An homage to the Great French Songbook, inspired by the masters; Michel Legrand, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud, Edith Piaf – Lessack puts his stamp on this rich material from an American’s perspective.
— O's Place Jazz
“Lee has a gentle voice that he spreads across a dozen heartwarming ballads. Chanteur was the title of his tour and then became the inspiration for this recording, his forth solo effort. The music comes from the French songbooks, mostly romance and very suitable for Lessack's vibrato. There are a dozen tracks making a good easy listening session.”
— Barbara Leavy, Cabaret Scenes
“If you are like me, you groan inwardly when a performer announces that a show will feature songs cut from Broadway musicals or that didn’t make it for some other reason. You wait to hear familiar standards because they usually deserve their status as classics of popular music. If that is so, you will enjoy Lee Lessack’s latest CD, Chanteur. The title, defined on the jacket copy, refers to a “male singer, especially one who sings in nightclubs and cabarets,” and, as Lee explains, he has drawn on “the very rich French Songbook” as well as theme songs from films. The result is a collection of songs with beautiful melodies and touching lyrics, many of them translated from the French. Jacques Brel, Charles Aznavour and Michel Legrand are among the songwriters represented, and familiar titles include “I Will Wait for You” (from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), “Yesterday When I Was Young” and “The Windmills of Your Mind” paired with “Autumn Leaves.” The concluding number, the Brel/Shuman/Blau “If We Only Have Love,” might have benefited from a stronger delivery, but Lessack’s heartfelt rendition was consistent with the earlier songs of love, loss, and yearning.
With his smooth lyric baritone, Lessack sings in English and French, his voice varying from hushed and occasionally breathy to soaring. His interpretations lend a special poignancy to the songs, reinforced by Daniel Fabricant on bass, and John Boswell’s guitar and piano accompaniment. Boswell’s arrangements did not aim at novelty, but an occasional change in the usual phrasing rendered the songs both familiar and original. Lessack credits his co-producer, Brian Lane Green, as the inspiration behind this, Lessack's fourth solo album.”
With his graceful lyric baritone vocals and a sophisticated yet endearing persona, Lee Lessack has toured extensively in the United States and Europe to sold-out performances and has released five recordings. His most ambitious recording to date, “In Good Company,”…