ANDY FLEET THE SLEEPLESS KIND   

****

Hauntingly sleepy sounds as the owl keeps watch 'The Sleepless Kind ' is pianist/singer-songwriter Andy Fleet's third album and the long wait since 2013's Low Vinyl Records Takin' Aim has been well worth it. Blending blues, jazz, rock with classical influences and supported by his long term sideman Andre Canniere on trumpet, Fleet creates a sleepy haunting sound epitomised by the owl keeping watch over the city on the conceptual album cover by Alban Low, and the album's core number Through Closed Eyes.The instrumental title track The Sleepless Kind comes in two parts and opens and closes the album. In between Fleet's influences, Tom Waits, Allen Toussaint, Randy Newman, John Lennon, Donald Fagen and Lindsey Buckingham come over clearly with Stolen Years a poignant tribute to the late Beatle. The Hobbyist is another tribute to a late friend. This is best described as nocturnal music and can very easily become sleep inducing as it recounts tales of Soho in the small hours and troubled paranoid nights whilst the owl keeps watch before he is gone and we can all drift back to sleep. 

THE SLEEPLESS KIND - Album Press 2020

Maverick Magazine (UK)

Great singer/songwriter piano-trumpet-jazz here from Englishman Andy Fleet (vocals, piano) who releases his third album "The Sleepless Kind".

"The Sleepless Kind" was created by Andy Fleet as a concept album and is full of hopeful and emotional songs that touch the listener's heart. The song "Stolen Years" is dedicated to John Lennon. On this successful album, Andy Fleet is supported by trumpeter Andre Canniere, bassist Zane Maertens and drummer Joe Evans.

Andy Fleet is, to be sure, very reminiscent of Al Stewart.

Insider tip.

*****

In Music Magazine (GERMANY)

‘The Sleepless Kind’ – Andy Fleet ft. Andre Canniere

THE NAME of trumpeter Andre Canniere is familiar across the UK contemporary jazz scene; but perhaps less so, the jazz-inflected pop of pianist, vocalist and songwriter Andy Fleet. Following his previous albums The Night Falls Fast and Takin’ Aim, Fleet’s The Sleepless Kind picks up a theme which seems to permeate his musical output – an ‘ode to the night’ which (presumably reflecting his years as a lounge pianist) ‘recounts tales of the sticky lights of Soho in the small hours’. As before, it’s Canniere’s muted, Paolo Fresu-style trumpet which strongly evokes jazz-bar auras; and alongside bassist Zane Maertens and drummer Joe Evans, there are appearances from electric guitarist Pete Kershaw, saxophonist/flautist Chez Taylor and backing vocalist Sarah Doe.

Adrian Pallant - AP Reviews (UK)

Andy Fleet’s straight-ahead approach is beguiling, not least because the riffs and sequences of these songs subtly imply inspiration from previous decades, and it can take the memory some persuading to deliver the result! But also, his MOR vocals possess an almost reassuring ‘glow’ – listen to the gentle bop of Stolen Years to imagine Colin Blunstone, or the soft, storytelling wistfulness of I’ve Had It All to recall the chart hits of Dean Friedman. There’s even a fond reminder of Gilbert O’Sullivan in bluesy, up-tempo “don’t wanna seem like a drama queen” Been There, Drunk That.

The telephone-line opening to All Broke Out With The Blues may feel a little obvious, but its smoky solace – again with Canniere’s sultry improvisation – is reminiscent of Randy Newman’s finest. Rock-grooving Love’s Enemy (Supertramp meets Bryan Adams) confidently struts; and there’s even a hint of Neil Tennant in gentle, memorable Through Closed Eyes, it's 980s backing vocal and flute intimating the fragile hope of a poignant movie scene.

If this all sounds like a disconnected melange, Andy Fleet actually has the ability to cohesively fashion new soft-pop/rock, complemented by the jazz inflections of Andre Canniere, into an album which I’ve now replayed many times. In the afterglow, pour a dram and ease back to this retro-styled songbook.

Andy Fleet - The Sleepless Kind

This is the third album by English pianist and singer Andy Fleet and we can easily place him in the line of Randy Newman, Joe Jackson's ‘Night & Day’ and the early days of Elton John. This, his third album is especially beautiful and modest.

With 'The Hobbyist' he shows a glimpse into his own life and as a full time hobbyist and musician he knows how to spend time well. The jazzy sounds in Stolen Years to the rock and roll of 'Been There Drunk That' reflect the humour of the man. These are all songs that fit the dark evening where the whiskey or wine is put on the table, the record player searches for the old vinyl.  

What makes this album’s sound is the mournful trumpet and is an album that can follow the albums of Joe Jackson with dramatic songs like 'Through Closed Eyes' and with the lingering interspersed jazz pop of 'I've Had It All'. 

Beautiful, intense and above all honest songs with humour here and there. There is a melancholy that drips off. Definitely worth listening to!   

8/10  Album Tip !

 

Mpodia (NL)

It's been 10 years since the English pianist, songwriter and singer Andy Fleet released his debut album "The Night Falls Fast". Then together with the American trumpeter Andre Canniere, “Takin’ Aim” followed in 2013. Now the former music teacher presents his third studio album, which is named "The Sleepless Kind". The title already says it all. An atmospheric and thoughtful set of nine songs is presented here, which are as subtle as they are sophisticated because they neither need exuberant opulence for attention nor want to act as harmless background music.

Together with his accompanying musicians Zane Maertens on bass and Joe Evans on drums as well as being supported by Andre Canniere as mentioned above, Mr. Fleet wonderfully combines blues, jazz, rock and also classical influences to create the typically eclectic and melancholic sound.

The album, which can be described as a concept album in which the individual tracks are not isolated but related in their thematic relationship to the other parts of the album, is an ode to the night. After all, who doesn't know those nights when you can't sleep because your thoughts drift here and there or spin in circles and you are almost overwhelmed by your emotions and memories and then, at some point, all the sheep are numbered, you stand tired at the window and look over the sleeping city, as the beautifully painted owl does on the cover of "The Sleepless Kind" designed by Alban Low.

Like a book, the album has a prologue and an epilogue, represented by the two-part title song.  In the first few minutes, this lush, dark track with its sluggish rhythm, haunting melody and creeping trumpet captivates me. That gives you goose bumps. It is simple and moving, like a gem that wants to be nothing more than a gem and also lives up to this intention.

On "The Sleepless Kind", Mr. Fleet tells personal, emotional and thoughtful yet optimistic stories in sensitive and introspective lyrics. Dense, authentic and creating a pull that you cannot and will not escape. They are like little lights in the dark night sky that touch the soul and open the heart. In addition to the wonderful title track, one of my favourites is "All Broke Out With The Blues" in which the musicians interact so subtly and with dedication in the midst of the colour of melancholy. Also the heart-moving "Stolen Years", which comes from the heart, deep thoughtfulness to a deceased friend or to John Lennon.

Mr. Fleet is also inspired by musicians as diverse as Tom Waits, Allen Touissaint, Randy Newman and Donald Fagen. And right here you can get in the mood with the official video of "The Sleepless Kind".

Rock Blog - Blues Spot (GERMANY)

Introducing the new studio album by London-based singer, songwriter and pianist Andy Fleet who cheerfully mixes jazz, blues and rock into a minestrone that serves many taste buds. The international press is enraptured by Andy Fleet's music and praises him very highly.

‘The Sleepless Kind’ is about the emotions and memories that arise when you can't sleep at night and look out of the window over the calm city like the owl on the cover picture painted by Alban Low. The song ‘Through Closed Eyes’ is the heart of the album and describes the story behind the cover motif. ‘Been There Drunk That’ is self-explanatory while ‘The Hobbyist’ and ‘Stolen Years’ are moving tributes to a friend who died and to John Lennon. 

In addition to Tom Waits, Allen Toussaint, Randy Newman, Donald Fagen and Lindsey Buckingham, the latter is one of Mr. Fleet's most important musical influences. Like a book, the album has a prologue and an epilogue, represented by the two-part title song. The album is an ode to the night and tells stories of broken hearts and nights where paranoid thoughts of impermanence deprive sleep while only the owl is watching. 

In contrast to his earlier often quite calm albums, things are a little more lively here which is gratifying. The song structure and music is reminiscent of Van Morrison whilst his singing voice sometimes reminds me of Robert Forster. 

Excellent jazzy-bluesy album that doesn't neglect pleasant melodies.

****** = Phenomenal

www.er-em-online.de  (GERMANY)

Andy Fleet is an English pianist and singer-songwriter from London who focuses on blending blues, jazz and rock music whilst also incorporating elements of classical music. He debuted on record in 2009 with the release of the album “The Night Falls Fast”. In 2013 a second record followed, entitled “Takin 'Aim”.

