The range of different styles broached during this disc is simply fantastic, and is even more impressive given the fact that all of the artists here subscribe to some sort of jazz music. The album begins with Roy Hargrove’s take on “Ev’rybody Wants To Be a Cat”; pulling deep from the Disney archives, I content that Hargrove is even able to reclaim the track for eirself to those that are familiar with the source material. Allfredo Rodriguez’s “The Bare Necessities”, from 1967’s The Jungle Book, contains the same bouncy and boppy feel with ey adding enough feels and whistles to play to a contemporary audience.
I believe that the disc takes a considerably different turn with Diane Reeves’ “He’s A Tramp”. Instead of merely recreating the track with slight jazz inclinations, Reeves is able to go and make the track decidedly different than the original. Sure, there are a few sections that refer back to the original track, but the song represents a bold change to the status quo. Reeves succeeds in a way similar to the version of “Belle” that is turned in by Gilad Hekselman. Hekselman’s version is something I found myself coming back to a number of time, belying its late-disc placement. It occupies a space between 1991’s Beauty and the Beast and today, touching upon different arrangements and styles in the creation of an amazing track.
Here’s to hoping that subsequent iterations of the Jazzseries can be released, both with differing sets of artists and compositions picked. The curator of this release is talented enough to pick the perfect blend of artists that will work well together, properly relish the original source material, and strike off on their own to create an absolutely solid release.
Top Tracks: Mark Rapp / Circle of Life, Kurt Rosenwinkel / Feed The Birds
Disney Pearl Jazzseries: Volume 1 (CD) / 2011 Disney / 65 Tracks / http://www.disney.com