Fred Farell sings the music of Dave Liebman & Richie Beirach on new WCSound release "Distant Song"
As a featured soloist and ensemble singer, Fred Farell has made a name for himself as a preeminent pro jazz voice. Across five decades and at venues as esteemed and diverse as Avery Fisher Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Museum of Modern Art, Farell has demonstrated inspired interpretive abilities to go with his heartfelt lyricism and sweet pipes. Distant Song, his debut for Whaling City Sound, a home for much quality jazz, is a profound experience, thanks partly due to his composers and loyal accompanists saxophonist Dave Liebman and piano/keys player Richie Beirach, both of whom have collaborated on the original music for this record. Farell began singing professionally during his military service in the US and Europe in the late ’60s. His first appearances as a solo artist and group leader in New York City were at galleries and clubs in the ’70s and early ’80s, including gigs at renown venues like Sweet Basil and Greene Street where he performed as a member of Cobi Narita’s Universal Jazz Coalition. Over time, he transitioned to presenting the gospel through jazz, and he’s enjoyed acclaim ever since. Farell was a featured soloist with the Don Hanson Ensemble and is currently the co-leader of “JazzLite, ” a gospel-jazz group. In this group setting, Mr. Farell ministers with his gospel lyrics for original compositions, and Jazz standards, and features pianists Jeff Kruh, and Joel Weiskopf in varying instrumental formats.
On his brave new recording, Farell’s wordsmithing is sublime, requiring deftness, patience and passion on the microphone. His compositions unfold gently, religiously. Infused with sacred messaging, Distant Song is an emotional project--part jazz, part spiritual, part loving experiment—produced with happiness and love by a veteran talent clearly confident and at peace with himself and his abilities.