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Joe McBride: Lookin’ For A Change

Joe McBride went looking for a change, found it, and listeners will be rewarded with a treat unlike anything the veteran pianist has done before. McBride is no slouch on vocals, but he is, after all, primarily a purveyor of acoustic contemporary jazz. Here, however, McBride sings and scats on all 12 songs. There are three originals-all good, especially “Secret Rendezvous”-but the rest are culled from a wide variety of pop and R&B entries, most well known and given a c-jazz styling.

McBride hits it out of the park with the lead song, Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” It’s nothing like the original, thank you, and McBride’s joyful scatting at its end brings it to an amazing conclusion. Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” and Cameo’s “Word Up” are likewise turned into winning jazz tunes and supported ably by Roger Hines’ upright bass, Elijah Gilmore’s drums and Dan Wilson’s guitar.

McBride had me after Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” and Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star,” which I now like more than the originals. If you’re looking for a change with a classy and sophisticated jazz-vocal album, McBride is your guy.

Originally Published