Artist: Fleur Seule
Torchbearers of the Golden Age of swing, Fleur Seule led by frontwoman and vocalist Allyson Briggs breathe new life into classic ballroom numbers on their forthcoming release Standards and Sweet Things. An exhilarating assortment of swing, ballroom jazz, bossa nova, salsa, and rumba tunes, the self-released recording is genuine Americana à la the Great American Songbook.
America’s period following the Prohibition Era and World War II is represented in Fleur Seule’s song selections. Scat favorites like “Them There Eyes” and “Taking a Chance on Love” are elbow to elbow with Latin-tinged moonlight serenades such as “Sabor a Mi” and “Con Los Años Que Me Quedan.” Briggs’s vocal phrasing is tailored to the mood portrayed in the lyrics whether it’s the jubilant “Manuelo” or the love-soaked “Misty,” she makes the melody special. In the former, Paul Francis’s jostling drumbeats support the pulsating toots of Andy Warren’s trumpet, tethered to the undulating vamp of Jason Yeager’s piano keys.
The band exhumes a vaudeville-inspired novelty “Shoo-fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy” and makes the melody their own as Warren’s trumpet blazes intermittently while Briggs’s flirtatious vocalese gives the song an enchanting vibe. The festive ballroom swing number “Almost Like Being in Love” rings of an old soul that has been resuscitated with new energy.
The timeless “La Vie En Rose,” a signature song of French chanteuse Edith Piaf, is done with a penetrative voicing and lamenting trumpet wails that will make audiences fall in love with Fleur Seule’s delivery. Then there is Richard Miller’s guitar solo in “Sweet Happy Life” that adds glittering embellishments in the melody, which boosts the jovial mood while Francis’s brushed drum strokes and Michael O’Brien lullaby-tempered bass line along “Embraceable You” add a smoothness to the track that is warm and cozy.
Revitalizing classic ballroom songs from jazz standards to bossa nova serenades and salsa swing, Fleur Seule deliver a compilation of mirthful interpretations and intimate moments that take audiences back in time on a contemporary flight. The recording is fraught with merriment and romance, representative of the gilded age from which the songs originally came from and experiencing a new life due to Fleur Seule’s bewitching renditions.
Allyson Briggs – vocals and bandleader
Andy Warren – trumpet, arranger, and musical director
Jason Yeager – piano
Michael O’Brien – bass
Paul Francis – drums
Richard Miller – guitar
Ivan Llanes – percussion
Martina DaSilva, Vanessa Perea, and Marg Davis – background vocals