A tribute to Leonard Cohen’ – London Jazz News

Various Artists – Here it is: a tribute to Leonard Cohen

(Blue Note 4565996. 2 LP. Album review by Richard Lee)

Well, here it is…even if, in a way, it isn’t. If seeing a tribute to Leonard Cohen published on Blue Note suggested one Hal Willner compilations that shed new light on Monk, Mingus as good as Kurt Well and the songs of waltz disney, that’s not quite it. What we get is a collection of lovingly crafted Cohen songs from every point in his catalog performed by an excellent band and roster of mature singers from the most polished realms of jazz and rock, usually under the influence of the composer and his performances over the years. They stop long enough to get any impressions on him, even though I did a double take at Pierre-Gabrielinterpretation of the title song, James Taylor scratch its lowest register to come back to you, while Iggy PopThe growling question of wanting it darker made me laugh even more than when Lenny originally asked.

The project is the brainchild of Cohen’s friend larry kleinis no stranger to the interface of jazz with contemporary song (notably its River tribute to his ex Joni Michelle with Herbie Hancock) and his wife Luciana Souza offer a candy Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye. In the same way,Sarah Maclachlan is very faithful to Alleluia but brings nothing more to it than comparisons with all the muses of Cohen like Jennifer Warnes who sang on the original but whose wariness to record it herself should be a warning to anyone who insists on similarly approaching this most ubiquitous Cohen canon. Hopes were high for Mavis Staples inject some soul into If such is your will; they were up but did not fly away. As for the other men, I wasn’t really clear what Gregory Porter brought to Susannawas also indifferent to by David Gray take charge So long ago Nancyalthough much more taken with Nathaniel Rateliff Famous Blue Raincoat.

There is something of a jazz sensibility brought by the It’s here group assembled by Klein with Bill Friselle at his head. He is, as has been his way lately, quietly brilliant, earning the honors of closing the album with bird on the wire, like his recent American classics. But it’s unassuming, as is the confident foreground band interaction here and in the other instrument. Avalanche. with the impressive alto of Emmanuel Wilkins who in many ways is the key lead vocal on all tracks.

The problem is that while the drummer Nate Smith‘s perfectly delivered but quite relentless Cohen-lope seems to run through the whole album, it becomes a conscientious uninterrupted mix on 12 titles: Berlin is not taken; the Jazz Police don’t come looking for you. And I kinda wish if they had covered that last one, it could have been with Peter Brotzmann….

List of tracks:

  1. Direct your way – norah jones
  2. It’s here – Pierre-Gabriel
  3. Suzanne- Gregory Porter
  4. Hallelujah – Sarah McLachlan
  5. Avalanche- Emmanuel Wilkins
  6. Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye – Luciana Souza
  7. Coming back to you – James Taylor
  8. You want it darker – Iggy Pop
  9. If it is your will – Mavis Staples
  10. So long ago, Nancy – David Gray
  11. Famous Blue Raincoat – Nathaniel Rateliff
  12. Bird on the wire – Bill Friselle


Guitarist Bill Frisellesaxophonist Emmanuel Wilkinspianist Kevin Haysbass player Scott Colleydrummer Nate Smith with additional contributions from Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar and Larry Golding on organ.

LINK: Buy It’s here

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