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Recommend A Jazz-take on a Pop Song

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dreadpirateroberts View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:11pm
Thought I'd start a topic for anyone who came across any jazz artist who interpret pop songs and want to share, post em here!

Nearly all great jazz artists performed popular music from films, theatre productions etc of their day, and most current jazz acts do at least a few covers in their career too.  Bad Bad Not Good's second, reminded me of this - the Kanye and Fiest covers for instance.

Here is Outkast's 'Hey Ya' covered by Australian trio Origami, from their album 'The Blues of Joy'

http://listenhearcollective.bandcamp.com/track/hey-ya

Nice and short, tearing through the melody and having some fun
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:18pm
I collect exotic covers of pop tunes, jazz or otherwise. check out this review of "Connection" by Don Ellis.

There's probably enough cheeeze on this one to have most excusing themselves from the table and claiming lactose intolerance, but if you have a taste for the cheeeze, this is some damn good cheeeze! Although Don Ellis is usually known for his innovative big band jazz that combines international odd metered rhythms, concert hall compositions and exotic instrumentation, here he keeps a lot of those progressive tendencies, but eschews all seriousness and applies his techniques to a variety of pop, RnB and prog-rock cover tunes that occasionally get a little too silly, but are often more fun and listenable than some of his more serious work. His band is on fire here and they take to the material with hyper energy and super tight ensemble playing. The album opens with The Crusader's classic Put it Where You Want it, which is given a faster tempo and a few Ellis styled odd metered turnarounds that keep launching the melody forward in a perpetual motion. Throughout this album Ellis and his top notch arrangers alter these tunes by dropping a beat in the chorus or jumbling parts together in polyphonic fashion which gives each tune a rebirth and a sense of energy that verges on chaos. (JC) Superstar is manic, and like many of the tunes utilizes spare vocal snippets in the chorus for humorous and sarcastic effect.

Instrumental progressive rock covers are hard to come by, which makes the appearance of classics like Conquistador and Roundabout such a treat. Conquistador's melody is given a face-lift with some odd metered phrasing and the chorus swings Vegas style as Ellis builds it up with an excellent trumpet solo. Roundabout makes for an excellent big band tune as the driving verse riff is a natural for a jazz horn section. The band romps through all the changes that are also subjected to their usual rhythmic innovations.

There are many excellent tunes on here, but my favorite is The Carpenter's Goodbye to Love which manages to be both powerful and sarcastic at the same time. It's so amazing when an artist can be profound and self-deprecating in the same stroke. Some of the best works by folks like David Bowie and Miles Davis fall into this category. Goodbye opens with Ellis giving the maudlin melody some sincerity as well as humor, once again recalling Miles' ability to make someone else's tune his own with a mixture of pathos and sly mischief. The middle guitar solo is sublime cheeeze that recalls LA flavored 80s TV car chase scenes before the band builds to an epic prog-rock flavored closing with a powerful repeating odd- metered chorus, massive big band buildup with screaming trumpet and whistling synthesizer sounds.

It's interesting to note that two of Ellis' band members would soon be joining Billy Cobham's mini 'big band' for the outstanding Shabazz album ie Glen Ferris on trombone and the incredible Milcho Leviev on keyboards. Likewise drummer Ralph Humphrey would soon be joining Zappa's group, another seemingly Ellis influenced mini big band.

Cheeeze - Check

Lounge shark - Check

Excellent record - Check Mate!!!


Edited by js - 05 May 2012 at 12:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:22pm
Here is a review of Mongp Santamaria's "Stone Soul"

There’s nothing too subtle or complicated going on here, ‘Stone Soul’ is just one great party dance record played by some of the best musicians in the business. A lot of aficionados of Afro-Cuban music get down on Mongo for his RnB and pop recordings, but any fan of RnB-jazz will affirm that nothing makes these old soul tunes rock like a three piece Latin percussion section. To pull off his jazz-Cuban-RnB hybrid, Santamaria pulls in some of the best musicians from all three of those musical worlds. Bernard Purdie has always been one of the most in demand RnB drummers of all time, Sonny Fortune and Hadley Callinan are top notch hard bop horn players, and Mongo himself is tops in the world of Afro-Cuban percussion.

