“WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS” INDIA.ARIE, SANTANA, YO YO MA
Reinventing a Beatles song is tricky ground. Adding in Yo Yo Ma’s violin, the neo-soul silky voice of India.Arie, and Latin guitar hero, Carlos Santana, the classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” gets a 2011 makeover extreme. The Eric Clapton / George Harrison song has never sounded so JOYFUL, hopeful, and the jazzy interpretation takes your mind drifting to a mellow happy place. As usual, Carlos demonstrates his amazing talent to combine restraint with dynamic fury. Brilliant!
“THE SECOND TIME AROUND” SHALAMAR
Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels were two of the highlight dancers on Soul Train in the 70’s and 80’s. Jeffrey was known for his popping and locking moves that influenced Michael Jackson! Jody Watley went to #1 with solo hits like “Looking For a New Love”. But when the two of them were combined with the amazing vocal talents of Howard Hewitt, they became Shalamar and live on in music history as one of the underrated R&B bands of all-time. “Second Time Around” has a retro 80’s synthesizer beat, slick dancing moves, and a feel-good vibe.
“TI AMO” LAURA BRANIGAN
Must be an 80’s mood today! “Gloria”, “Solitaire”, “Self Control”, early MTV videos that took Laura Branigan to the top of the charts. Her incredible voice could hit four octaves and her dramatic tone was never more evident that on the yearning love song “Ti Amo” from her second CD. Incidentally, both “Gloria” and “Ti Amo” were originally huge hits in Italy by Umberto Tozzi but to us in the US, they are Laura Branigan songs now. Sadly she died at the age of 47 in 2004 of a brain aneurysm.