Today’s Jazz Stars Interpret Disney Classics

Ever imagine The Bad Plus doing music from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast? How about Joshua Redman doing a cover of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story? Those notable artists are among the dozen contributing to the forthcoming compilation Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat.

The title of the album comes from the song “Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat,” from The Aristocats, which is given an upbeat, grooving treatment by Roy Hargrove’s quintet. You’ll also hear Disney classic songs like “The Bare Necessities” and “It’s a Small World After All” performed by a diverse lineup. “I wanted to get a group of people together who would represent the many styles of jazz,” says producer Jason Olaine, who also called Dave Brubeck, Esperanza Spalding, Regina Carter, and Nikki Yanofsky for the recording.

Writing in the album liner notes, Ashley Kahn praises the top-drawer prowess of the performers: “It’s exceedingly rare that one finds this range of talent on one jazz album. If one desired an accurate measure of today’s scene in all its flavors and formats, here it is on one disc.”

I’m looking forward to hearing this. Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat is in stores February 15.

2009 Contemporary Jazz Preview

One constant in the contemporary jazz world is the planning and reliable execution of Heads Up recordings. I just got the list for 2009 and it’s another winner for contemporary jazz fans. I’ll elaborate more in later posts but here’s what’s on the schedule:

January
Incognito – More Tales Remixed – remixes of songs from the latest Incognito release;
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Live;
Walter Beasley – Free Your Mind

February
Joe Zawinul – 75 – two-disc live set;
Pieces of a Dream – Soul Intent;
Mike Stern – New Morning The Paris Concert;
The Bad Plus Joined by Wendy Lewis – For All I Care

March
Marion Meadows – TBD;
Chuck Loeb – Between 2 Worlds;
Yellowjackets – New Morning The Paris Concert

April
Candy Dulfer; Hiroshima

May
Spyro Gyra; Zap Mama; Stanley Clarke/Hiromi/Lenny White

June
Alexander Zonjic, Andy Narell

August
Najee; Mike Stern; Joe Zawinul DVD

September
Take 6 – a new holiday recording