For the recording of his latest and third album "The Sleepless Kind" a backing band was formed with the American trumpet player Andre Canniere, bassist Zane Maertens and drummer Joe Evans. There were also instrumental contributions from Pete Kershaw on electric guitar, Chez Taylor on saxophone and flute and Sarah Doe who provides backing vocals here and there.

“The Sleepless Kind” has nine tracks, the title track of which is presented in two parts at the beginning and at the end of the album with the longest song, the 7:45 minute epic “Through Closed Eyes”, neatly in the middle of the album. Andy Fleet himself says that he is inspired by the music of people like John Cale, Joe Jackson, Donald Fagen and Tom Waits.

In addition to the songs already mentioned, we can certainly recommend a listen to the rocking “Been There, Drunk That” and the smoky, jazzy “All Broke Out With The Blues”. The song “Stolen Years” is an homage from Andy Fleet to John Lennon, one of his most important musical influences. And also “The Hobbyist” is a beautiful tribute, not dedicated to some celebrity but just to a good friend who died unfortunately too early.

We conclude this review with the information that Andy Fleet dedicates this record to his daughter Martha and as a reminder of his son James, who died soon after birth. Both have undoubtedly left him sleepless nights for a variety of reasons and may well be the reason why he named his new album “The Sleepless Kind”.

ROOTSTIME.BE  (BELGIUM)

Andy Fleet, is songwriter, pianist and vocalist, on his latest release, ‘The Sleepless Kind’. He lists his influences from a diversity of artists, Tom Waits, Allen Toussaint, Lennon and Donald Fagen to name a few. His debut album ‘The Night Falls Asleep’ was back in 2009. 2013 brought New Orleans vibe to ‘Takin’ Aim’, which included the soul baring final track that tells of the tragic night his baby son died, ‘Brave Little Soldier’.
Before digging into the meat of this album, I would like to draw attention to the lovely artwork cover, a nightscape, overlooked by an owl, a nightshift for the birds, an Album Low conception, a sort of Batman, overlooking Gotham City, quite superb.

This new work, The Sleepless Kind, builds on that nocturnal bent, unusual in being book ended, by a part 1 and part 2, by the split title track, stark piano melody, with Andre Canniere’s, haunting muted trumpet, the term bookend, is a bit unfair, I feel it tells you everything about the album, and, arguable is the bit of colouration the recording needs. ‘Been There Drunk That’, is full on, jazz edged, ride, trumpet, Joe Evans on drums, Zane Maertens, bass, Pete Kershaw on electric guitar, and Chez Taylor adding, sax. We’ve all been there, a night on the tiles, foot loose and free, but you know how its going to feel in the morning. Ring tone underscores, cool jazz licks, restrained drums, muted trumpet, and lovely piano, reveal ‘All Broke Out With The Blues’, another one for the late night cellar club, sat on your own, nursing a whisky, and for me, one of the songs on the album, that talks to me. ‘Stolen Years’, shouts at you John Lennon, in his later soulful, melancholic years, imagine, then suffering such a violent and obscure end in the streets of New York. Piano accompanies Andy’s voice, as he sings a tribute to a lost friend and, ‘Hobbyist’. Brushed snare, and deep slow bass support the piano, flute whispers in, this is Andy’s conceptual core of the album, ‘Through Closed Eyes’“I am the night that has no dawn, I am the light nocturnal”, Andre’s trumpet drifts in, its laid back and soulful, one for the night owls. ‘Loves Enemy’, breathes a little life into the album, “truth is she’s no angel, she’s the enemy number one”, a love hate relationship that rips through the heart of this CD. Melancholic messages are sent out in, ‘I’ve Had It All’, taking us back into those sleepy, resigned hours. Sleepless Kind, part 2, close the door on the night, starkly bare, piano and trumpet.  

Maybe not an album I would personally select, it is quite niche, though I’m sure many including Andy’s fans will find plenty to enjoy. As the title implies, it is an album for the night, the late hours that trickle over into the early hours. Andre’s trumpet is haunting, framing the darkened skies, Joe’s subtle drum breaks, add ambience, and Andy’s piano scores lovely melodies. 

Accepting, there will be many who will find solace and some comfort in the lonely hours listening to this music, I would like to have heard, a bit more passion and shape in the lyrics, something that finds traction, and lingers in your mind, but maybe that’s just the point. My late hours, and there are plenty, are filled with a book, and a small malt to hand, they may not work any better, perhaps the perfect background music, to mask the noise of the night. Worth getting  a copy for the gorgeous art work of Album Low, the music will take root in your inner soul. 
 

