182

Peter Lipa: Beatles In Blue(s)

Mark Sabbatini By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Lipa: Beatles In Blue(s) There's two ways to really enjoy the Beatles: 1) play the real thing; or 2) listen to covers like William Shatner's "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" or Jim Carey's "I Am The Walrus."



A few artists successfully record quality versions of songs by the Fab Four, but it's a rare and risky proposition. Proof is listening to vocalist Peter Lipa attempt a heartfelt set of jazz interpretations that unfortunately are more parody than praiseworthy, but nowhere near as amusing as Captain Kirk's.



Beatles In Blue(s) features Lipa, promoted as "the most important person in Slovak jazz," singing 16 songs in a wide range of jazz and blues settings. It is without question one of the worst albums I have heard during the past year, made all the more painful because Lipa, unlike Shatner, who's got every right to expect ridicule for stepping into a recording studio, is a longtime performer apparently attempting a serious project. You want to laugh, but doing so feels as wrong as snickering at a senile stage actor who can't remember his lines.



Almost nothing about this train wreck works. Lipa's singing frequently feels off-key and forced to fit the various song structures. None of the numerous guest performers contribute anything likely to enhance their resumes. And many of the arrangements are too lackluster and muddled to even hold the attention of a living room or office full of people inclined to treat them as fodder.



Just a random sampling of the interpretations: "And I Love Her" is a Latin ballad with a flute and soprano sax backing, "I Want To Be Your Man" has sort of a gospel/blue vocal backing, and "Got To Get You Into My Life" is—of all things—sort of slow hip-hop. The best, artistically speaking, may be "With A Little Help From My Friends" at the end of the album, a straight-ahead quartet interpretation where Lipa's off-kilter vocals are at least a reasonable fit for the setting (one could think of it as a bit of scat indulgence if it weren't for the other songs).



The best aspect of the album may be Lipa including a number of lesser-known Beatles songs, offering exposure to the uninitiated and a less jarring experience if they're not familiar with the original as a point of reference. Still, most of the songs will be known to most listeners and few are likely to find pleasant memories surfacing.



The Beatles were controversial in their day and one can only hope there's enough devotees hearing artistic merit in Lipa's interpretations that he finds solace in opinions different than those expressed here. But a better bet is to give him a mulligan on this and focus on his Slavic recordings, where he sounds far more at home.


Track Listing: Day Tripper; Norwegian Wood; And I Love Her; Every Little Thing; Misery; Got To Get You Into My Life; Do You Want To Know A Secret; I Wanna Be Your Man; The Fool On The Hill; I've Just Seen A Face; All I've Got To Do; I Saw Her Standing Here; P.S. I love You; No Reply; All My Loving; With A Little Help From My Friends

Personnel: Peter Lipa, vocals; Peter Lipa Jr., keyboards, cymbals; Miroslav Hank, drums; Brano Valansky, bass; Misko Gecovsky, vocals, guitar; Svetlana Rimarenkova, vocals; Juraj Bartos, trumpet, acoustic bass; Rado Tariska, alto sax; Frantisek Kamok, trombone; Gabriel Jonas, keyboards; Igor Szabo, percussion; Juraj Tatr, keyboards; Martin Gaspar, bass; Marcel Buntaj, drums; Michal Zacek, soprano sax, flute; Robo Rist, drums; Jakub Kupcik, percussion; Lubos Priehradnik, trumper, computer programming; Miro Hank, drums; Erich Prochazka, harp; Jana Kirschner, vocals; Radovan Orth, vocals; Marcel Buntaj, drums; Martin Zajko, guitar; Michaela Paulova, vocals; Henry Toth, guitar; Stano Paluch, violin

Title: Beatles In Blue(s) | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Indies Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Adam's Apple" CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "The Joy of Being" CD/LP/Track Review The Joy of Being
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "A Cry For Peace" CD/LP/Track Review A Cry For Peace
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Unstatic" CD/LP/Track Review Unstatic
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 11, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.