Strangely enough, Tiger in the Rain would have been a smoother transition from Sleeping Gypsy, just as Burchfield Nines would have been a more natural follow-up to The Art of Tea. For the first time, Michael Franks made an album completely without the production team of Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmitt and Lee Hershberg, employing instead John Simon (the Band, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen). The recording boasts a large number of celebrated horn and string players, as well as jazz luminaries Ron Carter, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kenny Barron, Mike Mainieri and Flora Purim. Lush, romantic and more experimental than previous efforts, Tiger in the Rain has a seriousness of purpose that faithfully echoes that of Sleeping Gypsy, with less of a Brazilian feel and overall a more somber tone of lost love. While none of its songs has the instant appeal of some of his earlier writing, the album as a whole is as refreshing and meditative as a stroll through a rain forest.
Tiger in the Rain Review
by Stephen J. Matteo