Shemekia Copeland: Black Crow

Popular music has begged, borrowed and stolen from the blues over the years, but rarely pays back in kind. Yet blues music would benefit from a closer relationship with the more creative currents of pop-rock. Here Shemekia Copeland takes on a Joni Mitchell song, and shows what new dimensions emerge when a leading blues diva puts her personal stamp on a poetic pop song. Joni Mitchell's compositions are notoriously resistant to "cover" versions—although many have tried—because her original statements of these songs are so married to her idiosyncratic vocal delivery. Yet Copeland cuts through the difficulties, and unlike so many others, does not try to channel Mitchell's persona while interpreting her music. Shemekia has her own style and sound, and it commands the center stage whether belting out a big blues to the back row or, as in this instance, probing the emotional interstices in a winsome ballad.

March 12, 2009 · 0 comments


David Linx & the Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Black Crow

The name David Linx may hardly register on the minds of American jazz fans, but that is their deficiency, not his. This Belgian singer has been building an outstanding body of work for many years, distinguished by his remarkable voice, interpretive skills and emotional honesty. He can sing, scat or even - as on "Black Crow" - dish out a fast-talking rhythmic monologue. On the Changing Faces CD, he joins forces with the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, and their reworking of this Joni Mitchell song is fresh and invigorating.

February 14, 2008 · 1 comment


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