In The Booth With Ruth - Fran Clark, Singer & Songwriter.
Fran is interviewed by Writer & Campaigner - Ruth Jacobs. Read it here.
Soul and Jazz and Funk review "Beautiful People"
Based in West London, Fran Clark is soul singer/songwriter with a CV that includes session work with Matt Bianco and Oliver Cheetham. From sessions Fran graduated to a covers band that worked the London pub/club circuit. Then she worked in a duo with her husband – bassist Pete Clarke... the pair going on to open their own recording studio. It was there that Fran recorded her debut set, 'To Fly'. The album was well-received on the London soul underground and, encouraged, Fran's just released this – her second long player and the 11 tracker's a mature and thoughtful piece of work.
Laid-back and mostly mid-tempo, 'Beautiful People' is an adult album that brings rewards after several plays. The cut that seems to best sum up the album's mood is 'Maybe Never'. It's a gentle four minutes worth of reflection. It boasts a simple, yet never predictable melody and Fran caresses her lyric with a real belief. Listen up too to the understated harmonies courtesy of Josie Bannis and Winston Ward. 'Just Listen' (great title for an opening track) is another album highlight. Jazzy and languid, it features some great keys from jazz veteran David Frankel. Indeed Frankel's piano is a consistent pleasure and his jazz background is apparent on tunes like 'The River Is Wide' and 'Alright By Me'... though on the ballad 'To Fly' the palette is bluesier and the more intriguing for that.
Bill Buckley - www.soulandjazzandfunk.com
It Matters Radio Interview
Brenda Brown of Brenda Brown Entertainment will be interviewing Fran Clark as the digital release of her forthcoming album, Beautiful People, approaches. The interview will take place on Thursday 9th August 2013 and a podcast will be available if you didn't get the chance to hear it live. Brenda will feature tracks from the album which is due for digital release on 30th September 2013.
Fran Clark "To Fly" (body & soul BNS001)
With a pleasingly unaffected, natural-sounding delivery and a considerable talent for writing original songs ranging from soulful ballads and lightly funky shuffles to the odd latin-inflected piece or relatively conventional standard-influenced material, Fran Clark has made an auspicious debut recording with "To Fly".
The aforementioned range of her material is what immediately impresses. Clark, a Londoner from Ladbroke Grove, grew up exposed to everyone from Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker and Bob Marley to Nat King Cole and the works of Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hart, and it shows, but this eclecticism is entirely unforced, enabling her to express straightforward heart-on-sleeve emotion one minute ('Amazing') and emulate the Great American Songbook's penchant for 'list' songs the next ('A Picture of You', 'Goodbye') without any undue abruptness of transition.
The neat tastefulness of her band and the controlled power of her and bassist/co-producer Pete Clark's arrangements help in this process, but overall it is the clear commitment and patent sincerity of Clark herself ('Goodbye', for instance, contains one of the most unaffected spoken passages you're ever likely to hear), not to mention her sheer musicality and ability to deliver a song in a variety of modes and moods, that make this album so attractive.
Intelligently paced like a well-arranged club set, this is an assured recording from a woman to watch.
Chris Parker - The Vortex Jazz Club
FRAN CLARK - TO FLY
This west London based chanteuse is a most accomplished soul and jazz vocalist. Fran is also a songwriter of note, specialising in mellow Latin moods, and penned all 11 of the cuts featured on this her debut album. Herein, Fran is splendidly backed by a seven-piece group, including the fine alto saxophonist Graham Reed, flautist Paul McLoughlin and, in particular, her husband Pete on bass and acoustic guitar - he also acted as the set's engineer. I Knew You Would Forget Me is reminiscent of early Everything But The Girl, circa their Eden album, and is representative of the high standard which Fran is capable of when she is in full flow, in terms of songwriting and performance. Flower In A Field boasts an attractive setting, with it's inventive mix of folk, jazz and South American elements, and provides an excellent illustration of fran's ability to cross musical genres with consummate ease.
MUSICIAN - Winter 2007