With Herlin Riley’s funky, syncopated beat, Dr. Smith takes the basic song structure and weaves it into a modern multi-dimensional piece. With a driving beat that is both disquieting and infectiously captivating, he retains the song’s familiarity but makes it a much more interesting vehicle of expression.
The soulful alto of Donald Harrison evokes memories of Maceo Parker. Harrison is allowed to bellow away in front of the full sound created by Smith, Riley and Shipp and wails with a funky, passionate cry. Berstein’s solo is more restrained. Time signatures vary and when it’s time for Smith to solo he remains undaunted in his grunt-accompanied B3 riff explorations fronting Riley’s droning drums and James Shipp’s steady cowbell. Midway the song takes on a modern almost modal feel. Smith is a master of building tension with his sustained notes, holding them just long enough before skillfully breaking them abruptly as he does in the finale. A nice remake of an old Motown favorite.
April 13, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: motown covers
Instead his debut album consists of pop-tune covers given jazzed-up arrangements, backed by Dennis Bell's ubiquitous multilayered synthesized keyboards. "What's Going On," Marvin Gaye's breakthrough politically charged 1971 hit, has been given the jazz treatment by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Les Hooper and Frank Strozier, to name a few. Most artists covering this number have managed to convey the sense of desperation and irony that made it such a meaningful statement during the Vietnam War years. Here, the ambiance of a Caribbean cruise and conch fritters come to mind. No new musical ground is broken, and the multilayered synthesized arrangement clearly belongs on Aisle 5 ("Canned vegetables, condiments, claves").
Still, Cariddi's polished technique and considerable chops rise above the mundane and merit a listen. This fine guitarist plays with grace, sensitivity and economy. Next time out, he should drop the net and fly.
March 13, 2009 · 0 commentsTags: motown covers
August 06, 2008 · 0 commentsTags: motown covers
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