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GRP Does Motown

With Doobie Brothers vocalist Michael McDonald having dropped a full disc of Motown tunes a month ago, and with the recent release of both a film and CD championing Motown’s once un-credited band, the Funk Brothers, it’s fair to say that Detroit’s ’60s soul sound is still very much alive. Perhaps following the trend, the smoothsters at GRP will release A Twist of Motown on September 23. Another disc in the label’s Twist series (which also includes 1997’s A Twist of Jobim and 2001’s A Twist of Marley), this Motown tribute features the production savvy of guitarist Lee Ritenour on 11, bona fide Motor City hits.

Ritenour called in a number of smooth jazz stars to record these tunes, including George Benson, Gerald Albright, Bob James and Dave Grusin. Trumpeter Chris Botti took time away from his day job on the Caroline Rhea show to add some lines to “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and saxophonist Mindi Abair plays on a medley of “War” and “What’s Goin’ On?” Those featured players are backed up throughout the CD by musicians like Nathan East Ricky Lawson, Ray Parker Jr. and Steve Tavaglione. Here’s a track list:

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