Mark Lambert: Sunshine Of Your Love
Sunshine Of Your Love
Mark Lambert (voice, electric & acoustic guitars, percussion)
Under My Skin (Challenge Records CR73283)
Composed by Jack Bruce, Pete Brown, Eric Clapton.
Recorded: Twinz Studios, River Edge, New Jersey, February 2006
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
It's nice to hear an artist put a jazz spin on a rock tune not by using the harmonic structure as source material but by reinterpreting the song as if it had always been a jazz tune. There's nothing wrong with the former approach, and much great music has been made that way (Brad Mehldau immediately comes to mind), it's just that this more direct route seems a little more risky – perhaps leading to more reward?
Some would say 'No!' Venerable rock classics such as Cream's “Sunshine Of Your Love” should not be tampered with. I don't know about that. On this record, Mark Lambert was influence by his love of the Great American Songbook. Adding a rock classic to that catalog, even if put through such a re-harmonization, seems like nothing but a compliment to me.
The jazzification wraps the famous melody in some dissonant acoustic guitar, percussion, and fabulously modified chords. You might almost miss the subtle way the original harmony has been altered as you get lost in Lambert's fine singing and guitar work. The shift into heavy swing for the chorus is a nice touch too. The 'risk' of this approach paid off. In lesser hands, “Sunshine...” might have seemed too precious for its own good. With Mark Lambert, we get a fresh take on an old rock favorite.
Reviewer: Mark Saleski