Smooth jazz. Soprano saxophone. Cover of pop or R&B ballad. Generally, that’s a recipe for blandness – a sound that’s trite.
However, make an arrangement that doesn’t merely turn a vocal into an instrumental and put some competent musicians behind it, and you can get something that sounds really nice.
So it is when Boney James brings in Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Lenny Castro on percussion and Brandon Coleman on keyboards – the combination for his cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing.” It’s a charming opening to The Beat (Concord Music Group, 2013).