Archive for July 6th, 2012

Bob Baldwin – Betcha By Golly Wow – The Songs of Thom Bell

When jazz artists cover pop or R&B tunes, there is a risk – especially if covers represent an entire album. However, when the songs aren’t the typical hits that have been covered many times already, the results can be fresh and invigorating. Enter producer Bob Baldwin’s Betcha By Golly Wow – The Songs of Thom Bell (Peak/eOne, 2012).

This set of 10 R&B/soul hits from the “classic sound of Philadelphia” includes songs that were recorded by such acts as the Spinners, Delfonics and Stylistics. Though more than 35 years old, Bell’s songs still get plenty of airplay on oldies programs as well as some mainstream pop and R&B channels. To present them here, Baldwin calls on several of today’s popular smooth jazz artists.

Guitarist Paul Brown, aided by flutist Ragan Whiteside, injects some wah-wah effects for the playful presentation of “Rubberband Man.” Vivian Green does a charming rendition of “La La Means I Love You.”

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