Los Angeles-based jazz producer/composer/arranger Brent Fischer keeps his late father’s musical legacy alive with a new recording titled Out of the Blue. The recording features rarely heard original compositions written by Clare Fischer alongside seven American, Latin and European standards. The solo, duo, trio, and quartet settings consist of performances by drummers Peter Erskine and Mike Shapiro, vocalists Denise Donatelli and John Prouix, and Brent Fischer on bass and percussion recorded with Clare Fisher’s original keyboard work.
Clare Fischer’s keyboard work on this album sets a new paradigm for 21st century jazz as the art form matures into its second century. “Out of the Blue” is heard here for the first time with vocalese by Denise Donatelli and John Proulx while remakes of such Brazilian standards as “Tema Do Boneco De Palha,” “Amor Em Paz,” and the “Carnival/A Felicidade/Samba de Orfeu” medley give listeners an abundant taste of Brent Fischer’s expert arrangements that are filled with intense emotion and interesting interaction.
The harmony, polyphony, and improvised grooves we hear on such originals as “Love’s Walk,” “Starbright,” “Millbrae Walk,” and “Novelho” attest to Clare Fisher’s superlative skills as a composer and Brent Fischer’s expertise as an arranger. These songs reflect Clare’s attitudes at the time he composed them as well as his ability to gauge future interest and longevity of his music. They sound just as fresh as the day they were written and just as appealing.
In keeping with his father’s penchant for spontaneous medleys, Brent adds two exemplary solo piano works played by his father titled “When You Wish Upon A Star/Someday My Prince Will Come” and “Carnival/A Felicidade/Samba de Orpheu.” Listeners should note how the layers of development relate the two songs together in a unified theme on “When You Wish Upon A Star/Someday My Prince Will Come.” The medley of Brazilian standards heard here are among the first Brazilian music brought to America by the elder Fischer more than 50 years ago, so it is fitting that this medley is sequenced as the concluding tribute to Clare.
Overall, Out of the Blue is a very appropriate documentation of the compositional integrity of Clare Fischer and gives listeners a glimpse of the unreleased songs in his repertoire of great music.