news and reviews

September 11, 2014

in News

A huge thank you to all of the radio stations across Canada who have been playing Like a Circle in a Spiral over the last few weeks. In particular, thank you to CILU, CFBX (#2 on the jazz chart), RadL, CJAM (#3) and of course, Jazz.FM and CBC. A huge thank you to Bill King for inviting me to be a guest on his show on CIUT. We had a delightful conversation about our favorite singers and influences. You can hear the whole show on mixcloud.

Warmest thanks to Stuart Broomer for his review in the September issue of TheWholeNote Magazine. Thanks also to Shelley Gummeson for reviewing the CD on !earshot–the go-to website for national campus and community radio. I am honoured. Thanks so much to Scott Yanow for his very kind words in the Los Angeles Jazz Scene, and to Irwin Block for his review in The Senior Times, Montreal.

I was thrilled to perform at this year’s Ashkenaz Festival with two different wonderful artists. It was so much fun to be reunited with my “Barry sister” Lenka Lichtenberg to back up Cantor Simon Spiro with a rocking Moishe Oysher song.

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And I loved performing Theresa Tova’s wonderful and evocative Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman repertoire for the finale of the Ashkenaz Festival! Here we are during our sound check.

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the whole note

September 2, 2014

in Press

Like a Circle in a Spiral, The Whole Note, September 2, 2014
by Stuart Broomer

Fern Lindzon is a rare jazz singer, her strong identity based on nuanced expression, a clear, almost silky voice, and a freedom from the collections of mannerisms that many jazz singers use to distinguish themselves. Instead, her work seems to grow from her solid piano playing and the empathy that exists with her band. For her third CD, Like a Circle in a Spiral (iatros IMO3 fernlindzon.com), she moves deftly between languages and styles, singing songs in Hebrew (Mishaela) and Yiddish (A Malekh Veynt) with the same idiomatic comfort that marks the more familiar Windmills of Your Mind. The most striking piece may be her arrangement of alternative pop songwriter Ron Sexsmith’s Jazz at the Bookstore, a richly ironic rendition in which accomplished jazz musicians (saxophonist David French, bassist/producer George Koller, vibraphonist Michael Davidson and drummer Nick Fraser) get to “play” jazz musicians.

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!earshot

August 28, 2014

in Press

Like a Circle in a Spiral, !earshot, August 28, 2014
by Shelley Gummeson

Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, in her letters to R.H. Horne in 1839, “the luck of the third adventure is proverbial’.

Juno Award-nominated singer and pianist Fern Lindzon’s third recording Like a Circle in a Spiral is indeed an adventure in song. She reimagines classics and makes her original songs seem timeless.

In this recording Fern personifies a woman who lives confidently with her own instincts and artistry. She has taken 11 songs that span distance and time and made them personal with her vocal and musical arrangements. There are moments where she is smart and smouldering, sublimely elegant, and flowing in her interpretations. In addition to some originals, the album includes an eclectic grouping of the work of Michel Legrand, Mary Lou Williams, Cole Porter, Yiddish ballads, and a contemporary Israeli song sung in Hebrew.

The framework of the album rests on Lindzon but she has some wonderful accompniment with Michael Davidson on vibes, David French on sax, George Koller on bass, and Nick Fraser on drums. Flutist Bill McBirnie is like icing on the cake on two of the tracks.

Lindzon sets the stage for the album with the Ron Sexsmith tune “Jazz at the Bookstore”. The song lightly admonishes our habit of listening with half an ear in urban settings, but Fern makes it tres cool.

I haven’t thought about the song “The Windmills of Your Mind” in years, or “Night and Day” for that matter. Both are wonderfully renewed and inventive in Lindzon’s hands.

You’ll hear French or Spanish on many recordings but on Like a Circle in a Spiral you’ll hear Hebrew and Yiddish, which really makes ths album interesting to listen to. Language is a beautiful thing especially when it’s underpinned by music.

Fern Lindzon has really raised the bar with this album, and who knows, maybe third time will be the charm.

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Los Angeles Jazz Scene

August 1, 2014

in Press

Like a Circle in a Spiral CD Review, Los Angeles Jazz Scene, Aug 2014
by Scott YanowLike a Circle in a Spiral

Fern Lindzon is a major singer and pianist based in Toronto. She is an excellent harmonically-advanced pianist who has a haunting voice and a subtle but modern style. On her third CD as a leader, Like A Circle In A Spiral, she interprets all types of superior obscurities with only a reinvented “The Windmills Of Your Mind,” “Night And Day” and perhaps Mary Lou Williams’ “What’s Your Story, Morning Glory” being jazz standards. The other selections are just as worthy with lots of subtle surprises and unexpected twists and turns in her arrangements. The consistently thoughtful music features top-notch sidemen (David French on soprano and tenor, vibraphonist Michael Davidson, bassist George Koller and drummer Nick Fraser plus two guest appearances by Bill McBirnie on flute) who all make strong contributions. Whether it is “Even Divas Get The Blues,” Egberto Gismonti’s “Loro” or the witty “Jazz At The Bookstore,” Like A Circle In A Spiral (available from www.fernlindzon.com) will reward repeated listenings. Fern Lindzon is one of quite a few talented Canadian jazz performers who deserve to be much better known in the U.S.

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CD review: Fern Lindzon

July 16, 2014

in Press

Like a Circle in a Spiral, CD Review The Senior Times, Montreal
July 16, 2014
by Irwin Block

This 11-song collection reveals the growing confidence and expanded scope of singer/pianist Fern Lindzon. On this, the third CD by the classically trained Toronto artist, we hear a more nuanced vocal treatment than on previous recordings, with less emphasis on her own piano accompaniment, more reliance on clever and varied arrangements and excellent backing of her first-rate band.

