artist intent on making personal music regardless of trends or airplay, Blue Pacific is as open and beautiful as the ocean for which it is named. The return of the production team of Tommy LiPuma and Al Schmitt doesn't hurt either, and with such veteran pros as Dean Parks, John Guerin, John Patitucci and Peter Erskine on board, how could Franks miss? With additional production and engineering support by Walter Becker and Roger Nichols, the Steely Dan connection, previously hinted at, was finally made, with great results. It's pointless to single out individual songs, since this is very much a complete, unified work. The album marked a total rebirth for Franks.
For the first time, Michael Franks made an album completely without the production team of Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmitt and Lee Hershberg, employing instead John Simon (the Band, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen). The recording boasts a large number of celebrated horn and string players, as well as jazz luminaries Ron Carter, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kenny Barron, Mike Mainieri and Flora Purim.
After the success of The Art of Tea, Michael Franks was able to more confidently move closer to the kind of music he wanted to make. Employing a more exotic Brazilian feel on Sleeping Gypsy, with lush orchestration (courtesy of veteran jazz arranger and conductor Claus Ogerman), Franks moved his acoustic guitar work to the background to create a romantic sound with no sappiness. With "Down in Brazil" and, particularly, "Antonio's Song," his ode to Antonio Carlos Jobim, Franks was doing with Brazilian music for the rock crowd in the '70s what Stan Getz did for the jazz crowd in the '60s. He again employed his witty wordplay and evocative storytelling ability on "B'wana-He No Home," a song about a time when Dan Hicks was staying at his house while Franks was away. A romantic, elegant and important album in bringing Brazilian music to a wider audience.