Amazon.com Widgets

George Kahn: Cover Up! (2009)

By Published: | 2,829 views
George Kahn: Cover Up! How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

West Coast jazz pianist George Kahn presents fresh new arrangements to pop and rock tunes associated with such groups as Cream, The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles

band/orchestra
, Pink Floyd, Bill Withers and John Mayer
John Mayer
b.1977
guitar
, in a sense redefining or adding to the controversy, or, as the title of his album would suggest, the Cover Up! of what truly defines the West Coast Jazz. To Kahn, the genre is mainly "an attitude, a feeling, a 'vibe' ... an answer ... when the big bands died out and jazz started chasing the Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
down the bebop trail." While Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
1927 - 1996
sax, baritone
and Shorty Rogers
Shorty Rogers
Shorty Rogers
1924 - 1994
trumpet
would probably take issue with Kahn's interpretation, there's no denying that the genre represents a calmer, less improvised and heavier arranged form of jazz music.

On this project Kahn, with a few exceptions, steers away from traditional jazz charts, preferring to provide a jazzy feeling to non-jazz covers from the pop and rock genres on songs familiar to all, and this he does well. Performing with his core trio of percussionist Alex Acuna and upright bassist Brian Bromberg
Brian Bromberg
Brian Bromberg
b.1960
bass
, the album also features tenor saxophonist Justo Almario
Justo Almario
Justo Almario

saxophone
, trumpeter John Fumo
John Fumo
John Fumo
b.1957
, guitarist Pat Kelly and vocalist Courtney Lemmon, who guests on Withers' "Use Me."

Bromberg introduces "Sunshine of Your Love" with a heavy bass line, turning it over to Kahn's delicate treatment on the keys but failing to shed the piece's dark color, which is probably why it's not heard often in jazz circles. "Wes' Coast," a Kahn original, does provide that "feeling" he refers to with a stylish Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
-like performance from Fumo's piercing muted horn. Lemmon belts out a funky rendition of Withers' classic pop song "Use Me," as Kahn plays with the keys in accompaniment and Almario weighs in with a touch of the sax.

Diced with a tasteful Latin beat, Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" never sounded so lively or upbeat for a score that's generally down-tempo in nature, and Kahn delivers a very graceful performance here. The entire band comes together for one of the stronger charts on the album, providing an energetic and a decidedly West Coast flavor to Kahn's "Mitchell's Blues," reminiscent of the Blue Mitchell
Blue Mitchell
Blue Mitchell
b.1930
trumpet
and Junior Cook
Junior Cook
Junior Cook
1934 - 1992
saxophone
sound with the Horace Silver
Horace Silver
Horace Silver
1928 - 2014
piano
group. Another of the pieces that keeps the album tied to its jazz roots is strangely enough, the title track.

Kahn offers an interesting blending of Lennon/McCartney's "Yesterday" with Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
1895 - 1945
arranger
's "Yesterdays" that actually works quite well. The music rounds out with a mellow reading of John Mayer
John Mayer
b.1977
guitar
's "Waiting On The World to Change," and a percussion-enhanced version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic "My Favorite Things," where Almario dishes out his best tenor phrasings and the pianist lends his final touches to a truly memorable performance. George Kahn may not have cleared up the meaning of West Coast Jazz, but with Cover Up! he reveals a truth that anyone who samples this disc will find: this is great jazz music no matter how you define it.

Track Listing: Sunshine of Your Love; Wes' Coast; Mr. K.V.; Use Me; Eleanor Rigby; Mitchell's Blues; Cover Up!; Yesterday/Yesterdays; Comfortably Numb; Waiting On The World To Change; My Favorite Things.

Personnel: George Kahn: piano; Alex Acuna: drums, percussion; Brian Bromberg: upright bass; Justo Almario: tenor saxophone (4, 6, 7, 11); John Fumo: trumpet (2, 4, 6, 11); Pat Kelly: guitar (2, 7); Courtney Lemmon: vocals (4).

Record Label: Playing Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.