When I saw this disc in the used rack at Half-Price Books, I picked it up immediately without checking the artists or track titles. If I had checked, I would have known that I already owned 3 of the 11 tracks on my Najee Plays Songs From The Key Of Life CD. Aw, who am I foolin'? I woulda bought this anyway. Having Blue Note artists cover songs from Stevie Freakin' Wonder? Can't miss, right? Well...
It's a great idea, poorly executed. All the covers here are fairly straight-ahead, rarely deviating from the originals. Granted, Wonder's songwriting is first-rate and the Blue Note musicianship is top shelf. The tracks here aren't terrible, it's just that a little more creativity and originality wouldn't have hurt. This album is harmless, but it should have been a lot more fun.
Tracks on this compilation were originally recorded between the years 1977 - 2002. A good addition to this album would have been Jean-Luc Ponty's 1982 cover of As (with American Idol's Randy Jackson on bass!), but, unfortunately, that was recorded for Atlantic, not Blue Note.
Tracks: The best track is Stanley Turrentine's take on Boogie On Reggae Woman which features stellar harmonica work by Wonder himself. (Note to self: you always enjoy Turrentine's contributions to Blue Note compilations, why don't you go buy some of his albums, silly?) There's a couple of other tracks here worth your attention, including Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Pieces Of A Dream (just ignore the extraneous background vocals), Pat Martino's cover of Too High, and the smooth jazz of It's A Shame by Paul Jackson, Jr.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
Blue Note Plays The Beatles (2004)