Original Publication

The Publication

By KATHRYN KATES, Special to The CJN

Thursday, 03 February 2011
Singer-songwriter Francine Hailman’s debut CD of original and standard jazz tunes, Love Is Here, was produced by Juno Award-winning jazz guitarist Tony Quarrington.

Francine Hailman [Art Gilbert photo]

Quarrington also performs on the CD, along with top jazz players Robi Botos, Tom Skublics, Igor Romanyk, Scott Kemp, Nick Fraser and Denis Keldie.

“My songs are a reflection of hope, pain and joy,” says Hailman. “They are about preserving love through the celebration of music. The inspiration for my lyrics comes intuitively, and sometimes from observing people or when listening to others’ stories.”

Sometimes when a lyric or melody has come to her, she has phoned her own voicemail to record it for a future time, when she can develop it into a song.

Love Is Here includes a mix of eight standards and eight original songs.

“I originally wanted to do an all-original album, but my producer, Tony Quarrington, suggested we needed to include standards, so we made a master list of tunes that would be a great fit for the album. It was very important for me to have an array of different musical milieus for future listeners to enjoy, so we incorporated swing, Latin, jazz and blues.”

Hailman and Quarrington took a month to narrow down the selection of songs and decide the order in which they will be heard on the CD, so the music would flow just right.

“It was so amazing to hear the transformation of song to incredible instrumentation arrangements, and to the final recording,” Hailman says.

One of her favourite original tracks on the CD, A Woman’s Heart, is a song written from a woman’s point of view that gives advice to men on how to treat women.

“What really excites me about this CD is its diversity,” she says. “It is a musical expression because of the emotional and unforgettable strong melodies of the standards and my originals that stay with you long after you’ve listened to each tune,” she says.

Hailman comes from a musical family – her mother sang Yiddish songs to her as a child– and she started playing classical piano when she was eight. As a child, she developed a passion for singing old-style jazz tunes from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Her early Jewish influences included singers such as the Barry Sisters and Barbra Streisand. Her non-Jewish influences included Lena Horne and Billie Holiday.

Hailman is a passionate cook and, at one time arranged a swap with singer Louise Lambert – vocal lessons for Hailman’s gourmet cooking.

She is married and has four children. She performs every other Thursday in Thornhill, at Ferraro 502 North, until the end of March.

“Performing and singing allows me to contribute to the lives of many people. I see it when they listen, there is a smile, a nod, when they sing along, sway their heads or when they get up and dance… the non-verbal communications speak volumes to me,” she says.

A portion of the CD’s proceeds are going to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, a disease the entertainer has been diagnosed with herself.  

For more information on Hailman or to purchase her CD, visit, www.francinehailman.com.

Her CD launch takes place at Chalker’s Pub, 247 Marlee Ave., Toronto, on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. 416-789-2531.