* LISTEN * to a Q&A with ROBERT FRANCIS Who Recently Covered Landmark Jazz Album “Valentine” By Chet Baker
Posted On 02 Dec 2015
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Fans of ROBERT FRANCIS are in for a lovely surprise when the indie singer-songwriter goes 50’s jazz on Valentine. The eight-song album is an entire cover of Chet Baker’s 1954 classic Chet Baker Sings which was the legendary trumpeteer’s vocal debut. Valentine will be released through Aeronaut Records on November 27th as a limited 500-piece 10” vinyl edition autographed by Robert, with the digital release of the album following on December 11th.
“From time to time, Robert drops by the Wednesday night jazz gig I produce,” recalls Aeronaut Records owner John Mastro about the album’s inception.
“He’s not a jazz guy by any means, but he does love good musicianship and a decent cocktail. The last time he came by I asked him to sing a standard with the band. The only tune he could remember most of the lyrics for was ‘My Funny Valentine’. Before the first line was finished, the crowd had become starkly quiet. Before the song was over I got the idea to do this record. Three weeks later, Robert and the very band he sang with that night recorded these eight classic songs in one day. The result is a mesmerizing blend of emotion and musical virtuosity.”
Produced by Mastro, Valentine was recorded direct to 2-track tape at Station House Studio in Echo Park, CA with engineering and mastering by studio owner Mark Rains. Guitarist John Storie, bassist Tim Emmons, drummer Kenny Elliot and sax man Zane Musa (all members of Jeff Goldblum’s band The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra) comprise Robert’s backing band on the album. This is the final recorded performance from Musa, who passed away in February a few weeks after the album was finished. Valentine is dedicated to his memory.
Robert Francis is currently back in the studio working on the follow-up to last year’s critically-acclaimed Heaven. The new album should arrive in the first half of 2016 and Robert is expected to tour internationally in support of it.
Francis has played alongside Willie Nelson and Neil Young at Farm-Aid two years in a row and has performed sold-out headlining shows in France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. His song “Junebug” reached #1 in France in 2010, while his song “Eighteen” broke the Top 40 in 2012.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to catch up with ROBERT FRANCIS just before the release of Valentine, his tribute to the late jazz singer, Chet Baker.
LISTEN to their chat below as they talk about what inspired his latest release, family, influences and more:
To stay up to date with ROBERT FRANCIS , visit him via his socials below:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud