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Standard Wonder: The Music of Stevie Wonder

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Album Review

A few of Stevie Wonder's songs have been performed by jazz musicians, but this CD by saxophonist Dave Pietro is one of the first extensive explorations of his work outside of pop. Pietro shifts between soprano, alto, and C-melody saxophones (the latter instrument hasn't been used very much in jazz since the '30s). Pietro's playing is very strong throughout the date, and his arrangements are first-rate, often contrasting sharply with the composer's original approaches. "Another Star" features Pietro's superb C-melody sax in a modal setting that seems to occasionally hint at Miles Davis' "Nardis." His tasty soprano sax is a highlight of "The Secret Life of Plants," a song that could be overlooked by jazz fans who haven't heard Wonder's original record, because such a title might easily be mistaken for a typical new age release. The lively, Latin-flavored "Smile Please" and the lovely ballad "You and I-Interlude" are also highlights, but the dull electric piano keeps "All in Love Is Fair" (a favorite of pianist Marian McPartland, who has performed it many times) from reaching its full potential. The strong supporting cast includes keyboardist David Berkman, trumpeter and flugelhornist Scott Wendholt, trombonist Pete McGuinness, guitarist Pete McCann, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Brian Blade. One can easily imagine many more jazz musicians following Dave Pietro's lead in putting together a Stevie Wonder songbook of their own.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Alto saxophonist and composer Dave Pietro was born and raised in Southboro, MA, where he began playing jazz at age 11. While a student at the University of New Hampshire, he recorded with the school's jazz band under the auspices of flugelhornist Clark Terry before transferring to North Texas State University in 1984, touring and recording with the One O'Clock Lab Band in addition to collaborating with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra and the Collection Jazz Orchestra. Upon graduating in 1987, Pietro settled...
Full bio
Standard Wonder: The Music of Stevie Wonder, Dave Pietro
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 04 September 2001

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