SFJAZZ Collective Interprets Michael Jackson Songs


Obed Calvaire (left), Miguel Zenón, Matt Penman, David Sánchez, Edward Simon, Warren Wolf, Robin Eubanks and Sean Jones are the SFJAZZ Collective

(Photo: Courtesy SFJAZZ)

The SFJAZZ Collective interprets the music of Michael Jackson on its forthcoming album. Live: SFJAZZ Center 2015, available March 4, was recorded during the band’s four-night residency in October on the Robert N. Miner Auditorium stage at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

The SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star ensemble that includes Miguel Zenón (alto saxophone), David Sánchez (tenor saxophone), Sean Jones (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trombone), Warren Wolf (vibraphone), Edward Simon (piano), Matt Penman (bass) and Obed Calvaire (drums).

The two-CD set includes new arrangements of eight songs from Jackson’s repertoire as well as eight original compositions from SFJAZZ Collective members. The program includes Jackson’s compositions “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” (arranged by Sánchez), “Smooth Criminal” (arranged by Zenón) and “This Place Hotel” (arranged by Simon).

The program includes versions of two songs that appeared on Jackson’s historic Thriller album: “Human Nature” (which was composed by Steve Porcaro and John Bettis and is arranged here by Wolf) and the title track (composed by Rod Temperton, arranged by Calvaire).

Among the original compositions by band members are Eubanks’ “Why,” Penman’s “Mr. Right,” Jones’ “Franklin & Fell” and Calvaire’s “150 Million Gold Francs.”

The album continues the SFJAZZ Collective’s tradition of interpreting works by a composer and then augmenting the program with original compositions. The band’s discography includes albums that spotlight the music of jazz titans Chick Corea, Joe Henderson and McCoy Tyner.

Live: SFJAZZ Center 2015, which is packaged with a 22-page booklet, is not available in stores. For ordering information, visit the SFJAZZ website.

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February 2020
Nicholas Payton
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