Take 6: Beautiful World

It’s probably premature to talk about the 2002 Grammy Awards, but I’m willing to bet that Beautiful World (Reprise 2-48003; 50:02) will net yet another trophy for Take 6. The sweet-sounding sextet with the spiritual bent again demonstrates a knack for delving deeper into familiar fare. The band’s celebratory “Takin’ It to the Streets” proves that there are many ways to skin the old Doobie Brothers’ chestnut, while its reinterpretation of Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World)” burrows into those glorious lyrics to punctuate the belief that you’ve got to open your eyes to ugliness to truly appreciate beauty. There’s a joyous “Wade in the Water” and a sharp, urgent version of “Fragile,” Sting’s heartfelt plea for brotherhood. So skilled are these guys that they can even revitalize a tired war-horse like “Peace in the Valley” and remind us how moving a celebration of hope and faith it is. God love ’em.