New artist, Danny Freyer Debut Vocal Jazz album, Must Be Love
#21 CMJ Jazz Chart, Issue 1351
#2 Top Jazz Adds, CMJ Issue 1345
Described as having a classic, yet contemporary sound, the LA-based vocalist and songwriter has a swinging time with such standards as “That Old Black Magic," “Begin the Beguine,” and ”Stardust," as well as putting his own lyrics to legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker's solo on the classic composition “Yardbird Suite.” Freyer, a rich-timbred baritone brings his original style to song interpretations and also reveals his songwriting talents with title track “Must Be Love, or Else I’m Drunk,” and the upbeat “Tanked as a Fish, Buzzed Bombed and Blitzed.”
Ella Fitzgerald’s pianist (and accompanist to Mel Tormé, Bing Crosby, Anita O’Day, Sammy Davis Jr.), Paul T. “Scooby” Smith (1922-2013) mentored Freyer on arrangements and performance for a number of tunes on the CD.
"A stellar debut" - ALL ABOUT VOCALS
"Extraordinary Talent" - LA MUSIC TODAY (Examiner)
"One of the best vocal jazz CDs I've heard in a long time," WWOZ, New Orleans, Mark Landesman
"Effortly straddles the musical divide between big band and bebop.. Unforced elegance..absolute engaging charm.. impeccable timing, warmth, lyrics of profound wit, and impressive vocalese... Freyer shines"
“Freyer shows off his vocal chops to good effect on all ten cuts, impressing with his warmth, sincerity, and musicality,” LA music critic WILLARD MANES.
From its bouncy Jazz standards to the New Orleans Dixieland-infused "Lean Baby," to the extended tear-jerker, "Promise Me You’ll Remember" (The Godfather III Love Theme), with its lush string arrangement and captivating sax solo to complement the singer’s intimate expression, “Must Be Love” takes listeners on a colorful musical journey.
On this album, Freyer is backed up by such stalwart musicians as Jeff Elwood on saxophone; pianist, Matt Politano; bassist, Roger Shew; trumpeter, Tony Guerrero, as well as the albums producer, Evan Stone on drums. The album also features a guest appearance on background vocals by Dannielle Gaha De Andrea (Australian singer songwriter, top 20 Australia charting artist, first Australian on UK soul charts, and member of international female recording trio The SongBirds).
Extended Bio Info
Freyer’s rich-toned vocal stylings reflect his jazz singer influences — Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Big Joe Williams, and Billie Holiday — while balancing vintage and modern sounds. His straight ahead approach to vocals jazz vocals emphasizes tone over technique, and lyric and feeling over flash.
Among the global and jazz artists he has performed and shared the stage with in recent years are Philip Glass, James Leary, Jeffrey Littleton, Dini Clarke, John B. Williams, Evan Stone, Jeff Ellwood, Bill Bodine, Bradley Young, Victor Orlando, Louis Van Taylor (Kool & the Gang), Jennifer Jane Leitham, Lafayette Harris, Jr., Jeffrey Zeigler (fmr Kronos Quartet) Foday Musa Soso, Livinia Meijer (SONY), Mick Rossi (Philip Glass Ensemble) Jon Gibson (Philip Glass Ensemble), Mike Price, Clayton Cameron, Kait Dunton, Kevin O'Neal, Jacques Lesure, Jerry Quickley (spoken word), Jack Feierman.
Freyer's original songs of various genres have aired on CNN, and been featured on national radio programs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, where he has also been interviewed about his songs on the radio. He composes on piano and guitar, and occasionally accompanies himself on guitar and thrills and delights live audiences with roadhouse style guitar stunts and showmanship.
Freyer studied vocal technique with Annette Warren-Smith (voice of Ava Gardner in the film Showboat) who suggested Freyer work with her husband, renowned jazz pianist, Paul T. Smith (1922-2013), accompanist to Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Bing Crosby, Anita O’Day, and many others. The 90-year-old Paul Smith worked with Freyer on a CD they planned to record, but due to health issues, Smith became unable to continue the project as it entered the studio phase.
Based in LA, Freyer hails from New York City’s art and jazz hub, Greenwich Village. Although he played guitar in a jazz band during college with guest artists including John Faddis, Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway, and recorded at Sony's first digital studio in New york, all that time he never sang a note of jazz. Twenty years later, a chance audition that led him to join a 1940's style big band in L.A. ignited Freyer's late-blooming passion for jazz vocals. The band gave Freyer a vehicle to expand his repertoire, develop his crooning chops and a deeper apprecation of the swing canon. "After years of ear-splitting rock and blues shouting, I realized that jazz fits my voice as a singer. It was like coming home, " says Freyer. "I love the jazz standards, and I also love the improvisation, interaction with other musicians and the audience, and the ever-learning, ever-growing experience with jazz that goes on as long as you live and breath."