Thursday, June 23, 2011

40 Songs, 40 Days (2011 Edition), Day Seventeen: I Put A Spell On You by Jools Holland and His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra Featuring David Gilmour and Mica Paris

And here comes another cover song that grew out of a British show...

The show is question is Later With Jools Holland, a talk show featuring the former Squeeze member interviewing and then jamming with musical guests. This show has been going on for years--I seem to have some vague remembrances of seeing older episodes broadcast on the peculiar neither-fish-nor-fowl cable network Trio back when I still had cable. As a fan of Holland's reaching back to his Squeeze-y days, I found it a fun watch, especially given the nature of guests he used to pull down.

Not surprisingly, given the musical nature of the show prompted Holland to form a band for touring during his off time, which in form prompted the creation of the Small World Big Band series of CDs, where the band did covers with some of Holland's favorite guests. This is a cover of the Screaming Jay Hawkins standard with Hawkins being channeled by soul singer Mica Paris. And, of course, the lead guitar is played by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour.

It's pretty interesting how 'I Put A Spell On You' is one of those songs that have resisted reinterpretation; even when the cover artist changes the tempo or the arrangement, the long shadow of Hawkins' distinctive style will always result in the vocalist belting it like his or her life depended on it...and Holland and company simply doesn't resist. They embrace the primal nature of the song, of the lyrics and only interpret it on the basic level...and what results isn't bad at all.

Usually I am resistant to covers that just mimic the original, but even I have to acknowledge there are certain songs that were designed to be portrayed exactly the way they sprung forth into the public conscienceless. And when I'm confronted with one of those, I have to use different tools to evaluate the cover, look to the way the individual performers play their part. And using those tools, I have to say...this works.

No comments:

Post a Comment