Beatle Jazz - A Bite of the AppleBeatle Jazz - Another Bite of the Apple

Beatle Jazz
A Bite of the Apple

Beatle Jazz
Another Bite of the Apple

(Zebra Acoustic)

First Appeared in The Music Box ecember 2001, Volume 8, #12

Written by John Metzger

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In recent years, the translation of a rock band's songs into a new genre is practically a right of passage as well as a terrific marketing tool. After all, what better way for a group to expose itself to new fans than to take something that is popular and reinvent it. As can be expected, sometimes these projects work, and sometimes they don't. Of course, they're always at their best when the songs are re-imagined rather than recycled, interpreted with faint glimmers of the original amidst the blindingly brilliant backdrop of new light.

Such is the case with A Bite of the Apple and Another Bite of the Apple a pair of discs by Beatle Jazz that recasts a small segment of its subject's vast catalog as jazz masterpieces in the tradition of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, Ramsey Lewis, and McCoy Tyner. The group which features pianist Dave Kikoski, bass player Charles Fambrough, and drummer Brian Melvin takes each song as a mere starting point and allows it to blossom and grow through a series of improvisations and loose interpretations. At times, the Beatle Jazz renditions bear little resemblance to their counterparts as the melodies twist and turn with stylish whimsy. Let It Be merrily bounces along (at points, drifting towards a reggae groove), the George Harrison solo tune Give Me Love briskly breezes by, and Magical Mystery Tour becomes just that tossing a bit of Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) into its free-form embellishments.

Indeed, nothing is off limits as Beatle Jazz delves into The Beatles' early works giving If I Fell a light, dreamy treatment and mutating It Won't Be Long from a full-bore rocker into an airy recital as well as its latter day psychedelia where Blue Jay Way becomes a spry frenzy, Tomorrow Never Knows a rhythmic anthem, and Within You/Without You a vivid image of inner peace. Each track is a bold statement, masked by subtle nuance amidst its calm and peaceful surroundings. For some, Beatle Jazz might take too light an approach to its subject, but within the trio's ethereal textures lie some of the most imaginative recreations to be found.

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A Bite of the Apple - starstarstar

Another Bite of the Apple - starstarstar

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Bite of the Apple is available from Barnes & Noble.br> To order, Click Here!

Another Bite of the Apple is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!

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Ratings

1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!

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Copyright 2001 The Music Box