Tag Archives: Release

Morello/Francel/Faller: Living Is Easy, Mostly

uxvoiy-livingisea-preview-m3_550x550 Mulo Francel and Paulo Morello are no strangers to me. I reviewed Mulo’s album ‘Crossing Life Lines’ in September 2020 and Paulo was the teacher at a guitar workshop in Italy which I attended last fall. So it’s a pleasure for me to present their collaboration on this new album called ‘Living Is Easy, Mostly’. Mulo and Paulo together with Sven Faller on double bass recorded 14 original compositions especially written for this album.

The album was produced during the lockdown in 2021 and the trio took their time to write and arrange the songs. The music covers different styles and genres, from Bossa Nova, Samba to Foxtrot, Blues, Swing and Gypsy music. The instrumentation of this trio is also quite versatile, we hear acoustic and electric guitars, different saxophones and clarinet, which makes the album diversified and entertaining.

And I have to add another comment: The combination of guitar, double bass and saxophone (especially alto sax) or clarinet is from own experience a perfect combination, the instruments cover different ranges in frequency and create a full but transparent sound.

The album starts with ‘Just The Two Of Us Again’ a composition of Mulo Francel. He says of his composition: “I’ve always found it exciting to combine elements of tango, Latin jazz and Italian canzone with improvisation, which for me personally can border on the kitschy as well as the slightly weird.” Mulo plays the soprano saxophone and guitar and bass create a transparent rhythmic and harmonic layer for him.

In ‘Smalltown Girls’ we hear Paulo Morello on acoustic guitar and what I like here is Paulo relentlessly playing the background groove. I have experienced that he has so much fun in playing the guitar and so he doesn’t mind comping if it helps to create a good atmosphere.

‘One For Nieb’ is a homage to German guitar hero Helmut Nieberle who died in February 2020. In this virtuous song we hear Paulo Morello on his gypsy guitar.

With ‘Entre As Ondas’ we escape to an endless summer feeling with a cool and easy Bossa Nova. This fantastic composition is one of my highlights on this album.

‘Living Is Easy, Mostly’ the title song comes next. Another great composition with a pushing guitar and a moving bass.

‘One More Gin For Elizabeth’ is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth and her mother who are famous for their tendency to drink gin every day. A song that is inspired by afternoon drinks background music with Mulo Francel on clarinet.

The next song ‘Letter From The Heartland’ is a beautiful ballad., followed by ‘Chateau Plagne’ a Jazz waltz.

‘Tender Melody’ and ‘Oh Spring!’ are two easy and fluffy swinging tunes.  Best Kaffeehausmusik comes next with ‘Anna’, a regular waltz with Mulo Francel on clarinet.

‘SAD Blues’ is a homage to Sven Faller and his hometown Schwandorf in Northern Bavaria. Cars from this city have a license plate that starts with SAD. The trio plays this standard blues relaxed but with the necessary moving beat.

The album closes with ‘With The Poet In Italia’ an atmospheric song with Paulo Morello on classical guitar.

Paulo Morello, Mulo Francel and Sven Faller have produced a fantastic album, mixing various styles and sounds and their experience from countless concerts and recordings in different settings and from writing songs and arranging them for many years is obviously present in every song.

The result has style and taste, the trio manages the different genres virtuosic and it is a lot of fun to listen to their music.


Sarah Eyden: Love Is In The Room


In June 2018, UK based session singer and concert artist Sarah Eyden has released a beautiful album called “Love Is In The Room”.

It is a collection of original songs written by English award-winning composer, singer and actor Denis King and arranged by Denis and Sarah for small ensemble – piano, bass, drums and Sarah on vocals.

Denis King began his musical career at the age of thirteen with his two older brothers, Mike and Tony, in one of the most successful pop groups of the 1950s and 1960s, The King Brothers — considered to be Britain’s first boy band. Denis played the piano, Mike the guitar and Tony the double bass.

In the 1970s Denis studied orchestration and had his first success writing the music for “The Adventures of Black Beauty”, a television series which I remember from my childhood. He has continued to work in the television business and to date, he has created themes and incidental music for over two hundred television series. He also worked as a theatrical composer, musical composer and performing artist.

