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, 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.

whole note


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.


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 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.

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.



May 9, 2014

in Press

Like a Circle in a Spiral CD Review:

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.

ncm review

cd_twokitesby Stuart Broomer,

Fern Lindzon is a vocalist of rare talent and innate musicality, and she takes chances with repertoire and approach. She brings a light and sure touch to everything she sings on Two Kites, soaring on the updraft of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s title bossa nova, exploring a medley of Yiddish songs and breathing slightly ironic life into the ancient bar room standard “Basin Street Blues.” Lindzon plays piano well enough to forego singing, creating a rapport with the band that most singers can merely envy.

Tandem, On The Beat

April 10, 2013

in Press

by Kerry Doole, Tandem, On The Beat, April 10, 2013

FERN LINDZON: A Juno Award nominee last year (for her lovely album Two Kites), this local jazz vocalist/composer/pianist is an On The Beat favourite. Her skill as a pianist/composer will be on display at TIFF Bell Lightbox on April 12 and 13, when she plays her piano score for the BUSTER KEATON silent film, Sherlock Jr. Lindzon is then back in more orthodox jazz territory when she continues her April residency at The Rex, every Tuesday (6:30 to 8:30), accompanied by saxophonist DAVID FRENCH and friends. On June 6, she performs at The Old Mill, and a Toronto Jazz Festival show is also lined up, for Musideum on June 26.

by David Fiore, Toronto Silent Film Festival, Sound on Sight, April 8, 2013

Sunday’s Toronto Silent Film Festival screening brought together five sight-gag laden comedy shorts handpicked by programmer Chris Seguin. This wild and quazy quintet covered a lot of banana peel-littered ground, showcasing a very nice cross section of silent comedy immortals and candidates for rediscovery. The event benefited immensely from its venue (the nearly 100-year old Fox Theatre, which still has its washrooms inside the cinema) and the accompaniment of jazz notable Fern Lindzon, who worked a number of ironic pop melodies and dark variations on the Wedding March into her nimble piano kibitzing.

cd_twokitesby Paul Youngman,

Canadian CD’s:

1. Fern Lindzon – Two Kites
2. Dave Young – Aspects of Oscar
3. François Bourassa Quartet – Idiosyncrasie
4. Oliver Jones – Live In Baden
5. Gordon Grdina’s Haram – Her Eyes Illuminate
6. Peter Appleyard – The Lost Sessions 1974
7. François Houle 5 + 1 – Genera
8. Ranee Lee – Deep Song – A Tribute To Billie Holiday
9. Gordon Sheard – All Saints Bay

Toronto Jazz Festival, My Toronto Today, The swingin’ sounds of North Toronto, June 18, 2012

Although artists come from all over the world to take part in the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, many already reside in our community. As the annual event, which takes place across 40 venues around town from June 22 to July 1, draws near we profile three local jazz musicians who call North Toronto home.

Fern Lindzon
When jazz pianist and vocalist Fern Lindzon was growing up, she looked forward to bedtime.
“When I was seven or eight years old, my parents bought a piano and my mom started taking piano lessons,” Lindzon says. “She practised when I went to bed — I actually looked forward to going to bed just so I could hear her play.”
Around a year later, she started taking lessons of her own and already knew a lot of the early repertoire from having heard the songs nightly as she fell asleep.

“My mom tells me that the only thing that would get me to stop being a chatterbox and behave myself was plunking me down in front of the stereo and putting on Bach or Beethoven,” she says.

Although she’s been singing her whole life, Lindzon says she decided to take music more seriously because of her piano teacher Mrs. Poole, who would never entertain the idea of letting her quit, and her friend Joanne Ezrin, whose brother Bob has produced the likes of Alice Cooper, Kiss and Pink Floyd.

“She came from a crazy musical family and they had two grand pianos in their living room,” Lindzon says. “Joanne and I hacked our way through piano concertos. What we missed note-wise, we could hear in our minds. We loved Rachmaninoff.”
Lindzon, whose latest release Two Kites was nominated for a 2012 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year, says she feels lucky to work with musicians like her bass player George Koller, who produced the album, sax player Mike Murley and drummer Nick Fraser.

“I love being completely in the moment,” she says. “I love being in a place where anything is possible and where the music can just go anywhere — that’s why I play jazz.”
Having spent part of her childhood in North Toronto, she says she decided to return to the area to raise her own children.

“I remember the playground outside the Locke Library at Lawrence and Avenue Road,” she says. “My dad used to take us to the library every week. I loved the boys and girls section but I think I loved the long twisty slide in the playground even more.”
In addition to all the nearby parks and trees, she says she likes the fact that it’s a family-friendly community.

“I enjoy seeing street hockey and street-run garage sales and lemonade stands in the summer,” she says. “There are a lot of fabulous restaurants and new ones all the time.”