Born: August 4 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Chicago based retro crooner and now songwriter Frank Lamphere, whose live performances have always been heavy on Rat Pack, Tony Bennett, Jack Jones and the like, on February 01, 2012 released an EP of jazzy self-written and produced songs titled Frank Swings.
Lamphere, despite several studio recordings and high profile gigs at Jilly's and the Peninsula Hotel has been for years, Soaring under the radar. He loves nightclub work but describes most nightclubs as not knowing if they are music venues or sports bars. Consequently, with keen marketing and business management skills (Frank has run a west suburban deck construction company A-Affordable Decks for about twenty years) he took his niche act to corporate America, and has experienced great success. Frank and his diverse bands perform shows for local merchants to Fortune 500 companies. Country clubs, theaters and such venues as the famous Empire Room, the 95th Floor, and the Marriott Marquis in Times Square have all played host to Rat Pack Jazz (Lamphere's music brand) There are also weddings and the occasional and welcomed festival that offer a nice change of pace.
Frank Swings whose five cuts not only represent Lamphere's first outing as a songwriter but, his first self released studio work since 2002's Ain't Love a Kick. Early in his career Lamphere admittedly went for the Frank or Dean vocal sound but eventually realized to have a chance at artistic success he had to blaze his own musical path. During his recording absence he has crafted a singing style all his own, polished his sound and presentation, began committing to paper the melodies that were coming into his head ever more frequently and has emerged as an artist with something to add to the jazz and pop standards conversation.
The EP's lead track I Never Forgot is biographical in that it is heavily based on Frank's long distance (Italy), off and then on again after 12 years, relationship with his wife Daniela with whom he has two young children. All of the songs, recorded at the popular Studiomedia Recording Company, feature a stellar piano trio and alternating tenor and alto sax work by one of Chicago's finest jazz soloists Eric Schneider. As an added attraction, trumpeter Art Davis joins the band on the first and fourth tracks.
With the release of these fresh songs with top notch performances and backed with some powerful national radio promotion Frank is hopeful that Frank Swings, will be a memorable listening experience that people who enjoy this genre demand. A product that will remain timeless, that widens his loyal fan base and provides more quality musical performance opportunities. If proven worthwhile, future projects will include the release of more original songs and a Dean Martin tribute is in the works.
The fledgling composer succeeds with five originals with catchy lyrics, good production value, and top notch playing by some of Chicago’s finest musicians
Unlike singers like Michael Buble who initially succeed in one genre but cross over into more popular styles, Frank demonstrates respect for the style he loves. Without being a generic impersonator, Lamphere derives inspiration from the usual suspects, Sinatra and Dean Martin. But I didn’t find myself comparing him to either
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