All cause of a woman, the same one I’ve just celebrated twenty-six years of marriage with. Guess that’s justification enough to wax on some for one music artist in particular. The jazz singer-songwriter she turned me on to as we courted. One that’s lasted near as long as being with her. I can certainly live with that. Just like one love song from 1983 (way before I’d ever met my future bride), and its splendid cover from 1994.
“Michael Franks occupied a uniquely popular niche in the world of soft jazz and pop music in the 1970s; he was one of those crossover artists who defied easy category on the radio (which made him ideal for FM radio of the period), and found an audience mostly among college students.”, as Bruce Eder described for Allmusic. A lyricist who played with heart and mind…care of a Julie London-like song delivery, on top of that.
His Passionfruit album another mingling of Jazz Fusion and pop sensibilities that added to his likability at the time. Once more imbued with his favorite Brazilian rhythms and influences. Vocalist Kenny Rankin and Gilberto contributing. Franks’ passionate Tell Me All About It a standout in that way of his. A romantic pleading in song that reached its target (be it man or woman), leaving the pursuer thankful (and a little envious) of the words.
Years later, no one was more surprised than moi when I stumbled upon Laura Fygi‘s third album. Maybe its title pricked my ears familiar. The Lady Wants To Know being one of Michael Franks’ most famed numbers, off his Sleeping Gypsy album. The same number my wife hooked me in the late-80s. Color me intrigued. The lovely and multilingual Dutch-born singer swaying to the same Bossa Nova drift Michael Franks dispensed.
In fact, not only did her album feature two of Michael Franks’ mainstay tunes, but the smooth jazz and crossover pop singer himself. While the beautifully rendered title track was a sensual homage to his work, it’s her duet with the singer-songwriter in her cover of Tell Me All About It that climaxed it one better. Elevating the love song to a greater height by infusing her sultry voice with his in a truly sexy counterpoint.
Laura set Franks’ strain off in a fashion that lifted and glided listeners’ expectations…in that “I got ways to make you, make you tell me all about it” way.
Love, when we touch I shiver Just body language can you blame it My love's like a raging river And I think you're the one to tame it You, you're the quiet, shy type You always whisper never shout it Ooh, Baby, you are my type Why don't you tell me all about it I got ways to make you Make you tell me all about it That's what I'm gonna do Till you tell me all about it Making love till you do Till you tell me all about it (Musical Interlude) Me, I'm a lousy loner Just call my number come be near me Me, I'm a soulful moaner Stay chez moi so you can hear me You, you're the quiet shy type You always whisper never shout it Ooh, Baby, you are my type Why don't you tell me all about it (Background singers repeat: I got ways to make you, make you tell me all about it That's what I'm gonna do, till you tell me all about it Making love till you do, till you tell me all about it) I got ways I got some special ways I got some very special ways to make you tell me Baby, baby (Scat) Tell me, tell me I got ways to make you Make you love me (Background singers change to: That's exactly what I'm, That's what I'm gonna do, till you tell me all about it We won't stop making love, Making love till you do, till you tell me all about it I got some ways, I got ways to make you, make you tell me all about it) Ooh, tell me that you love me Tell me all about it, Baby (Scat) Tell me, Baby, that you love me...