(U.S 1973-Present, Australian 1974 - 1982, Present)
When Crossfire charted a self-titled album in 1975 their deft jazz-rock fusion set at odds with the glitter'n'glam and stadium rock of the day. By 1980 their reputation as one of Australia's most inventive musical outfits was further enhanced by another charting album, 'East Of Where'. Jim Kelly, Tony Buchanan, Michael J. Kenny, Ian Bloxsom, Phil Scorgie and Steve Hopes perfected a gestalt of fire and ice and were the logical choice to accompany jazz-singer-songwriter Michael Franks (with five US and two Australian hit albums, and a cult hit with Popsicle Toes), on an Australasian tour. The resulting album 'Michael Franks With Crossfire Live' was captured at the St James Tavern and the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and at the Auckland Town Hall in September 1980. A rare vinyl item for more than thrirty years, this unique and often exhilarating album has gained almost legendary acclaim amongst record collectors and lovers of Jazz music.
For a comprehensive bio on Crossfire, see my previous posting for their East Of Where album.
.An enormously popular performer in the late '70s and early '80s, Franks performed folk/rock songs while in high school, then became a literature student at UCLA and a part-time performer. He taught undergraduate music courses in the early '70s at both UCLA and Berkeley, then provided scores for the films Count Your Bullets and Zandy's Bride. He made his first album in 1973, then enjoyed success with a string of late '70s albums on Warner Brothers. He has worked with the likes of Flora Purim, Kenny Rankin, Ron Carter, the Crusaders, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Eric Gale, and others, and has had songs recorded by The Manhattan Transfer, Patti Labelle, Carmen McRae, and the Carpenters. [Ron Wynn, All Music Guide]
Over the languorous course of 33 years and 16 albums, Michael Franks has mesmerized an international legion of fans with his
one-of-a-kind artistry. Seamlessly weaving lyrics of stunning sensuality, wit, reflection and literary eloquence over music that tastefully utilizes top shelf shadings of jazz, soul, pop, chamber and music from around the globe, Michael Franks the songwriter has set a bar in the music world that places him as nothing less than a statesman of song craft. His best known works include “Popsicle Toes,” “Monkey See-Monkey Do,” “The Lady Wants To Know,” “When the Cookie Jar is Empty,” “Tiger in the Rain,” “Rainy Night in Tokyo” and “Tell Me All About It” (covered by artists ranging from Diana Krall and Natalie Cole to Manhattan Transfer and the Carpenters). As if that weren't enough, Michael Franks the singer is gifted with a gentle, deliciously expressive voice - identifiable from note one [Michael Frank's Website]
The rip provided (MP3) was taken from my 'mint' vinyl copy at 320kps and includes full scans of album artwork and inserts. Because the live tracks run into each other, I was forced to apply some fade in / fade out affects to allow for song separations, but only affects portions of the audience's applause.
REPOST: In response to a blog follower's request, I have re-posted this album in FLAC format. This album deserves the best treatment, as do my followers.
01. Don't Be Blue (3:38)
02. When The Cookie Jar Is Empty (6:29)
03. The Lady Wants To Know (6:02)
04. B'wana He No Home (4:57)
05. Chain Reaction (4:25)
06. Antonio's Song (4:42)
07. Monkey See-monkey Do (6:14)
08. Popsicle Toes (4:55)
Michael Franks (Vocals)
Jim Kelly (Guitars)
Michael Kenny (Keyboards)
Tony Buchanan (Tenor / Soprano Sax, Flute)
Phil Scorgie (Bass)
Ian Bloxsom (Percussion, Mallets)
Steve Hopes (Drums)
Michael Franks with Crossfire MP3 (96Mb) New Link 16/09/2018
Michael Franks with Crossfire FLACs (251Mb) New Link 13/07/2016