Lynne Fiddmont – reviewed by Chris Mann
Singer, musician and composer Lynne Fiddmont hails
from Richmond Heights, Missouri and in a family full of singers,
singing was part of life. When
very young she sang in garage bands, but the standing ovation she
received when she sang “Home” as Dorothy in a high school
production of The Wiz made her appreciate her own talent.
first professional break came when Wilton Felder of The Crusaders
heard a tape of her singing. A
nationwide tour with The Crusaders was the result, singing songs
usually associated with Randy Crawford.
Having pursued studies in PR at Boston University, her next
break was to be offered a scholarship at the prestigious Berklee
College of music.
this spectacular launch pad Lynne began a musical career that has seen
her work, among many others, with Bill Withers, Lou Rawls, Stevie
Wonder, Norman Brown and Phil Collins.
In fact, go through your music collection and you’ll be
surprised how often her name turns up. If you see the name Lynne Fiddmont Lynsey it’s the same
person - keep counting those albums.
It’s not surprising then that, with the right kind of
encouragement from forward-thinking radio people, Lynne would step
into the limelight with a solo album – and on her own record label
sweeps you along on a tide of Latin sexiness.
That loping bassline and gorgeous percussion make you wish you
were on a Spanish beach. Front
and centre is that pure voice of Ms Fiddmont.
I’m reminded of Patrice Rushen in sexy form – that lovely,
clear tone seems so familiar. The
tune was co-written with “Ready” Freddie Washington, who also
produced it and played bass – so I can see the Patrice Rushen
connection in there someplace. I
love how breathy and sexy things get on Cupid. Some great engineering has gone into the perfect capture of
this gorgeous voice. The
deft production lets it soar above the subtle keyboards, drums and
guitar – and yet somehow the whole melts beautifully together.
Some sweet vibraphone makes this treasure complete.
title track has a more insistent rhythm and a more “urban” feel. The lyrics are inspirational and fortunately all the lyrics
are printed in the CD booklet – not that you’ll miss them because
every word comes out as clear as can be.
Play this on one of your “blue” days and you’ll soon be
smiling. Something I Can Feel lets Lynne show off the
light-and-dark of her vocal range.
This Latin-tinged, yearning love song benefits from Munyungo
Jackson’s percussion and some pretty background vocals.
big names of rhythm also show up on Never Really, with Ricky
Lawson on drums and Luis Conté on percussion.
These giants bring a soft touch and it works well on this
utterly beautiful ballad that is a triumph of both songwriting and
vocal talent. I defy you
not to think of Minnie Ripperton when you hear the acoustic guitar
intro and pretty percussion on U R Loved.
If you’re not a Lynne Fiddmont fan by now, well, you’re
just never gonna be! In
lots of my reviews, I realize that I pick out at least one song that
would work in a movie soundtrack.
I just love good film music.
In this case, it would
need to be an exceptional romance and they’d have to leave the
house lights down to let folks… shed… a quiet tear.
rimshots and a nimble bassline courtesy of John Robinson (is that the
John Robinson?) and Freddy Washington drive the lovely Say.
Good God – Lynne, your tone is utterly flawless.
Please make more records like this!
That heavy urban vibe is back on Feels
So Right. This whole song has elements of what makes Jill Scott’s
music so appealing. Lyrically
it’s very upfront and no-nonsense, and musically it’s ultra-sexy
with deep synth bass and a sparse drum track – almost a ‘click
track’. Turn the lights
off and get lost in this 21st-century “quiet storm”
masterpiece. Finally, I
like the smoky, jazzy feel that the piano brings on No
Regrets. The jazz trio setting for this song, the only non-original
composition here, is perfect. Acoustic
piano, acoustic bass and the fabulous Land Richards on drums.
At just under three minutes, this is short but, Lord, it’s
fact, this whole album is over too soon.
By the end of 40 minutes you’ve been through a range of
moods, all of them good. I’m
struggling to find superlatives that describe how classy this package
is and how crazy it makes me to think that I may never hear this on
the radio – not in the UK anyway.
I’ve compared Lynne’s voice and style on some songs to
other artists and I’ve given a shout to the great sidemen on this
record. It’s merely to
illustrate the company Lynne Fiddmont belongs in because, truly, hers
is a massive talent that is equal to those we think of as “the
greats” in the music business.
Records – 7837 0 73089 0 6
Producers – Various, Executive Producers Lynne Fiddmont and