Listening Notes: “With Love” By Jeremy Fox & Friends

I’ve had many friends go on to wonderful careers in music, but few I’ve known as long as Jeremy Fox  When I was still in high school, Jeremy and I met at a Phil Mattson Vocal Jazz Workshop and we’ve crossed paths numerous times since then. We’re very like-minded and enjoy our too-rare interactions immensely.
Which is why I was so enthusiastic to support his Kickstarter Album project. It quickly surpassed his goal, giving him the funds to record a superior orchestral/vocal album for his doctoral project, and then expand it to a full-length commercial release. I have a hard copy of the CD in my hands (I’m old-fashioned) but you can buy it on iTunes or stream for free before you buy it.
This is a truly outstanding album. Jeremy has assembled ten remarkable singers (including half of the New York Voices, several Grammy nominees and winners, and more). The singing is consistently great, across multiple styles and feels. Listen to Kate McGarry float over his strings and reeds on “All My Tomorrows.” Or Kate Reid swing hard on “That Old Feeling.”
I love hearing singers I’ve listened to for years (Kevin Mahogany, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Anders Edenroth) collaborate with my talented friend. I remember first hearing these singers twenty years ago at WMU – and to know my classmate from those years is the one who created this art lifts my heart!
And what a great tribute this is to the overlooked art of arranging. With Jeremy’s name and face on the cover, there’s no question whose album this is. Consider that in most records of this quality, the arranger’s name wouldn’t be known by the typical listener. The world seems to think that an arranger is a second-class art, so seeing his work front and center is a great change.
Having listened many times to the eleven tracks on “With Love,” I put Jeremy’s arranging on a par with the greats of the genre – Nelson Riddle, Vince Mendoza, Jorge Calandrelli, Johnny Mandel. You can hear the influences of these men on Jeremy’s writing, but what comes out is a distinct, personal voice. In addition to being a fabulous conductor, clinician, and vocal arranger, Jeremy clearly has a bright future writing orchestrally, and I imagine it won’t be long before the top singers across the world are commissioning him to write their albums.
Mentioning Jeremy’s vocal arranging prowess brings me to my one slight disappointment in the album. I would have loved Jeremy to have found a way to feature his vocal writing as well as the orchestral – particularly in collaboration. In my mind’s ear, I’m already hearing The Real Group or New York Voices sing Jeremy’s writing with a sumptuous orchestral arrangement. Maybe it was impossible – or maybe he’s saving it for “With Love Part II.” Either way, I’ll continue to enjoy this record for many years as it has already made its way into frequent rotation in my home.


Buy it here. Or here. Or here.