Get this crazy baby off my head!




BeatleJazz - All You Need - 2007 - Lightyear

Brian Melvin and Dave Kikoski create a beautiful new standard for the music of The Beatles. The basic trio consists of Brian, Dave and Larry Grenadier. The trio has enlisted a little help from their friends (!), who happen to be some of the most respected names in jazz, whose stellar contributions help lift this CD to another level. The unparalleled Toots Thielemans (harmonica), celebrated West African Verve artist Richard Bona (bass and vocals) and esteemed Blue Note artists Joe Lovano (saxophone) all provide memorable guest performances.


01. Fool On The Hill
02. Lady Madonna
03. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
04. All You Need Is Love
05. All Things Must Pass
06. The Night Before
07. Beautiful Boy
08. Look At Me
09. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
10. Cold Turkey
11. Waterfalls


Dave Kikoski: piano, keyboards;
Brian Melvin: drums, tabla;
Larry Grenadier: bass (1-3, 5, 7-9, 11);
Richard Bona: bass, vocals (4, 6, 10);
Toots Thielemans: harmonica (1, 7, 11);
Joe Lovano: tenor sax (3, 8)


Drummer Brian Melvin, keyboardist Dave Kikoski and bassist Larry Grenadier have hit on a winning combination with their Beatlejazz project, which features inventive jazz arrangements of Beatles melodies both familiar and (relatively) obscure. You might expect treacly, easy listening arrangements of these tunes, but the group instead opts for experimentation, and its experiments are usually successful. As usual, they have enlisted some help from their friends (sorry), and All You Need features contributions from legendary saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Richard Bona and harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans. Some of the treatments are fairly straight-ahead: "Fool on the Hill" is rendered as a lilting jazz waltz, and "The Night Before" is given a standard piano-trio arrangement prominently featuring Kikoski's Fender Rhodes piano. But "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" is played in a sharp and edgy style, and Bona sings "All You Need Is Love" affectingly in duala, his native language. On "Lady Madonna" the group takes a melody that is treacherously difficult to swing and manages to do just that, taking rhythmic liberties as necessary and turning the tune into a credible jazz vehicle. "Look at Me," one of the tracks on which Lovano makes an appearance, features some excellent blowing by the master but doesn't hang together quite as well as an arrangement. Overall, though, this album is a solid winner. © Rick Anderson, AMG
The fourth album from this chart-topping combo led by keysman David Kikoski and drummer Brian Melvin is sure to succeed like its predecessors, with new guests enhancing the basic trio, such as bass Larry Grenadier developing serious jazz spins while maintaining the integrity of Beatles favourites as well as rarities – hands up those who know "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" that features Joe Lovano's tenor sax, or "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." Toots Thielemans delivers three sweet contributions on harmonica, notably "Fool On The Hill," while Cameroon-born vocalist and electric bassist Richard Bona sounds terrific on his three entries, at his best when his quavering tones in one of his homeland's 286 languages decorate "All You Need is Love." The leaders refresh the classics throughout with outstanding treatments that confirm this 11-tune package as way above commercial gimmickry. © Geoff Chapman