The third CD by BeatleJazz continues their innovative journey through The Beatles' song catalog. All of the material is by The Beatles with the exception of the last track, "Chains", which was penned by Gerald Goffin and Carole King.
The first track, "Yes It Is", features a delicate piano solo by Dave Kikoski played against a percussive pattern on the tabla by Brian Melvin. "Piggies" is uptempo and starts with the bass playing of Larry Grenadier. Also heard are John Scofield on guitar and Dave Kikoski, this time on synthesizer, and some good drum punctuations by Brian Melvin. "Imagine" is a slow ballad interpreted by Randy Brecker on muted trumpet. It is a soulful interpretation which really shows what a beautiful song this is. Dave Kikoski's creative chord changes and his piano solo adds to this outstanding track. "Strawberry Fields Forever" has a Mozart feel and includes bowed bass work by Larry Grenadier. "I Will" spotlights John Scofield on guitar and turns out to be a love song full of yearning. Mike Brecker's sax takes the lead on "Working Class Hero". He plays the melody plaintively and then heads into an emotionally charged solo which includes plenty of interplay between himself and Dave Kikoski on piano. Brian Melvin's drumwork shines on this track as well. "Hard Day's Night" is uptempo and funky and features Dave Kikoski on synthesizer. "Across The Universe" finds Kikoski back on piano, playing with a wistful quality accompanied by Melvin's brushwork on drums. "Lovely Rita" displays a number of different piano styles by Dave Kikoski with a bass solo by Larry Grenadier. "And I Love Her" is done with a latin beat and features Mike Stern on guitar. "The End" (from The Beatles' "Abbey Road" album) shows off Dave Kikoski's piano technique and a strong drum and bass presence. The last track, "Chains", is a bluesy study with piano, bass and drums.
There is something special on each track of this CD. But, most of all, what is exciting is the idea of taking popular song material and touching it with the spontaneity and creativity of jazz. And there are many more songs in The Beatles' catalog!