Ladies Sing For Lovers, celebrates the rich legacy of the late Frank Mantooth’s genius. Frank arranged and composed for many of the great jazz artists of our time and had a dream of recording 12 female singers with a full orchestra. Ladies Sing for Lovers does just that, and was completed a year after Frank’s untimely death.
Twelve of today’s top female singers perform on this recording in a wide variety of timeless standards with Frank’s lush orchestral arrangements. All of the singers had a connection to Frank in one way or another.
Frank shared his thoughts about this project in his liner notes, excerpted here:
"In the spring of 1999 I had decided that it was time to undertake a new recording project. The previous recordings had been exclusively big band projects, and although an enormous amount of fun to produce (particularly when combined with a tour), I felt the compulsion to do something different.
"I had used a string component on my last two albums, "Sophisticated Lady" and "A Miracle". In preparation for these two recordings, I had sought "string counseling" from a brilliant composer and orchestrator residing in Wichita, Dr. Walter Mays. My friend Tom Fowler hooked me up with his colleague at Wichita State University, Dr. Mays, for orchestration lessons. What an absolute delight...learning something again after years of routine and convention. These 3-4 hour orchestration sessions awakened within me an exuberance for writing music, not only for strings, but also for the entire orchestra. The orchestra obviously possesses an unlimited palette of sounds and sound combinations to pick from.
"Dr. Mays introduced me to new sonorities, new doublings, new instrument combinations, percussion instruments I’d never heard of, mutes, bowings, harmonics, and on and on. Each lesson was invaluably enriching and never seemed to duplicate the previous. Roll over Beethoven; I knew the next project would be orchestral.
Within a month I had settled on a concept: The title, Ladies Sing For Lovers pretty much says it all. I would ask twelve female vocalists to join me in this endeavor. Most of the women I had known or worked with personally, the few others came to my attention by hearty endorsement from sages in the industry. All shared a common talent: the ability to get inside of a lyric. This was imperative as I planned the whole project to be lyric-oriented, while I planned to have my altered harmonic fun with the orchestrations. I then asked the 12 vocalists to pick the ballad and key of their choice and I would (with my new- found craft and exuberance) orchestrate their arrangements and record them."
MCG Jazz is proud to help bring Frank Mantooth’s dream to fruition in partnership with the Frank Mantooth Estate by releasing this timeless recording. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this CD will go to the Frank Mantooth Estate as well as benefit the programs at MCG Jazz.