Friday, December 28, 2018

Bob Baldwin — Abbey Road and The Beatles

Dec. 22, 2018

The genius of pianist/keyboardist/producer/composer Bob Baldwin is never to be underestimated. Whether he’s performing original smooth or funky jazz originals or revisiting compositions by others, his distinctive touch and style always adds a brilliance to the material.
Here with a collection of most innovative covers of material by The Beatles, Baldwin brings a tingly magic to this project entitled Abbey Road and The Beatles. You will hear originals by the Fab Four as never before covered as the keyboardist/pianist adds that slick, peppy jazz flavor (and even incorporates his affinity for Brazilian music on “Yellow Submarine.” Can you imagine that tune as a breezy Brazilian jazz thang?)
So many creative tweaks here invite one’s imagination to sway along as the melodies, while recognizable, glow with a new musical language.
Tracks of note include “Come Together,” the previously mentioned “Yellow Submarine,” “And I Love Her,” “(Don’t Wanna Be) The Fool On the Hill” featuring vocalist CeCe Peniston, “Imagine” featuring saxman Euge Groove, “Michelle (My Girl)” featuring flutist Ragan Whiteside, and other pearls.
As I’ve said time and again, I’m not big on cover CDs and tend to steer clear of reviewing many of them, but some are incredibly appealing in their style, structure, and interpretative creativity. This album happens to easily be one of them. Baldwin’s understanding of what it takes to make a cover your own is simply uncanny.
Along with those contributors already mentioned, Baldwin ushers in the impeccable vocals of Lori Williams who really makes “My Love” and “Abbey Road” shine with color.
While this project is presented as a cover album, it’s one project that is truly a must-have for your collection and will undoubtedly stand out as a quality masterpiece. Two thumbs up! — Ronald Jackson