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Art of Tea CD


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Audio CD, CD, October 25, 1990
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Art of Tea + Sleeping Gypsy + Best of Michael Franks: A Backward Glance
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KCF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,907 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Night Moves
2. Eggplant
3. Mokey See-Monkey Do
4. St. Elmo's Fire
5. I Don't Know Why I'm So Happy I'm Sad
6. Jive
7. Popsicle Toes
8. Sometimes I Just Forget To Smile
9. Mr. Blue

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 61 customer reviews
Easy listening, and smooth---------.I would highly recommend this CD.
Hector Medina
I have very eclectic taste in music but Michael Franks, especially his early work (first three albums) can be enjoyed and appreciated by nearly everyone.
Marc T. Venzara
My favorite tracks are "Nightmoves," "Eggplant" and of course "Popsicle Toes."
Cambia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on December 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
A friend introduced me to this album when it was first issued and I've been a Michael Franks fan through thick and thin ever since. His appearance on the jazz scene was a welcome change from the jazz-fusion and disco that was in vogue at the time. Looking back over Franks' successful career, this auspicious debut propelled him toward the pantheon of great jazz musicians in which he resides today..
Now, my musical tastes are pretty eclectic. I listen to lots of music and I own lots of music, and I can tell you that Michael Franks is one of the most literate, articulate song stylists on the musical scene, and that goes for any genre. But if you are already a Franks fan you know that.
Sure, Franks' lyrics are sometimes cringingly cute and playful, witness Eggplant and Popsicle Toes. But they are nearly always clever.
I prefer his more wistful and romantic songs. Art of Tea offers a good sampling of both types. To me, Nightmoves and Mr Blue are a couple of the finest songs written by anyone at any time.
On Art of Tea, producer Tommy LiPuma brought in a great team of session musicians like Joe Sample and Larry Carlton to work with Franks. The result was a blockbuster album with an upper-crust appeal which established him firmly as a sophisticated writer and jazz vocalist.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "roger@carriersaudi.com" on November 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Michael Franks is the best jazz songwriter I've ever heard. Listen to the structure of the songs, melodies, chords, and arrangements. What makes him simply superb is his very very good lyrics, separating him from other writers. Very literary and poetical. "Art of Tea" could be his very best. The track I really liked is "I Don't Know Why Im So Happy I'm Sad." This is the perfect pop jazz cut. Top-notch melody. Listen how he swings from an FM7 (from a CM7 base) of the main verse, to a very smooth Em7 of the refrain. "I came unglued the night I met you; I felt my life divide by two...". Like dropping from a plane, skydiving down, falling, then being caught in mountain stream in a wide raft, the rush continuing...cool beat of a song. You can watch me jumping up and down in my small room singing..."I don't know why I'm so happy I'm sad, but I am, yes, I am, yes I am..."
"Mr Blue" is the song I'd like myself to wrap with before going to sleep in my bed. Alone. Turn the lights off and run to the blue-pebbled beach, naked, on a cool perfect night. Michael Franks, literary genius, Beatlesque melodies, soothing voice. I would get the deal from Mephistopheles anytime just to get these...anytime, man, anytime. Thanks, Michael for the songs and the albums.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By richard monk on March 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"The Art of Tea" stands as Michael Franks best work overall. Using the Crusaders as an instrumental "backup" group gives these perfromances more of an coherent feel and unified sound than many of Mr. Franks more recent efforts. These songs represent some of Mr. Franks best song writing. The lyrics to "Popsicle Toes" and "Eggplant" remain some of Franks' most clever. The double entendres in "Eggplant" are worth the price of the CD, in my opinion. The CD sounds as fresh today as when I first listened to it in 1976 or so. The type of music is relaxed, "lounge" type jazz, with none of the Brazilian influence prominent in later Franks' CDs. There are no ballads, but mostly mid-tempo tunes which usually concern some type of male-female relationship or activity. The music is fun to listen to, very well recorded, and the best introduction to Mr. Franks' body of work.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John P. Morgan VINE VOICE on May 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Michael Franks was first introduced to me in 1986 by my girlfriend at the time. I immediately took to his style; cool, hip, understated, and yet incredibly powerful...just the way "true jazz" should be.

When I broke up with that girl, I felt as though my world was split in two. I would look at the things she left in my possession; a hairpin, a bracelet, and a copy of Michael Franks, "The Art of Tea". I'd look at the cover of that record (yes, vinyl) and it would almost mock me. I couldn't bring myself to listen to it because everytime I heard it, I thought of "that beautiful girl in my throw-away world"...such are the dramatics of a 21 year old without much life experience under his belt.

I have learned the "art of forgiveness" through the "Art of Tea". Yeah, there were times where I'd just to "forget to smile" but the more I listened to it, the more I began to realize what the true gift of my relationship was with that girl. She came into my life at just the right time to learn how to appreciate all of life...not just the good moments...not just the beautiful moments...but the sad and tragic moments, as well. And that's what I really hear Michael Franks singing about.

Yeah, life is dramatic but it doesn't mean we have to be involved with "cheap drama". We can learn to embrace the highs as well as the lows and you can if you make this recording one of the soundtracks to your life.

Know that you are a beautiful blessing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LOU on March 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
To even think that this is Michael Frank's First Album amazes me to this day!!!
It's like Tracy Chapman's debut album x100...
All the songs and arrangements are superb. The musicians who "jammed" on this session, especially Joe Sample, are just on the money.
Monkey see, Monkey Do and Popsicle Toes are excellent, but Nightmoves, St. Elmo's Fire, I Don't Know Why I'm So Happy I'm Sad, and the very endearing Mr. Blue are the cream of this excellent album.
Truly a must for every self-respecting jazz collector...
Wish they have this on SACD soon...
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