Parisienne Ilona Knopfler breezes through an eclectic collection of contemporary classics with a jazz flair. The music is vintage mid-‘60s to mid-‘70s AM radio fare. Ms. Knopfler’s band delivers a "Some Kind of Wonderful" with a Funk Brothers precision and a Tower of Power horn section sensibility. Rod Argent’s "It’s the time of the Season" and "He’s Not There" featuring pianist Eugene Maslov are sprite in tier renditions. Neil Sedaka’s "Breaking Up is Hard To Do" is tastefully performed, Ms. Knopfler’s curvy voice embracing the words with the grief of lost love. She injects the nightclub blues into Harry Nilsson’s cum Three Dog Night’s "One," the first cover of this song this writer has heard. Pat Kelley spares no experience in his guitar solo on the piece.
"Something" is taken pretty straight and thus comes off as a bit pedestrian. By contrast, Van Morrison’s "Moondance" is superb, perfectly suited for Ms. Knopfler’s elastic inflections. A pair of Joe Cocker staples holds up the center. "Unchain My Heart" is provided with a Bossa personality and "Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood" has an Earth, Wind and Fire character. The disc closes with the Marshall Tucker Band’s "Can’t You See," which may be the biggest surprise of the recording and comes off surprisingly well.
Some Kind of Wonderful is a courageous journey through the heart of pop music that works more often than not. It is certainly a fine recorded effort for a genre trying to expand its standards library.
I love jazz because it expresses things so deep that I can't transform in words.
I met John Pizzarelli.
The best show I ever attended was MASP in São Paulo Brazil.
The first jazz record I bought was a Baby Dodds CD.
My heroes on drums: Papa Jo Jones, Sid Catlett, Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Ray Bauduc, Vernell Fournier,
Shelly Manne, Jimmy Cobb, Joe Morello, Daniel Humair, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Carr, Buddy Rich, Sam Woodyard, Cozy Cole,
Sonny Greer, Neil Peart, Carl Palmer, Tony Sbarbaro, Vic Berton, Edison Machado, Milton Banana, Rubens Barsotti.
My heroes in jazz: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, Coleman Hawkins, Teddy Wilson,
Barney Kessel, Lester Young, Johnny Hodges, Jelly Roll Morton.