Barefoot on the Beach

Barefoot on the Beach

by Michael Franks
     
 

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If there's a smooth jazz poet, it must be Michael Franks, the man who brought us "Popsicle Toes" and "Your Secret's Safe with Me." Franks makes music with all the lush textures and melodic seductiveness of the best smooth jazz, but his edge lies in his wordsmanship. His music and mellow vocal phrasing pulls you in, and then his clever lyrics take hold. The title track… See more details below

Overview

If there's a smooth jazz poet, it must be Michael Franks, the man who brought us "Popsicle Toes" and "Your Secret's Safe with Me." Franks makes music with all the lush textures and melodic seductiveness of the best smooth jazz, but his edge lies in his wordsmanship. His music and mellow vocal phrasing pulls you in, and then his clever lyrics take hold. The title track of BAREFOOT ON THE BEACH is a perfect example. The easy-grooving bass and drum pattern, slinky electric piano, and jazz horns set a dreamy tropical mood, while Franks paints a picture of the ideal get-away: "My Captiva Island bungalow's perfect for two, no attire is required, just a toothbrush dear 'cause here we don't wear much." Other prime tracks including "Now Love has no End" -- a duet with Valerie Simpson-"Mr. Smooth," "The Fountain of Youth" and "Double Talk" display similar musical and verbal craft. As playful as he is literate, Franks is the perfect person to listen to when you want to chill out, but still need to keep your head and heart racing.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
Countless musical trends have steamrolled by since this wry singer songwriter with the cool and collected, wistful onionskin voice first graced the adult music world in the mid-'70s with The Art of Tea and its cryptic hit, "Popsicle Toes." Yet Franks has stood his ground, growing as an observational lyricist while his relaxed demeanor stays pretty much the same, and charmingly so. While varying his backing instrumental tracks to fall somewhere between classic, subtle brassy Steely Dan ("The Fountain of Youth" features Yellowjacket saxman Bob Mintzer kicking it up with trumpeter Larry Lunetta) and colorful smooth jazz vibes (Bob James, Dave Samuels, and Chuck Loeb crackle behind the bemused frustration story "Double Talk"), the joy of his writing approach is found in his song structure. Franks just doesn't buy into the Top 40 school of "hook or forget it" songwriting. He's more interested in weaving quirky, even esoteric images over solid grooves. "You could jump a DC-8 and probably be here by eight" sets the tone for the frolic of the title track. Everything is fair game from references to Ingrid Bergman and Rhett Butler looks on "Heart Like an Open Book" to congratulating Ponce De Leon for the youthful drive of his lover on "The Fountain of Youth." He's quite the humorist, too, telling a cheating mate on "Double Talk" that "each time you lie your profile grows/it looks just like Pinocchio's." "Mr. Smooth" is a crisp commentary on a stuck-up man who thinks he's a god somehow. So that even when Franks is expressing displeasure, his heart is light. He covers all the aspects of love from the supreme joy of "Now Love Has No End" to "Why Spring Ain't here" but the minute he starts to boil over, he's back to the beach, having a blast. It's the kind of spring in your step music Franks fashioned his career out of.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/04/2009
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886974902027
catalogNumber:
749020
Rank:
9244

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Franks   Primary Artist
Jay Azzolina   Guitar
Jim Beard   Strings
Michael Brecker   Tenor Saxophone
Bob James   Piano
Steve Khan   Guitar
David Mann   Flute
Bob Mintzer   Saxophone
Chris Hunter   Alto Saxophone
David Charles   Percussion,Finger Snapping
Jimmy Haslip   Bass,Keyboards
Tawatha Agee   Background Vocals
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Carmen Cuesta   Background Vocals
Steve Gadd   Drums,Finger Snapping
Lani Groves   Background Vocals
Birch Johnson   Trombone
Will Lee   Bass,Background Vocals
Chuck Loeb   Guitar
Larry Lunetta   Trumpet
Jeff Mironov   Guitar
Chris Palmaro   Keyboards
Shawn Pelton   Drums
David Samuels   Vibes
Valerie Simpson   Vocals,Track Performer
Andy Snitzer   Alto Saxophone
Jim Hynes   Flugelhorn
Wolfgang Haffner   Cymbals,Finger Snapping
Mike Ricchiuti   Keyboards
Brian Dunne   Drums

Technical Credits

Jimmy Haslip   Producer
Chuck Loeb   Arranger,Producer,Horn Arrangements,rhythm arrangement
Phil Magnotti   Engineer
Sonny Mediana   Art Direction
Andy Snitzer   Horn Arrangements
Dennis Wall   Engineer
Mike Ricchiuti   rhythm arrangement
Brian Dunne   drum programming

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