Feb 4, 2016
I’ve been planning this podcast since the Fall, when I spoke with trumpeter Randy Brecker about his latest CD, RandyPop! That CD was a reimagining by Randy of just a few of the many rock, soul and funk tunes that he had been called upon to play on over the course of his career. That got me thinking of how many jazz musicians had been called upon by popular musicians for their recordings, going back to the mid-60’s.
The passing of Phil Woods made me realize the Podcast was a necessity. So many non-jazz fans learned of the great alto player from his extremely memorable guest work on at least two classic tracks – Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” and Steely Dan’s "Dr. Wu”. Perhaps I could turn more non-jazz fans to the music if they only knew that jazz musicians had been a key component of classic rock tunes over the years. When David Bowie hired the Donny McCaslin Group for his BlackStar album, the deal was done.
So Podcast 519 is my first attempt at a retrospective of pop and rock acts that added jazz musicians for key solos or to fill out a particular sound they had in mind. I enjoyed doing this, and I promise that I will do a few more before the year is out.
Musical selections for this Podcast, including the artist and the jazz contributor(s) include:
The Mamas and the Papas - “California Dreamin’” – Bud Shank, alto flute.
The Doors – “Touch Me” – Curtis Amy, sax
Ian Hunter – “All-American Alien Boy” – David Sanborn, sax and Jaco Pastorius, bass
Lou Reed – “The Bells” – Don Cherry, trumpet
Steely Dan – “Aja” – Wayne Shorter, sax; Joe Sample, electric piano; and Larry Carlton, guitar
Sting – “Moon Over Bourbon Street” – Branford Marsalis, sax; Kenny Kirkland, piano; and Omar Hakim, drums
The Rolling Stones – “Waiting On a Friend” – Sonny Rollins, sax