The French Impressionists Fête

Historians of Scottish pop music will know all about the legendary French Impressionists. Founded by Malcolm Fisher, they recorded for Les Disques du Crepuscule during the early ’80s and thanks to his friendship with the Postcard Records roster, he was able to recruit people like Edwyn Collins, Roddy Frame and Paul Quinn to help on those recordings. With their music lazily described as jazz, they were soon the darlings of the London "new jazz” scene and despite their short time together, they were one of those "important” bands whose influence still continues. Since those early days, Fisher continued to write music, releasing three solo albums of piano music but Fête is the first time that his early moniker has been resurrected for a brand new album. It seems like not much has changed in the interim, with Fête featuring more than 20 quiet, beautifully arranged songs with an assortment of vocalists. There is a sparseness, and simplicity, to the songs, which is both a blessing and a curse, but it is a lot more substantive than an initial listen might suggest. And, let’s face it, a band don’t become legendary without knowing how to compose an engaging album. However, this is so understated and subtle that there’s a good chance the French Impressionists will disappear again without too many people noticing. (LTM)