Twist of Motown

Twist of Motown

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There's a scene in Oliver Stone's 1986 film Platoon that speaks volumes about the importance of Motown Records to the baby boomer generation. In that scene from Platoon -- which takes place in the jungles of Vietnam during the Vietnam War -- several American soldiers are singing the Miracles'

Overview

There's a scene in Oliver Stone's 1986 film Platoon that speaks volumes about the importance of Motown Records to the baby boomer generation. In that scene from Platoon -- which takes place in the jungles of Vietnam during the Vietnam War -- several American soldiers are singing the Miracles' "The Tracks of My Tears" in an effort to provide some temporary relief from the horror that surrounds them. During that scene, the song is about much more than a great melody -- it's about camaraderie, solace, and comfort. Like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, James Brown, and Stax, Motown was -- to use Berry Gordy's phrase -- "the sound of young America." While the baby boomers aren't so young anymore, the Motown songbook holds up nicely after all these years -- a fact that is illustrated by A Twist of Motown. This 2003 project finds guitarist Lee Ritenour producing a jazz-friendly tribute to Motown and overseeing an all-star cast that includes George Benson, Gerald Albright, Dave Grusin, Chris Botti, and Bob James, among others. The instrumentals (which range from "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" to Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'") tend to draw on both soul-jazz and crossover jazz/NAC, while the vocal performances -- including Brenda Russell on "The Tracks of My Tears" and Will Downing on "Just My Imagination" -- are aimed at urban or quiet storm listeners. From a jazz standpoint, A Twist of Motown isn't as adventurous or risk-taking as it could have been; if you want to hear some truly daring interpretations of Motown gems, check out Joe Farrell's version of Wonder's "Too High" or Grover Washington, Jr.'s arrangement of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues." Nonetheless, the performances -- both instrumental and vocal -- are generally likable and satisfying, and when all is said and done, Ritenour has affirmed how durable the Motown songbook continues to be.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2003
Label:
Grp Records
UPC:
0044007603123
catalogNumber:
000011502

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Will Downing   Vocals
Brenda Russell   Vocals
Gerald Albright   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
George Benson   Guitar
Richard Elliot   Tenor Saxophone
Bob James   Synthesizer,Keyboards,fender rhodes
Peter White   Guitar
Lisa Fischer   Vocals
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Dave Grusin   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards
Melvin Davis   Bass,Musician
Nathan East   Bass,Musician
Russell Ferrante   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Musician
Jerry Hey   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Musician
Dan Higgins   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Musician
Ricky Lawson   Drums,Musician
Lori Perry   Background Vocals
Ray Parker   Rhythm Guitar,Musician
Perri Sisters   Musician
Darlene Perry   Background Vocals
Sharon Perry   Background Vocals
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer,Keyboards,Musician
Lee Ritenour   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Strings,Keyboards,Sampling,Wurlitzer
Steve Tavaglione   EWI,Musician
Mindi Abair   Soprano Saxophone
Peter "Fifi" White   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Keyboards
Jochem van der Saag   Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,Sampling

Technical Credits

Clifton Davis   Composer
Will Downing   Vocal Arrangements
Marvin Gaye   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Brenda Russell   Vocal Arrangements
Barrett Strong   Composer
Lisa Fischer   Vocal Arrangements
Renaldo Benson   Composer
Dave Grusin   Arranger
DeBarge   Composer
Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements
Warren "Pete" Moore   Composer
Don Murray   Engineer
Lee Ritenour   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Executive Producer,Vocal Arrangements,Sound Design
Mark Wexler   Executive Producer
Norman Whitfield   Composer
Elliot Willensky   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Chuck Berg   Liner Notes
Marvin Tarplin   Composer
Hollis King   Art Direction
Rebecca Meek   Illustrations
Michael Fagien   Executive Producer
James Nyx   Composer
EMI Ferguson   Engineer
Peter "Fifi" White   Arranger
Jochem van der Saag   Arranger,Programming,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements,Sound Design
Warren Moore   Composer

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Twist of Motown 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I participated in "Relay for Life" and played this cd as I walked for 4 hours and the songs were perfect! Not too fast, not too slow, great pace music!