Fran Clark

Singer-songwriter, Fran Clark, grew up in a music loving family and from an early age was exposed to diverse styles; from Aretha to Jimi Hendrix and from Ray Charles to Stevie Wonder. Diversity being the order of the day, a teenage Fran experimented both vocally and as a songwriter whilst performing with soul, rock, pop and blues musicians. It was her father’s love for Nat King Cole that led her to explore singers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and further, the compositions of Gershwin, Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart. As for contemporary heroes, she will name Stevie Wonder and Anita Baker as her favourite singer-songwriters, with Dianne Reeves recognized as her all-time heroine as a vocalist.

Her professional singing career has been spent performing live on stage both at home and abroad. She has also shown her quality and technique in studio session work for industry producers, writers and artists including Matt Bianco and appears on commercial recordings with Oliver Cheatham (Be Thankful For What You’ve Got) and Adonte (Dreams).

Her debut album “To Fly” is an eclectic collection of 11 original compositions with modern song structures placed over chord progressions and rhythms typically found in jazz, sometimes adding a Latin feel or soul groove. All of this complemented by a smooth, rich voice whose simple clarity aptly conveys true emotions and real life experiences.

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Fran Clark “To Fly” (body & soul BNS001)

With a pleasingly unaffected, natural-sounding delivery and a considerable talent for writing original songs ranging from soulful ballads and lightly funky shuffles to the odd latin-inflected piece or relatively conventional standard-influenced material, Fran Clark has made an auspicious debut recording with “To Fly”.

The aforementioned range of her material is what immediately impresses. Clark, a Londoner from Ladbroke Grove, grew up exposed to everyone from Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker and Bob Marley to Nat King Cole and the works of Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart, and it shows, but this eclecticism is entirely unforced, enabling her to express straightforward heart-on-sleeve emotion one minute ('Amazing') and emulate the Great American Songbook's penchant for 'list' songs the next ('A Picture of You', 'Goodbye') without any undue abruptness of transition.

The neat tastefulness of her band and the controlled power of her and bassist/co-producer Pete Clark's arrangements help in this process, but overall it is the clear commitment and patent sincerity of Clark herself ('Goodbye', for instance, contains one of the most unaffected spoken passages you're ever likely to hear), not to mention her sheer musicality and ability to deliver a song in a variety of modes and moods, that make this album so attractive.

Intelligently paced like a well-arranged club set, this is an assured recording from a woman to watch.

Chris Parker - The Vortex Jazz Club

www.vortexjazz.co.uk

FRAN CLARK - TO FLY

This west London based chanteuse is a most accomplished soul and jazz vocalist

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Primary Instrument

Vocalist

Location

Bristol

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Discography

Beautiful People

Beautiful People

Body & Soul
2014

buy
To Fly

To Fly

Unknown label
2007

buy

Watch

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