WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE! * WELCOME TO THE SMOOTH JAZZ RIDE!

Cover Story – Various Artists

June 20, 2013

Here’s a CD of covers (not something I review often, except on occasions where the product is noteworthy and creative) released by Shanachie Records and featuring the likes of producer/multi-instrumentalist Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Chuck Loeb, Bob Baldwin, Marion Meadows, Kim Waters, Kim Pensyl, the late George Jinda of Special EFX, Maysa, Nestor Torres, and Fattburger among other highly regarded names. This imaginative effort is called, appropriately, Cover Story.

We’ve all either seen or heard (or both) CDs in stores that are either a “Best of” compilation or a tribute to other genres’ hits (e.g, Kim Waters’ Streetwize  or Hidden Beach style) set in a contemporary jazz vein. Cover Story follows that path and adds its own innovative flair.

Davis, guitarist Rhon Lawrence, and saxophonist Marty Q make hearing the Temptations classic “My Girl” a great listening pleasure, as do saxman Walter Beasley’s and Loeb’s take on Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.” Bob Baldwin and Marion Meadows jazz up Seals and Crofts popular “Summer Breeze” in a manner that makes those evening or weekend walks along the beaches extra magical and meaningful.

Tracks here include – in addition to the previously mentioned ones – “Lean on Me,” “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” “That’s the Way of the World,” “Greatest Love of All,” “Just My Imagination,” “My Cherie Amour,” Fattburger’s version of “Oye Como Va,” which became a jazz classic within a classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Superstition.” How’s that for grabbing 12 classics and placing enough vision into each to make each as fresh as the original?

In a world where verbatim classics are just so-so, Shanachie makes Cover Story a treat worthy of earning a spot in your CD collection. I’m certainly placing it in mine. – Ronald Jackson

Share in top social networks!