RHYTHM & BOOZE (UK)

ANDY FLEET THE SLEEPLESS KIND 

Pianist, composer and singer Andy Fleet mixes blues, jazz, rock and classical in the "melting pot" and distils his own sound from it. He is influenced by Tom Waits, Allen Toussaint, Randy Newman, John Lennon, Donald Fagen and Lindsey Buckingham and his debut 'The Night Falls Fast' dates back to 2009. 

Now his third studio album has been released on which he is assisted by trumpet player Andre Canniere, bassist Zane Maertens and drummer Joe Evans. Several additional musicians are added; Pete Kershaw (electric guitar), Chez Taylor (sax & flute) and Sarah Doe (background vocals). This album is an ode to the night with an owl on the cover. He opens and closes with the title track in 2 parts but central to the album is the track 'Through Closed Eyes' which tells the story behind that owl. In contrast ‘Been There, Drunk That' and 'Love's Enemy' rock out whilst 'All Broke out with the Blues' seems to have walked out of a smoky jazz cellar. 'Stolen Years' is dedicated to the late John Lennon and The Hobbyist is an ode to a deceased friend. 

This CD tells stories about the street lights in Soho during the wee hours, of the blues and the paranoid nights, all while the owl watches on. That way it has actually become a concept album so is recommended for night owls. This is a concept album about the wee small hours of the night in Soho, while the owl watches on.

****

“Don’t shoot me, I’m only the piano player” was the title of Elton John’s sixth studio album released in 1972. Fortunately this misfortune never happened but the world-famous British pianist did recently say goodbye to the stages of the world. To date his back catalogue lists well over thirty albums.

The discography of British Andy Fleet is a little more modest and after The Night Falls Fast (2009) and Takin’ Aim (2013) the composer, singer and pianist presents The Sleepless Kind, his third studio album in eleven years and I ascertain after researching his narrow back catalogue, which is worth listening to, this is his best so far. 

It has just nine songs, book ended by the two-part title track The Sleepless Kind parts 1 & 2.  There is not a weak track but for me the absolutely essential starting point is the more than seven-minute long Through Closed Eyes - a killer song with sensitive drumming from Joe Evans, Andy Fleet’s calm piano playing and the beguiling trumpet of Andre Canniere. One to daydream to.

The album is 35:35 minutes from start to finish.  An absolutely entertaining album and not just for night-owls as the album cover suggests.  These are magical songs to make you somewhat sad and pensive. A picture to evoke a mood that fits in the present thereby capturing the zeitgeist.  

The rough and rumpling Nighthawks at the Diner by Tom Waits was 1975.  The Sleepless Kind by Andy Fleet from 2020 in comparatively smooth, but equally great, with influences from jazz, blues and classical music.

Simply a little masterpiece!
 

www.music-on-net.de (GER)

Andy Fleet is a British singer, pianist and song-writer and “The Sleepless Kind” is his third album. Andy is not a traditional styled artist though much of his music is grounded in the blues and related music. ‘Been There, Drunk That’ recalls a little bit the cool-sounding approach to R’n’B and soul music of Georgie Fame, a stalwart in London’s hip blues and  jazz clubs in the 60s. Mose Allison was an influence on Georgie, and he has left his mark on Andy too. 

Tom Waits also comes to mind as Andy has an after-hours urban sound, aided by the trumpet playing of American Andre Canniere, one of Andy’s regular accomplices. The Beatles’ John Lennon is the subject matter of ‘Stolen Years’, and he has influenced the track musically too, whilst ‘Through Closed Eyes’ mixes jazz, pop, and blues very successfully. 

This is a thoughtful and pleasing album that is more than a little out of the ordinary.
 

Twoj Blues (POL)

 

KEYS AND CHORDS (NL)

WWW.MUSIKANSICH.DE  (GER)

The introverted trumpet tones sound like a human being who is standing on a roof in a never-ending night, lost somewhere in a city too big for him, and is playing from his soul. Okay, a kitsch picture, and then we have track two, and things get very lively. The trumpeter has climbed down from the roof and alongside the band remembers the faster pulse, which also belongs to long nights. 

Again and again it is Andre Canniere’s wonderfully melancholic trumpet that gives emotional depth to the new album by English songwriter, pianist and singer Andy Fleet.  The Sleepless Kind is an intelligent album that moves far away from jazz, sometimes paying homage to John Lennon and yet with all the variety of styles it remains convincing whether it be jazz, pop or blues.

