Saturday, February 17, 2018

Joe Jackson Summer In The City 2017

Here's one for the vinyl lovers in the crowd. Originally released only on CD in 2000, and now receiving the deluxe 180 gram vinyl treatment from Intervention Records, the performance merits the top-quality LP pressing.

Recorded live at Joe's Pub in Manhattan, and featuring Jackson at piano, Graham Maby on bass and Gary Burke on drums, the trio looks back at some nice Jackson catalog choices and well as several tasty covers, including Eleanor Rigby, Ellington's Mood Indigo, Steely Dan's King Of The World, Dobie Gray's The "In" Crowd, and the title track.

The Fools In Love/For Your Love medley is excellent and features some seriously rumbling bass from Maby (For LP lovers looking to see how well their vinyl system presents electric bass, this might be a good test track). Be My Number Two, Home Town, and It's Different For Girls are all solid. The "In" Crowd owes more to Ramsey Lewis' jazz version than the Dobie Gray original, and this and the version of Mood Indigo show off Jackson's skills on both piano and arranging.

Overall the song selection is a real crowd pleaser. The arrangements for trio are consistently interesting, Jackson is in good voice, and the band cooks. The recording itself is exceptional. That this recording followed several of Jackson's extended jazz and classical works in the ninties gave hope to those that admired his more pop leanings.

And now you can enjoy it on your turntable. There's been plenty of good ones from Jackson, and he's produced more than his share of live documents, but this is a special outing that captures a unique band playing some fine updated arrangements of Jackson classics  and covers. You might even like it as much as I do.