Lindzon has chosen a repertoire that reflects her broad worldview, and delivered pristine rendering of songs in English, Yiddish and Hebrew, including several originals. The band – David French (saxophones), Michael Davidson (vibraphone), George Koller (bass), and Nice Fraser (drums) – shares credit for this loving and artful CD.

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a feature article

May 30, 2014

in News

Thank you, Kathryn Kates and The Canadian Jewish News, May 28, 2014

Please click on the link below to read the feature article about my new CD, how I think about lyrics and arranging and about my chance encounter with Ron Sexsmith aboard the JUNO train….

Thanks also to all the radio stations that have played selections: Jazz.FM91, CBC, CHUO & CKCU Ottawa, CKUA Alberta, CFUV Victoria, VirginiaMusic internet radio, Amsterdam

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newcanadianmusic

May 9, 2014

in Press

Like a Circle in a Spiral CD Review: newcanadianmusic.ca

May 08, 2014
by Kerry Doole
Fern Lindzon is one of the most adventurous and accomplished vocalists, pianists and songwriters on the T.O. jazz scene, and she has a JUNO nomination (in 2012, for the superb Two Kites) to prove it. She comes up with another winning effort in her third album Like A Circle In A Spiral, a title taken from the lyrics of “Windmills Of Your Mind”, an album highlight. We love her take on Ron Sexsmith’s “Jazz at the Bookstore”, while her originals are equally impressive.

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Thank you, Kerry Doole and New Canadian Music for reviewing Like a Circle in a Spiral. Like  Circle in a Spiral

“Fern Lindzon is one of the most adventurous and accomplished vocalists, pianists and songwriters on the T.O. jazz scene, and she has a JUNO nomination (in 2012, for the superb Two Kites) to prove it. She comes up with another winning effort in her third album Like A Circle In A Spiral, a title taken from the lyrics of “Windmills Of Your Mind”, an album highlight. We love her take on Ron Sexsmith’s “Jazz at the Bookstore“, while her originals are equally impressive. Lindzon launched the disc at Toronto’s Jazz Bistro this week, and has upcoming Toronto shows at The Rex (May 18, in the Rhythm and Jews concert) and Home Smith Jazz Bar (May 22).”
Kerry Doole

Thanks also to Sarah Greene and Now Magazine for the review and for recommending our CD Release concert at the Jazz Bistro.

Juno-nominated pianist and vocalist Fern Lindzon takes an unusually eclectic, international approach to jazz. On her third album, Lindzon samples from Israeli and Yiddish songs as well as jazz classics and contemporary Canadiana. (Album opener Jazz At The Bookstore, by Ron Sexsmith, arranged by Lindzon and producer/bassist George Koller, is a natural fit.)

The ensemble, which includes drummer Nick Fraser and Michael Davidson on vibraphone, paints a whimsical, often slow backdrop for Lindzon’s exploratory vocals, but the music isn’t without tension: the title track mimics a spinning mind, and the songs often sound imploring or intentionally cluttered.

That tension is released on danceable Shashado/Loro – based on Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti’s Loro – which features lots of Bill McBirnie’s flute playing, and on fluttery, light and brief album kicker This Little Love.”
Sarah Greene

You can now preview the entire CD over here

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talk radio 1010

April 6, 2014

in News

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I had a really fun chat with Ted Woloshyn and Bill King on Talk Radio 1010 today. We chatted about my new release, bookstores, arranging, silent movies and teaching. They even played a few excerpts. Have a listen over here

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Fern Circle In A Spi#42BE25I’m super excited to be releasing my new CD, Like a Circle in a Spiral, on May 8! I have so many people to thank for their beautiful contributions to this project: George Koller for your excellence as a producer, musician and human being; David French, Michael Davidson and Nick Fraser for your stunning playing; Jeremy Darby and David Travers-Smith for your magical engineering and mastering; Susan Michalek for your gorgeous CD design; Peter Bregg and Ashlea Wessel for your fabulous photography and Mark Miller for your beautiful liner notes. It takes a village and I’m humbled.

The opening track, Jazz at the Bookstore came out of a chance encounter with Ron Sexsmith on the train to the Juno Awards in 2012. I told him that I’d love to arrange one of his songs and he was thrilled! Thank you, Jazz.FM91 and CBC radio for adding it to your playlists!!

Like a Circle in a Spiral takes its title from the opening line of Michel Legrand’s wonderful song, The Windmills of Your Mind. It has been my dream to come up with an arrangement for this song and the idea of circles, spirals and wheels was the inspiration for the circular patterns in the bass, piano and vibes. The repertoire for this record comes from all kinds of places: the Great American Songbook, Israel, Europe, Brazil and Canada. The songs deal with the crazy windmills of our inner thought, love and loss, joy and sorrow. But hope always wins. As the lyrics to Mishaela say, “In the east I see a rainbow. That is all I need. What more could I want? It is all I need.”

Please join us at the Jazz Bistro on Thursday, May 8 for our special release celebration. See shows page for details.

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upcoming concerts:

Friday, April 4 City Girl at the Toronto Silent Film Festival
Thursday, May 8 Like a Circle in a Spiral CD release at the Jazz Bistro
Sunday, May 18 Rhythm and Jews opening night of Jewish Music Week at The Rex Jazz Bar
Thursday, May 22 Year Round Jazz Festival at the Home Smith Bar, Old Mill

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