In an understated way Andy Fleet succeeds in creating intense, catchy, simply beautiful songs, and then the trumpet returns once again and leads out the album; there is that man again, deep in the night, alone in the city that's too big, standing on a ...

Landeszeitung Lüneburg 22/4/2020 (daily newspaper GER)

So back to the music which separates itself from straight jazz in the second song, at least as a basis because it definitely contains jazzy elements through the lush wind arrangement. But then the song can be assigned more to the singer/songwriter genre with pop rock ingredients.

It can be read that musicians such as John Lennon, Tom Waits, Allen Toussaint, Randy Newman, Donald Fagen and Lindsey Buckingham are said to be among Fleet's most important musical influences. This is understandable, because elements of the music of all of the above can be found in individual songs without Fleet sounding clearly like one or the other. So there are traces and mostly I hear closeness to Randy Newman with regard to the compositions and to Tom Waits with regard to the mood of some of the songs especially since he often sought to be close to jazz.

And so, for example, “All Broke Out With The Blues” with this cool mood, again underpinned by the soulful-melancholic trumpet playing, is a song with a very blues and jazz mood, which in fact expresses a wonderfully nocturnal mood. It is interesting that a phone call is integrated into the song and is an essential part of the content, a very successful idea! This piece is magical and can spread goose bumps!

And so one song bead after another grows into a string of pearls, songs that all have a high degree of individuality, be it a piano ballad like "The Hobbyist" with its romantic-melancholic mood, a rock note "Love's Enemy” or the lyrical “Through Closed Eyes” that starts with the floating drum brushes with a wonderfully dreamy mood to think, the atmosphere goes to the heart here too and the arrangement with the background vocals and the flute parts, this is certainly one of the highlights.

The protagonist's voice also has a special expression, thoughtful, sometimes a little sad but always suits and serves the mood of the respective song. Fleet is certainly not one of the strongest singers with regard to vocal power, but this is not relevant or decisive because here it is the overall concept though I do think the protagonist is stronger in the calm songs, like towards the end in “I've Had It All” before the album closes instrumentally with the second part of the title song.

With a rhythm section of Zane Maertens and Joe Evans, Andy Fleet has two very sensitive companions who provide a gentle and professional support for the overall sound with their sensitive performances. 

18/20
 

“Idiosyncratic, independent and highly individual...one song bead after another grows into a string of pearls 18/20 “

Andy Fleet is a British songwriter and pianist and it was back in 2009 when he released his debut album. Over the years he has processed rock, blues and jazz into his sound which is indeed a very idiosyncratic, independent and highly individual.

The Sleepless Kind, his third solo work, immediately underlines this with the opening song, the first part of the title song which instrumentally interpreted with a muted trumpet and accompanied by piano and one is convinced that it will surely be a jazz record that starts with this beautiful ballad. Fleet has been working with the American trumpeter Andre Canniere for several years and he plays a key role in shaping the sound of the record. Thematically, the content of the record is to be understood as an ode to the night including insomnia and this is also reflected on the cover artwork.

ANDY FLEET THE SLEEPLESS KIND Ft. Andre Canniere
****

There is an awful lot about this album that I really like. There is a dark and ‘night time’ feel to it and Andre Canniere’s trumpet adds a real ‘Noir’ groove to much of Fleet’s writings.

The band is essentially Fleet on piano and vocals, Canniere on trumpet, Zane Maertens on bass and Joe Evans on drums with help from Pete Kershaw on guitar, Chez Taylor on sax & flute plus backing vocals by Sarah Doe and they play impeccably.

I get the feeling that there is a lot of musical education here as they switch comfortably between jazz and a more poppy groove but the best numbers definitely sit in a jazz based and studious form. When they do rock out – as they do on ‘Love’s Enemy’ it comes as a blast out of the blue but it is still delivered perfectly and moves back into a jazz groove by the end.

The title track opens and closes the album and I could happily bask in its dense and almost claustrophobic sound for hours. Anyone who is a fan of noir detective movies will be familiar with the music that accompanies the detective as he walks the mean streets and Fleet and Canniere create that wonderful sense of melancholy and inward thinking. It is a real gem of a track and made all the more perfect through its simplicity and brevity.

Elsewhere there is some humour incorporated in tracks like ‘Been There, Drunk That’ and a rockier singer/songwriter felling in ‘Stolen Years’ but the real power of the album is in his dark Blues ‘All Broke Out With The Blues’ where the emotions and feelings are palpable.

It is a fantastic album, full of gems and one I’ll be listening to for a while to come.

Music News (UK)