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The French Impressionists - JPop.com
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The French Impressionists

The French Impressionists

The French Impressionists


The French Impressionists were the brainchild of Glaswegian songwriter and pianist Malcolm Fisher, informed by influences as diverse as George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Oscar Peterson and early Lennon-McCartney. The concept for the band allegedly dawned on Malcolm in a bookshop, while leafing through a volume called "Play Jazz" and spying a section on Claude Debussy and colourful 'impressionist' chords. Initially the band were linked to the hip Postcard Records stable Read more on Last.fm
The French Impressionists were the brainchild of Glaswegian songwriter and pianist Malcolm Fisher, informed by influences as diverse as George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Oscar Peterson and early Lennon-McCartney. The concept for the band allegedly dawned on Malcolm in a bookshop, while leafing through a volume called "Play Jazz" and spying a section on Claude Debussy and colourful 'impressionist' chords. Initially the band were linked to the hip Postcard Records stable, and the close-knit scene centered on the Rock Garden bar in Glasgow in which Orange Juice, Altered Images, Aztec Camera and The Bluebells held court. Malcolm was a neighbour of Postcard supremo Alan Horne, who encouraged the pianist to write a song for a planned compilation album on chic Belgian independent Les Disques du Crepuscule. After the initial dates in Scotland, the French Impressionists (or Frimps by their own shorthand) made their live debut in London at the Grapes wine bar in Islington in the summer of 1982. In August the band played a bigger London showcase at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, part of the 'Joy of Mooching' season which also included sets by Swamp Children (later Kalima), Biting Tongues, Weekend, Allez Allez (formerly Marine) and Animal Nightlife. With 'new jazz' all the rage in London, the Frimps were inevitably lumped in with acts as diverse as Carmel, Vic Godard and Swamp Children.

"People keep trying to tell us that we're a jazz band, but we don't specifically play jazz. It's just popular music with tinges of jazz and classical. I've always tried to write good songs with good tunes, some of which might use jazz as a source, but no more. I was brought up listening to music like jazz, so it wouldn't be us if we tried to play rock music… We'll probably be compared with a lot of new jazz groups because it's an easy handle, but I don't want to identify too strongly with it.

A group like Pigbag put the emphasis on instrumental improvisation and a dance beat, whereas we put the emphasis on the song and melody. We'll probably be compared with some of the groups that play at Club Left too, although we're less of a sophisticated, cabaret thing than they are." After the band split in 1983 Malcolm Fisher remained in the west end of Glasgow, writing songs and amassing a vast collection of silk ties. After a period of inactivity, he picked up the rhythm again in Milan, where he embarked on a series of CD projects which has so far seen the release of three albums of solo piano music: Dress (Pt 1) and Dress Pt 2: Dream (both 1998) and Seeds (2000). Read more on Last.fm.

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