Album Review of
Len Mizzoni

Written by Robert Silverstein
March 23, 2021 - 2:25pm EDT
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Blujazz Records continues finding top jazz talent and in this case, it’s the 2021 self-titled album by Canada-based singer-songwriter Len Mizzoni. Earlier on in his career, Len worked with Skip Prokop of the fabled Canadian jazz-fusion band Lighthouse and toured and recorded with the band Frozen Ghost. Len’s 2021 album Len Mizzoni finds the artist in a very mellow, jazzy mood and, with his unique singing voice front and center, Len does justice to a range of originals and timeless covers of song classics like “The Shadow Of Your Smile” and “Autumn Leaves”. Since his 2016 CD Ep, Len has released three solo albums and his 2021 album, his fourth full-length album is his best yet. The Len Mizzoni album offers a pleasant mix of pop, R&B and funky grooves, all delivered with a smooth jazzy edge and much studio finesse. One track here called “Sleep Away”, written by American jazz pianist Bob Acri, was actually an instrumental that Len was so taken with that he added lyrics so it could easily become a future jazz classic. A triple threat musician that is not only a singer-songwriter and producer / arranger in his own right, Len also plays piano, guitar and sax. For his 2021 album, Len shares the production with several others including performing producer Alexander Dedov, Tony Sway and Diane Delin. Len’s unique approach on the 11-track album can be easily discerned on the lead off track, “Autumn Leaves”, with Len’s version inspired by singer Eva Cassidy. Well known as a sedate, sonorous, near orchestral composition, with very complicated chord changes and a melody composed by the great Johnny Mercer, “Autumn Leaves” is delivered here complete with a haunting R&B groove with a trippy hip-hop beats that brings the song alive and kicking into the modern era. With Len performing many of the keyboards and backing tracks, several guests appear including Jerry Caringi on B3 organ. Released in early 2021, Len Mizzoni takes his jazzy vocal music to a new and beautiful destination.


RMR speaks to Len Mizzoni

RMR: Thanks for sending your new album. Great speaking and emailing with you today.

Len Mizzoni: Hey Robert, I was just closing down my studio for the day. I've been down here since 6:30 AM working on a new song entitled "This Side Of Heaven" (Gigi's Song) for my grand-daughter's first birthday… she passed away just before Christmas and her heavenly birthday is on April 1st.

RMR: How many albums have you released and tell us how you made your new album which is also simply called Len Mizzoni. It starts off with a dazzling cover of “Autumn Leaves”, but you change the song around.

Len Mizzoni: I have released 4 albums Waves Of Indigo (2018), Better Days (2019), Forever (2020) and my latest album self-titled album. I work with a producer in Europe Alexander Dedov. We send tracks back and forth and once I have the basic structure of a song then I usually work on melody and lyrics. We usually play all the tracks. On the song "Why" the awesome B3 track was played by Jerry Caringi. You mentioned “Autumn Leaves”… it’s one of my favorite tracks on the new album. I was so inspired by the late great Eva Cassidy's version of this classic tune. I wanted to make this song sound current and hopefully introduce this classic to a whole new and younger audience as well.

RMR: Another highlight is the song “Sleep Away”, which you added a vocal line to. You heard the instrumental and then wrote words for it?

Len Mizzoni: How "Sleep Away" came about is a really cool story. I was in my studio and I was listening to some jazz and "Sleep Away" came on. It really inspired me so much so I wrote 2 sets of lyrics in 20 minutes. After recording my ideas I then searched the web for a version with singing. I couldn't believe that a lyric had never been written for this timeless classic. I tracked down Greg Pasenko who owns the publishing. He released the track written by Bob Acri in 2004. Greg's wife produced the original anyway. He loved what I did with the song and wanted to release it. Also on a very personal note it was my grand-daughter’s favorite song, I would often sing it for her. Once again thank you taking the time to listen to my new album.