5

Thom Douvan: Brother Brother

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Thom Douvan: Brother Brother If it was going on sincerity alone it would be hard to knock Brother, Brother. Taken as a labor of love from guitarist Thom Douvan to the classic soul musicians collectively known as The Funk Brothers it sincerely tries hard, but unfortunately comes up short.

The immediate problem with any an album of cover songs are most remakes can't help but pale in comparison to the original, so if you're going go down the well-trod path of playing favorites, you had better bring something new to the party. Douvan falls short on this end as he produces and arranges a session without surprises.

"What's Going On" has been a ubiquitous hit since Marvin Gaye cut it 43 years ago. It has been covered by jazz artists as diverse as Quincy Jones, Herbie Mann, Donny Hathaway, Weather Report, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Chaka Khan who performed the tune with The Funk Brothers in the film, Standing In the Shadows of Motown. It's a great song, but it's been done to death. The Gaye discography is loaded with terrific tunes waiting to be rediscovered, but somebody else will have to do it because Douvan must have thought the world needed yet another version.

It would be nearly impossible for Douvan to improve on instantly recognizable classics like "That's the Way of the World" or "Isn't She Lovely?" so the next best thing would be to go all out and interpret them with a bold and fresh approach, but Douvan chooses to play straight down the middle with few twists, not many turns, and no curves. Where the songs should get sweaty, nasty and funky, it determinedly stays polite and well-mannered and unsatisfying.

Jazz without risk is only instrumental music and on that level Brother Brother is okay, but never goes beyond merely being "okay." The cliche is "familiarity breeds contempt." There's familiarity here, but Douvan needs more attempt.


Track Listing: Harvest For the World; That’s the Way of the World; For the Love of You; Anniversary; Ain’t Nobody; You’re Welcome, Stop On By; What’s Going On; Sara Smile; Isn’t She Lovely; So Amazing; With You I’m Born Again; What You Won’t Do For Love; The Water Is Wide; Someday We’ll All Be Free; If I Ain’t Got You

Personnel: Thom Douvan: guitar; Duncan McMillan: Hammond organ (1-13, 15); Tony Malfatti: saxophone; Ralph Penland: drums (1, 2, 4, 12, 13); Frank Wilson: drums (3, 5); James Gadson: drums (6, 7); Michael Barsimanto: drums (8, 11, 14); Tony Moore: drums (9, 10, 15); Bobby Pierce: Hammond organ (14)

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Bring Their ‘A’ Game" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Their ‘A’ Game
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Risc" CD/LP/Track Review Risc
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Eight Track II" CD/LP/Track Review Eight Track II
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "Intermetallic Compounds" CD/LP/Track Review Intermetallic Compounds
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!