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.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.