4

Joe Bourne: Upbeat And Sweet

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
"Upbeat And Sweet" is a pretty good summary of the feel of this collection of songs from mellow jazz vocalist Joe Bourne. But the subtitle is even more telling: "Jazz-infused classic rock & pop songs." None of these songs come from the canon of the Great American Songbook, and many of them seem downright unlikely choices for jazz treatment at first glance.

Just to prove that point, the program begins with Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride." Within a few bars it's clear the swing arrangement feels completely natural, and we know we're in good hands. Credit has to go to the core rhythm section of pianist Doug Martin, bassist Mike Levy (who also arranged and produced), and drummer Lewis Nash, and on this track tenor saxophonist Greg Armstrong adds a significant dose of jazz flavor. The Captain and Tennille's "Muskrat Love" stretches enough to allow a little bit of scat singing, and Blood, Sweat and Tears' "You've Made Me So Very Happy" gets new life as a samba/swing tune.

Carole King's "Jazzman" receives a rhythm and blues treatment not far from the original, but the dueling trumpet and saxophone give it the jazz sound implied by the title. Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" sounds terrific as a samba, while Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" closes the set with a lovely ballad treatment.

Bourne's voice calls the great Nat "King" Cole to mind, and one can imagine him making song choices like these if he was working today. But there is nothing derivative about the sound of this album. All twelve songs in the diverse set work as jazz tunes, and the audacity of the choices is balanced by the joy in their delivery.

Track Listing: Magic Carpet Ride; With A Little Help From My Friends; When I Need You; Muskrat Love; You've Made Me So Very Happy; Heartache Tonight; Jazzman; Just Like A Woman; You've Got A Friend; Don't Stop; Baby, I Love Your Way; Wonderful Tonight.

Personnel: Joe Bourne: vocals; Doug Martin: piano; Mike Levy: upright bass, electric bass, organ, percussion; Lewis Nash: drums; Ed DeLucia: guitar; Greg Armstrong: tenor saxophone; Brice Winston: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Matt Mitchell: guitar; Jason Carder: flugelhorn, trumpet; Sly Slipetsky: piano.

Title: Upbeat And Sweet | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Running After The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Running After The Sun
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Fly or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Closer Than Before" CD/LP/Track Review Closer Than Before
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 10, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.