Over the last few years, jazzy covers of modern-day pop tunes with accompanying s-style videos have been trending all over the internet. Many of these covers come from a project by pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee, who releases videos under the moniker Postmodern Jukebox that feature modern musicians performing his arrangements while dressed in period clothes. Despite this recent surge in popularity, covering pop songs and re-arranging them using staples of jazz and swing styles has actually been a trend for a while. Musicians past and present have recognized the harmonic and rhythmic possibilities that jazz can offer the pop canon. Merging these two styles opens up a whole new world for experimental musicians and listeners, alike. So, here are eight recent jazzy covers of pop songs that encapsulate this trend. The tight horn band plays along like a New Orleans-style street band, marching through the streets, taking the roots of jazz and intersecting them with the future of African American music—hip-hop. Pianist Taylor Eigsti and vocalist Becca Stevens bolster the melancholy in this classic Elliott Smith with their soulful interpretation that glides along like a funeral procession. Twenty-two-year old multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier has garnered attention from Quincy Jones among other music industry legends for his incredible ear and impeccable improvisation.
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Fulfilling the potential promised on his Blue Note debut, Night Dreamer, Wayne Shorter's Ju Ju was the first really great showcase for both his performance and compositional gifts. Early in his career as a leader Shorter was criticized as a mere acolyte of John Coltrane, and his use of Coltrane's rhythm section on his first two Blue Note albums only bolstered that criticism. Buddy DeFranco, The Music of.. Live At The Jazz Gallery Album cover design and jazz photography on the Bethlehem label. Notes and pictures from the Birka Jazz Archive.
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