4.24.2007

On My Hard Drive: Bobby McFerrin

Before you start with me, stop right there.

You all remember Bobby McFerrin from his 1988 release of "Don't Worry Be Happy."

That record pushed him into the limelight, garnering Grammy's that year for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Somethin' like that anyway. He also had a project called Voistra, although I can't find a web link for it anywhere at the moment.

However, he is, and has been for a long time, a musician with considerable chops. And the voice thing has only served to separate him in the "very unique" category.

I wrote about McFerrin Some time ago in connection with Chick Corea, and I'm going to again. In that original post, I wrote about the TV series Corea does on HDNet... but McFerrin and Corea have been collaborators for a long time, performing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 2001, (watch that video) and many other venues as well over the years. He has also performed with other musicians as well, notables here are Yo Yo Ma. Their 1999 album, Hush, is worth a listen, if not a buy. Its most notable cut is the one entitled Grace, a lovely winding study on the intricacies of the human voice, the subtleties of the cello, both stretched across the canvas of the pentatonic scale we usually think of in terms of "oriental" music. You can check that track out right here in its entirety.

The album I wanted to note today though is called "Play" and is also a collaboration with Chick Corea. The track worthy of mention there is the first one, Spain.

Watch Part One
Watch Part Two

This is from the HDNet series I mentioned earlier. Bella Fleck (who plays in Salt Lake this summer) is a master banjo player (I KNOW!), and has made a name as one who takes the banjo out of the box - I guess, figuratively AND literally speaking... I digress. He appears in this video, but not on the album.

"Play" is a live performance album and features McFerrin and Corea without Fleck.

If you like teh jazzzz, you should check out any one of these three musicians. All three are known for unique performance styles, and together they offer something quite out of the box ordinary, and very enjoyable.

1 comment:

for what it's worth said...

A number of years ago, Bobby was a guest clinician at Festival 500 in Newfoundland. Kokopelli had a chance to work with him in a number of clinics. Scott says it is still one of the best experiences they have had. He is a master...despite Don't Worry Be Happy.