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Michael Jackson tribute discs are inevitable. Every stripe will be conceived and performed, from the sublime to the truly frightening. Chiming in at the front of the former line is Charito's excellent Heal The World. The Japan-based singer is best known for her successful string of recordings begun in the early 1990s. Her singing is plush and near perfect, well-suited for a contemporary repertoire like the Michael Jackson songbook. Produced by Harvey Mason, who also plays drums, Heal The World may define the idea of adult contemporary (jazz) vocals.
Charito's philosophy in approaching Jackson's music is to do so respectfully and with class. She imbues the Jackson Five classic "I'll Be There" with copious amounts of both. Using only a rhythm section and no solo instruments, Charito brings her pitch-perfect voice front and center, singing with a sweetness honoring the original in a way that makes this disc a true celebration of a talent that will be remembered long after his death. For its intentions, Heal The World may be the most perfect vocal recording of the year.
Personnel: Charito: vocals; Michael Ruff: keyboards, synths, synth and keyboard bass,
background vocals; Brian Bromberg: acoustic bass; Harvey Mason: drums.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.