by Rachel ZRachel Z


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On 1998's Love Is the Power, her only specifically smooth jazz outing, the versatile pianist did one of the genre's best ever (and vastly underappreciated) pop covers of Alanis Morissette's "Head Over Feet." Then, on 2002's Moon at the Window, she mined the melodic riches of Joni Mitchell's catalog. So it's not surprising that Z would put so much dedication, grace, and spunky energy into creating jazzy reworkings of other classic pop and rock tunes. Driven along by the tight rhythms of bassist Tony Levin and drummer Bobbie Rae, Z alternates between light and happy twists that put the familiar melody up front ("Here Comes the Sun," "Kiss from a Rose") and darker, melancholy meditations of more obscure chestnuts like the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses." Her dives into early alternative rock, tackling Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and the Smashing Pumpkins' "Tonight Tonight," don't quite pack the drama of Herbie Hancock's take on Nirvana via The New Standard, but they're still fun. She starts the first in a grim, noodly mood, creating a grungy atmosphere before, well, finding the sun and hopping and skipping over a swinging rhythm section. The Pumpkins are given heavy chords to start with before she settles into a more gentle spirit. Other tracks like "Ring of Fire" find her roaming off the melody completely, all but creating her own songs. She is both optimistic and gloomy on her two originals with Rae, having much more fun on "Interlude." Z's plan seems to be to make jazz palatable to younger audiences. She may be a little too artsy to fully achieve that, but that simply makes the effort more appealing to the more discerning jazz buff.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/25/2004
Label: Tone Center
UPC: 0026245403321
catalogNumber: 4033
Rank: 132410

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rachel Z   Primary Artist,Piano
Tony Levin   Bass
Robbie Rae   Drums
Bobbie Rae   Drums

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Adrian Belew   Composer
Donald Fagen   Composer
George Harrison   Composer
Mick Jagger   Composer
Sting   Composer
Rachel Z   Producer,Audio Production
Walter Becker   Composer
Sade Adu   Composer
Chris Cornell   Composer
Robert Fripp   Composer
Eric Gast   Producer,Engineer
Andrew Hale   Composer
Tony Levin   Composer
Pat Mastelotto   Composer
Stuart Matthewman   Composer
Bill Milkowski   Liner Notes
Merle Kilgore   Composer
Robbie Rae   Producer

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