The album cover features a classic southern US soul food meal of pork ribs, black-eyed peas, rice and cornbread that lets you know what this music is all about. This is old school blues based southern soul music with a honking sax on the lead melody and always a good jazzy solo or two on each cut. Most of the tunes are medium tempo groove except for two that pick up the pace. ‘The Now Generation’ is one of those early 70s euphoric jazz-pop rockers that has a new uplifting hook every couple of bars and ‘Cloud Nine’ is a high energy soul-jazz reworking of the Temptations psychedelic classic.

Acid jazz and rare groove DJs will kill to get their hands on this sort of groovy semi-kitsch old school funk. Southern soul meets Afro-Cuban groove, it’s a match made in funky heaven.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:26pm
One of the first jazz artists to score big hits with pop tune covers was Ramsey Lewis, here is his cover of "In Crowd"     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3cZ6W12TUQ 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dreadpirateroberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:26pm
^
^
 that one sounds really cool, John - I should add it to my list. Very interested to hear the Roundabout cover especially. I saw 'haiku' by him at a shop in a neighbouring town, maybe I should go back and get it too


Edited by dreadpirateroberts - 05 May 2012 at 12:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:28pm
I also have reviews up for Mancini's "Cop Show Themes" and "Symphonic Soul", "Cop Show Themes" is excellent covers of TV cop show themes of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:36pm
Ramsey Lewis albums in the 60s cover Beatles tunes etc.
Martin Denny will do albums of pop covers too, in his "exotica" style. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:39pm
You might want to check out Combustable Edison (sp?) they do modern electronic exotica covers of pop tunes, really funny stuff like Skynard and Nirvana etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 12:54pm
"The other side of Abbey Road" by George Benson, I think someone on this site has reviewed it. 
I have a review up for the latest Benson, which also has a clever Beatles cover.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2012 at 1:21pm
Of course a lot of bop is covers of pop songs of the day, sometimes with a sly sense of irony.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 12:27am
Here's Joshua Redman playing some Led Zep.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote js Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 2:14am
Charlie Hunter does an odd-metered version of Come as You are.. Notice the song opens with Teen Spirit, sort of a Nirvana medley i suppose.



Edited by js - 06 May 2012 at 2:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dreadpirateroberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 4:05am
Ace, thanks, John - a tonne of stuff to check out :)

The Crunge works pretty cool as a jazz/funk track and the Nirvana medley works pretty damn well

Will check out the others too - Mancini I know only a little of and 'Combustable Edison' sounds interesting
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 12:28pm
For some reason the first thing that comes to mind is Alex Skolnick Trio, though that's not quite the same thing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kazuhiro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 7:02pm
Originally posted by triceratopsoil triceratopsoil wrote:

For some reason the first thing that comes to mind is Alex Skolnick Trio, though that's not quite the same thing
 
He thinks that there is really a technique. In Chris Poland likewise. When I knew that I moved to jazz from the item of the metal, I felt that it was splendid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kazuhiro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 7:02pm
This may be well-done as arrangement. A cover of KC and Joe Jackson. However, I do not have this album.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abraxas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 7:05pm

The album is good fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 9:11pm
I'll have to go through my library. I don't think I have much (I don't go out of my way for songs like these).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote darkshade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 9:13pm
John Scofield did a cool rendition of House of the Rising Sun on his 2007 album "This or That" (which btw, is a great album).

Edited by darkshade - 06 May 2012 at 9:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Abraxas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2012 at 10:08pm
Not sure if it has been already yet, but I just remembered this that is quite good:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Standard_(album)
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