Michael Jackson: Man in a Jazz Mirror - Part I

Ludovico Granvassu By

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This week let's pay homage to the musical legacy of Michael Jackson.

It has been 10 years since Michael Jackson passed away and lots of things have emerged since then, but the popularity of his music remains strong, including among jazz musicians (the majority of the tracks featured this week was released after his passing).

If you are concerned that jazz interpretations of pop music come very close to smooth jazz, don't worry... that's not Mondo Jazz's fare and the fact that forward thinking musicians like Lester Bowie, Mal Waldron, Geri Allen, Enrico Rava, Vijay Iyer, Ran and Michael Blake or Ibrahim Maalouf have embraced the repertoire of the King of Pop should provide sufficient reassurances.

So stay tuned for 2 hours of covers played by these musicians and many more as well as a collaboration between Michael Jackson and the master of jazz organ, Jimmy Smith -under the watchful eye, of course, of Quincy Jones.

Happy listening!


  • Ben Allison "Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" Mondo Jazz Theme (Self-released) 0:00
  • The Hot 8 Brass Band "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" Take Cover -EP (Tru Thoughts) 0:16
  • Host talks 4:18
  • Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy "Black or White" The Fire This Time (IN+OUT) 6:18
  • Geri Allen "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" Grand River Crossings (Motown & Motor City Inspirations) (Motema) 13:31
  • Ibrahim Maalouf "They Don't Care About Us" Diagnostic (Mi'ster) 15:38
  • Host talks 19:56
  • Enrico Rava "Blood on the Dance Floor" On the Dance Floor (ECM) 22:15
  • Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox "Thriller (feat. Wayne Brady)" Jazz Me Outside, Pt. 2 (Mud Hut) 27:08
  • Manu Codjia Trio "Beat It" Covers (Bee Jazz) 31:06
  • Host talks 37:31
  • SFJAZZ Collective "Blame It on the Boogie" The Music of Michael Jackson and Original Compositions (SFJAZZ)39:36
  • Jacob Collier "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" Live at the YouTube Space, NY (YouTube) 44:24
  • Ran Blake "Baby Be Mine" Indian Winter (Soul Note) 48:50
  • Host talks 51:02
  • Stefano Bollani "In a Silent Way -Billie Jean -Couldn't Stand the Weather" Live from Mars -Jazz Italiano Live 2016 Vol. 2 (L'Espresso -La Repubblica) 54:01
Cover based on a file photo (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa).

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