Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pop Soul-Jazz?

Ernie Andrews - "Bridge Over Troubled Water" b/w "Something" kind of defies an easy definition. The 45 is on the Phil-LA-of-Soul label, one of Philly's finest soul labels, if not THE finest. I buy anything I see on this label within a reasonable price. And since I lived a stone's throw from Philly for a while, that price was generally low for me, as the stuff can be found fairly easily around there.

Anyway, this is, I suppose, vocal soul-jazz covers of top pop songs from the late 60's with the venerable Ernie Andrews backed by the Fuzzy Kane Trio. The piano jazz trio backing is perfect for Andrews' powerful-but-perfectly-controlled vocal treatments. Andrews did some singing towards the end of the Big Band era in the 50's and early 60's, and just had an awesome knack for putting just the right mix of heart, vocal cords, and know-how into his performances. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is just powerful here. Slower than the Simon and Garfunkel version, and just 20 times more believable, with 1/10th the schlock. It's moving. "Something" swings gently, and I imagine George Harrison was probably impressed by this gentle, jazzy version of his slow, serious tune. I love both of these tunes, download them below:

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