July 2011

Village Now, Victoria BC, July 6, 2011

Two Kites has taken off and the early reviews are stellar. Fern played to a capacity crowd in her debut at the Upstairs Jazz Bar in Montreal followed by another nearly sold out performance at Chalkers Pub for her Toronto Jazz Festival club appearance.

Over the past week Two Kites was reviewed by the well-known American jazz critic, Scott Yanow in the June Los Angeles Jazz Scene and another fantastic review appeared in the July/Aug Whole Note Magazine.

By Irwin Block, The Senior Times

An artful, adventurous approach to music

cd_twokitesA funny thing happened to Fern Lindzon on the way to a university degree in musicology at the University of Toronto: After stumbling on a jazz club in Yorkville and hearing guitarist Lorne Lofsky, pianist Ted Moses and flutist/vocalist Kathryn Moses perform, Lindzon saw the light.

“This is what jazz is? This is what I want to be doing!” Lindzon said, explaining her conversion from the classical stream.
After further study with several masters—pianists Fred Hersch in New York City, Marilyn Lerner in Toronto and Alan Bern in Germany—Lindzon has emerged as a rare and fascinating talent, combining an artful and adventurous approach to her piano and vocals, writing and arranging, and leading various groups in a variety of genres, from post-bop jazz to klezmer and Yiddish.

We discovered Lindzon via her latest CD, Two Kites (Iatros). This collection of 12 songs features Lindzon’s clear and delectable voice and her artful extensions of the thematic material on piano, enhanced by clearly inspired playing from saxophonist Mike Murley, with rhythmic variety from drummer Nick Fraser and bassist George Koller. With their support, Lindzon soars with musical delight on Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Two Kites, and gets to the core of My Romance, with her own Moon in the Sky vocalese prelude, never sounding maudlin. She renders the classic Dona Dona, in Yiddish and English, dramatically, as it should be, using an odd time signature to create tension with “the winds laughing.”

I loved her longest piece, a three-part medley of Yiddish songs with a delightfully modern treatment.

At Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, she played in a trio: complex, challenging pieces rendered with precision and purpose, her improvisations adding colour and depth to each piece. Lindzon was kind enough to give us her debut CD, Moments Like These (Iatros), which features exquisite duets with vibraphonist Don Thompson, guitarist Reg Schwager and bassist George Koller.

We next met Lindzon with her Yiddish swing klez band, Sisters of Sheynville, in mid-June, having fun in three-part harmony à la Barry Sisters, with fellow vocalists Lenka Lichtenberg and Isabel Fryzsberg. They were dancing in the park opposite the YM-YWHA in Snowdon as the shvesters frolicked on stage, having fun and rebranding such classics as Yid’l mit’n Fid’l, Shayn vi di Levoneh and Di Grine Kozineh.