THE FRENCH IMPRESSIONISTS Popular music at its best...
The French Impressionists, from Glasgow, are a modern reaction to cacophonous, inharmonious music, who ask you to put your ears at ease and enjoy the melody.

The French Impressionists are:
Malcom Errol Fisher ~ Ivories; Beatrice Colin ~ Syncopation; Paul Moses Yacoubian ~ Lectric bass; Barry Zorro Ross ~ Brushes

... tears would have come to glass eyes...

Five songs have been recorded for Les Disques du Crepuscule: "Rainbows (Never End)"; "Waiting For Someone"; "Castles In The Air"; "Guardian Angel"; "Mannequin".

(From "Les Novelles Crepuscule" / Crepuscule Newsletter 1982)


Masterbag ??? / 1982


What shall we do this Sunday? Let's not stay in and plough through the papers; let's go out and see THE FRENCH IMPRESSIONISTS !

They played at a greenhouse-like restaurant in Camden Passage, making a pleasant change to the usual Sunday lunchtime fare of Yorkshire puddings and equally stodgy jazz. Down from Glasgow, this was something of a showcase event for their first single called "A Selection Of Songs" which is released on Crepuscule, featuring "Pick Up The Rhythm", "Blue Skies", "Since You've Been Away" and "Theme From Walking Home".

Their music might be described as cocktail-jazz, but The French Impressionists would not be averse to the description of 'Pop Music'. All of their songs have a catchy and memorable melody usually picked out by Malcom "Ivories" Fisher, the pianist and founder member of the group, together with Paul Quinn, who has now left to join the latest Postcard prodigies, Bourgie Bourgie. The duo recorded one song, together with Aztec Camera, called "My Guardian Angel" for the Crepuscule compilation "The Fruit Of The Original Sin". Incidentally, the name of the group is partly derived from Malcom's involvement with the piano, as he explained. "At one time I was playing piano chords known as "impressionist" chords, and this led us to connect them with the French impressionists, which we thought would be a nice name".

Curiously enough, bass player Paul Yacoubian is quite knowledgeable on the subject of the French painters, whose mellow moods the group hope to reflect in their music. He came to the group quite recently, along with drummer Barry Ross and petite singer Louise Ness, who until two months ago had never sung in public before. Now she is a confident singer with a rich and clear voice, and a professional stage manner which perhaps owes as much to her previous performance activity, dancing, as it does to her admiration for Shirley McLaine.

Although Louise is the most 'involved' dancer, all the group enjoy dancing and particularly recommend Friday night at Maestros in Glasgow. They think that they have a number of dance songs in their set, but as Barry hopefully points out "people just need to learn to dance to them first!"

"What attracted me to the group at first was the fact that all the tunes were so nice. Normally it takes several listenings before I start to remember a tune, but when they played me the selection of songs, I could remember them all," says Louise, explaining why she took up singing for the first time -- and singing in such an unusual group.

"But this music isn't really unusual, it's what people want to hear," she continues. "Look at any nightclub; nowadays people are asking for more and more music of this type because it's so stylish and simple yet so sophisticated. They want to hear it when they go out, and nobody is giving it to them."

The simple yet sophisticated songs are structured around the piano playing of Malcom Fisher, who draws on influences as varied as Oscar Peterson, George Gershwin and Lennon-McCartney, and weilds them together in his songs.

The French Impressionists have a cultured, almost classical feel, quite at odds with the new jazz bohemianism currently being purveyed in London. Their emphasis on quality and craftsmanship leads me to suspect that we shall watch them grow into quite a creditable and influential group quite soon. So, buy their "Selection Of Songs" and a bottle of wine and lay aside a Sunday lunchtime to The French Impressionists!

(Keith Alcorn)

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