Sarah Eyden is usually the person who lends her voice to produce the perfect film soundtrack. The list of appearances on those productions is endless and includes basically all blockbusters like “Harry Potter”, “Pirates of The Caribbean” and “Shrek”. She is also a performing artist but typically with larger ensembles like symphony orchestras.

Sarah explained to me: “Denis and I met in 2017 on a Saga Cruise. We were both performing separately, and met up in the bar to sing songs around the piano. We found an instant connection musically and when we left the ship kept in touch.”

Sarah created a small video with some more details:

Out of this loose connection grew a collaboration where Denis King literally started digging in his bottom drawer to rescue songs which seemed to be waiting there for Sarah to sing them and they decided to do an album.

Sarah adds: “Then as we progressed musically we thought it would be great to invite some amazing players to join us. But to keep it small so easy to tour.” The result is “Love Is In The Room”, Sarah Eyden on vocals, Denis King on piano, Dave Olney on bass and Mike Smith on drums. The album contains 14 songs in total, the title song comes in an English and as encore in a French version.

The album is like an unplugged song book, really back to the basics of a song, its harmonies and lyrics, no wrapping in fancy arrangements has been done, this album captures the essence of each song. The booklet that comes with the CD gives some additional information about each tune, the lyricist, when and for which occasion it was written and when it was recorded before, so a lot of material to discover.

The album starts with “Here And Now” a very energetic swing tune, that prepares us for the things to come with Sarah singing: “Let’s get the party started here and now.”

“The Joke’s On Me” is a sad song about the end of a relationship presented in a humorous way, nice and easy swinging.

“By The Way” is a soft ballad, another sad love song, with sweet rhymes, a pleasure to listen, my first highlight on the album.

“The Crazy Part” is arranged in Latin-style and gives a lovely variety after the three swing tunes.

“Who Would Have Dreamed”  is a freely played ballad with piano and vocals introduction, later with bass and just a little bit of drums accompaniment. This ballad has quite complex harmonic changes which are mastered perfectly by Sarah.

“Something You Learn To Live” is a groovy pop song, very entertaining, my second favorite on the album.

“Love Is In The Room”, the title song of the album comes next. A ballad, starting with piano and vocals only. The song has great dynamics and we can enjoy Sarah’s clear voice and impeccable intonation.

The band returns to straight swing style with “I’m Nobody’s April Fool”. Witty lyrics, and very relaxed sung. Excellent swinging by bass and drums during the piano solo.

“How About” is another ballad this time with piano and vocals only which gives Sarah Eyden another opportunity to deliver a brilliant performance.

“Never Feel The Same Again” might make a great pop song, we hear backing vocals from Sarah Eyden and Anna Ross, surprising and a nice soul-topping for this song.

“The World Was Changed This Morning” is a relaxed swinging tune. It was written for a musical and it has this special musical-touch, a wonderful entertaining tune with a committed and convincing Sarah Eyden.

“The Lady’s Still Around” starts as a soft ballad with piano and vocals. Bass and drums support Sarah when she reaches the peak of this song. Great dynamics and another opportunity for Sarah to show her mastery.

The last highlight of the album is “Two of A Kind”. We are surprised by Sarah Eyden and Denis King in an amusing duet.  Perfect entertainment and big fun for singers and audience.

As an encore we hear “Love Is In The Room” in French as “L’amour bienvenue chez nous”. The arrangement is identical to the English version but it is a nice homage to all the French chanson singers.

As said before, this album is an excellent unplugged songbook with music from Denis King who is an experienced and inventive composer, very much based in the tradition of musical composers like Cole Porter or George Gershwin. The songs on the album are all perfectly played and presented. As you can see from the cover, this music requires a special classy ambiance, but it is more than just background music in hotel bar. You should listen to these songs in a concert, because Sarah Eyden is able to sing clearly and precisely and that allows you catch the funny or profound lyrics.

If you’re out looking for new and undiscovered songs, here is your chance to find another treasure box.

Sarah Eyden and Denis King have produced a nice promotional video:

This project has it’s own website. I guess any public appearances will be listed there. Sarah told me that there are plans to go on tour in 2019.

Denis King has a website where you find audio samples of many of his songs including some lovely big band arrangements of some of the songs from the album:

And finally a playlist on Spotify: