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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully polished without being overly slick, breezy, beautiful., 14 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
The American jazz singer/songwriter Michael Franks is an artist most jazz fans feel strongly about one way or another. His unique, romantic poet-cum-laid-back hipster approach to jazz signing is breezy, light, and languid. It's also uniquely his own, though deeply influenced by Brazilian jazz, bossa, and samba.
"Time Together", his first recording of new material in five years -- and his debut for Shanachie -- is unlikely to change anyone's opinion of him, but that doesn't mean this is a rote recording.
"Time Together" is an airy, groove-ridden summer travelog that ranges from St. Tropez and New York to Paris, France, and Egypt; it journeys through the nostalgic past and finds space in the present moment, with cleverly notated, languorous, ironic observations about life.
Franks split the production and arranging duties between Charles Blenzig, Gil Goldstein, Chuck Loeb, Scott Petito, and Mark Egan. The rest of the international cast on this polished 11-song set includes old friends and new faces David Spinozza, Mike Mainieri, David Mann, Eric Marienthal, Till Brönner, Carmrn Cuesta (Chuck Loeb's wife), Alex Spiagin, Jerry Marotta, Billy Kilson, Romero Lubambo, and backing vocalist Veronica Nunn.
"Time Together" is wonderfully polished without being overly slick.
The set opens with "Now That the Summer's Here", a samba-inspired paean to laziness with excellent solos by Bronner's trumpet and Marienthal's alto. The arrangement by Loeb includes a perfectly balanced meld of acoustic and electric guitars, with the harmony chorus between Franks and Carmen Cuesta adding an essentially restrained yet celebratory tone.
"One Day in St. Tropez" is one Franks' finest reminiscence songs. Goldstein's acoustic piano, Greg Cohen's bass, and Lubambo's acoustic guitar evoke classic bossa while the singer details in exotically rich, nostalgically romantic lyrics a 1963 hitchhiking excursion through Southern France.
"Mice" is a humorous, metaphorically hip irony, illustrated beautifully by Manieri's vibes, Petito's bass, and Spinozza's guitar with a backing vocal from Beth Neilsen-Chapman.
"Samba Blue," another of thew album's finer tracks, offers the tale of a long-ago love affair in Paris, without a hint of cloying or regret, thanks to Franks fine lyric and melody, and a jaunty Loeb arrangement featuring a beautiful alto solo by Marienthal.
"My Heart Said Wow" is a straight-ahead duet with Nunn, boasting a fine trumpet solo by Spiagin's trumpet.
"Feathers from an Angel's Wing", the longest and perhaps most beautiful track here is, fittingly, also the closer.
Arranged by Egan, whose fretless bass introduces it, Loeb's guitars, Clifford Carter's keys, and Joe Bonadio's drums illustrate it elegantly.
The singer's use of Zen wisdom in the modern jazz lyric and melody, underscores everything fine and right in Franks' art from Art of Tea to the present day.
While his framework may be contemporary, his execution is timeless, making "Time Together" Franks' most consistent, graceful collection of songs in the 21st century. T.Jurek
My favourite tracks: "Now That Summer's Here", "One Day In St Tropez", "Samba Blue", and "Feathers from an Angel's Wing".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb new record, 30 July 2011
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This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
I feared that Michael Franks might have lost his mojo with the insipid "Rendezvous in Rio", but this is a welcome return to form; a collection of excellent songs, with some gorgeous arrangements and playing, which oozes quality. "Now That The Summer's Here" is one of his best-ever songs, with twists and chord changes of which Steely Dan would be proud. "One Day in St Tropez" and "Summer in New York" are both marvellously tuneful and if the drab weather is getting you down, this CD provides the perfect escape. "Feathers From An angel's Wing" takes us back to his 1980s recording "Blue Pacific" and that's a compliment. Check this out - it's great!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Serenity of Summer and the Magic of Michael, 27 July 2011
This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
From the moment I viewed the promotional video for the title track "Now That the Summer's Here", I knew we had another winner from Michael. I was once more drawn immediately into the warmth of his unique, tender and catchy style and incredible lyrical poetry. The excellent band gives sterling support and the beguiling bossa-nova rhythms are just magical. Can't stop playing it. We listen in our summer-house, and it's also very relaxing on car journeys. Every track is a gem, my favourites of the moment being "Samba Blue" and "One Day in St. Tropez". I was of that 1963 era. That Brasilian guitar just makes you melt! Truly this man adores Jobim, as do I. My own heart said "Wow"! "Flora" should come with 'Kleenex' - for anyone,including ourselves, who has just lost a much-loved friend from the animal world. The last track, "Feathers from an Angel's Wing" includes the kind of bass solo I love, where the instrument rises from its usual position of undergirding the tune, to render its own beautiful sound as if to say, "I don't just do bass, I can sing, too!" The perfect track to close this magical collection. I haven't felt like this since Carole King's "Tapestry". Every so often, a special musical person comes along. This is Michael Franks, and there is no other like him. I truly believe he is touched by God. Top marks, and more if they were available. If this CD doesn't win every award going, I shall want to know why. Thank you, thank you. Liz Ashton (UK)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELCOME TO THE COOL ZONE! MR FRANKS YOU ALWAYS DELIVER!, 27 Sep 2011
This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
We may have to wait a while for new MR Franks albums these days,But when he returns from the studio with an album of this quality it's been worth the wait!Timeless blend of cool-soulful-jazz-+bossa,beautiful arrangements and his distinctive vocals and lyrics.I have been a fan of michael's for many years and as the title of the album suggest's time together is always a pleasure!Fans will love the bossa influenced-now that the summer's here!Other stand out tracks are summer in new york,samba blue,Chuck Loeb the jazz guitarist adds some super production and arrangements.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect summer album, 7 Aug 2011
This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
Michael Franks has been producing great albums since the mid seventies. He's a singer songwriter, every bit as good a wordsmith as Carole King or James Taylor. But his musical palette is rather different - Michael's inspiration has always come from the worlds of jazz and brazilian music, with AC Jobim (whom he knew) as a key mentor.

"Time Together" is an extremely laid-back affair, and it's beautifully produced. Many of the songs are rooted in bossa nova, each one tells its own story. Franks must be approaching his eighth decade now, so it's no surprise that there's some wistful and reflective material in here.

But don't let that out you off. This is a fine album - and it will add some particularly mellow spice to your summer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time Together, 17 July 2011
This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
I have always been a great fan of Michael Frank's music because of his unique style and verbal wordplay in his music. I have all of his CDs. There is often a clear message hidden between the lines of his songs once you unravel the riddle.

At first I wasn't sure about "Time Together" but the more I listen its grown on me. On reflection I realise that all good artists have to change to keep things fresh and new for there is no point in churning out the same old thing. I have decided to change my review and give this CD 4 Stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars smooth and cool, 1 Jan 2012
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Meyers Beverley (London U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Together (MP3 Download)
michael franks as good as ever with a smooth cool and wonderful jazz sound. i highly recommend this cd for all his fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Franks - Time together, 10 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
Easy listening, smooth music - all groovers will adhere. Thanks and enjoy these relaxing sounds that make us feel happy and lightheaded
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5.0 out of 5 stars michael franks pure class, 28 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
michael franks never disappoints this cd is outstanding but don't listing to me,buy it for your self and simply enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Time Together, 1 Mar 2012
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Ms. T. Clarke (Jersey, Channel Islands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Together (Audio CD)
Bought this cd for my boyfriend as a anniversary gift. He has a few cd's by Michael Franks and he loves this one as much as the others
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