Columbus, Ohio very finest contemporary jazz band Urban Jazz
Coalition has now released Covers (2019), their 23rd
album. The group consists of bassist and founder Phil Raney,
percussionist Hector Maldonado, keyboardist Brendon Howard,
saxophonist Richard Randolph, drummer Rich "Rico" Adams and
guitarist Duane Tribune.
The group is accompanied
on selected tracks by their friends Joe Gothard (guitar and
vocals), Lee Savory (trumpet and flugelhorn), Keith Newton
(saxophone and flute), Ben Sherburne (sax), Brian Skeel
(keyboards), Jim Bridges (drums), and special guests lead
vocalists Jamar Ward, Quan Howell, Janeen Holmes and background
vocalists Andrea Jackson, Nikia Humphrey, Brian McKnee & Electa
Motto of this album is "Learning From The Greats". Some of the
cover songs were already recorded by the group over the years,
others are part of their live repertoire or the band just like
them to do.
The album opens with Fly Like A Bird, a song Mariah Carey
first released in 2006. Urban Jazz Coalition recreates the song
with a wonderful arrangement featuring saxophonist Randolph in the
lead. The details in particular show the diversity of layouts with
which the group implements its interpretation.
What Kind Of Man Would I Be was released by the group
Mint Condition in 1996 on their album Definition of a Band.
This rendition is already characterized by a stylistically
appropriate use of instruments, especially of the keyboard sounds.
Déjà Vu is a song by American singer Beyoncé for her
second solo album, B'Day (2006). The R&B song with
moderate hip hop elements allows Urban Jazz Coalition to expand
its abilities beyond a simple reflection. The group offers
splendid solos by keyboards, guitar and sax.
With Georgy Porgy Urban Jazz Coalition reaches its very
own domain. Georgy Porgy is a song written by David Paich,
released on Toto's self-titled debut album in 1978. The smooth
jazz community knows covers of Nils (Pacific Coast Highway), Will
Lee (Oh!), Louie Shelton (Guitar) or Eric Benet (A Day In The
Life). Urban Jazz Coalition does not rest on its instrumental
prowess, but sends singer Jamar Wand into the ring.
Roof Garden will you immediately transfer into a vivid
live atmosphere, a tune originally released by Al Jarreau on his
popular album Breakin' Away (1981). This hit has lost
none of its creative freshness. A good reason for the group to
re-release this tune, which originally appears on the album
Patrice Rushen released in 1982 the album Straight From The
Heart. The album features the monster hit Forget Me Nots
that outshined the other tracks on the album. The instrumental
Number One undeservedly led a shadowy existence. Less funky
than the original, the group shows the expansion possibilities of
the piece in their own way. This is due to the exceptional piano
solo by Brian Skeel.
The Gospel song We Fall Down was written by Kyle Matthews
and made popular by Donnie McClurkin. The cover is introduced by
Lee Savory on trumpet and sonically vocalized by Quan Howell. Ben
Sherburne on sax leaves a strong emotional impression. All in all
an exciting implementation.
The longest track on this album is by far Run For Cover
with nearly 10 minutes. Originally written and performed by Marcus
Miller on David Sanborn's album Voyeur in 1981, this tune
is often played by Marcus in longer live versions. Of course
especially for bassist Phil Raney a musical delicacy.
On The Radio is the first single of the debut album Urban
Knights (1995) featuring the legendary saxophonist Grover
Washington Jr. Maurice White (EWF) and Bill Meyers are the
composers. The first notes of the intro are an homage to Maurice.
Urban Jazz Coalition and their fellow players need not shy away
from comparison with the original.
Before I Let Go is a song performed by Maze, issued as
the second single from the band's fifth album Live in New
Orleans (1981). The cover features phenomenal singer Janeen
Holmes who keeps the level to Frankie Beverly and Beoncé with
Covers are Urban Jazz Coalition's specialty. With this
album they show that originals can still be improved or
interpreted differently. If you have a bit of affinity for good
contemporary jazz music, you can't get past this album.
Buy the album in all stores
Artist: Urban Jazz Coalition
Genre: Smooth Jazz
1) Fly Like A Bird (5:13)
2) What Kind Of Man Would I Be
3) Deja Vu (4:39)
4) Georgy Porgy (5:07)
6) Number One (4:34)
7) We Fall Down (6:44)
8) Run For Cover (9:59)
9) On The Radio (6:11)
I Let Go (5:25)
Into The Night