Betcha by Golly Wow: The Songs of Thom Bell

Betcha by Golly Wow: The Songs of Thom Bell

by Bob Baldwin


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Betcha by Golly Wow: The Songs of Thom Bell

Given songwriter and producer Thom Bell's legendary reputation, it's difficult to believe that this is the first contemporary jazz record to pay tribute to his work. Co-produced by Bob Baldwin, Will Downing, and former Bell sideman Preston Glass, Betcha by Golly Wow is a second chapter for Baldwin and Downing; the first was Never Can Say Goodbye: A Tribute to Michael Jackson in 2009. As has been typical of his own recordings for the past two decades, Baldwin plays multiple instruments, from drums and bass to keyboards. The three producers have enlisted a star-studded cast to create a seamless, warm, and elegant selection of Bell tunes. "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," features Russ Freeman's guitar holding court on the melody. Ragan Whiteside and Paul Brown -- on flutes and guitars respectively -- funk things up a bit on "The Rubberband Man," with Baldwin's piano slipping the lyric line in between in the stepping groove. Vivian Green's vocals grace a fine reading of "La-La Means I Love You." Gerald Albright, Downing, and Baldwin reprise their cover of "Break Up to Make Up" from 1993. Downing's voice may be a bit lower 20 years later, but it's lost none of its expressiveness. A sweet, uptempo reading of "I'll Be Around" features the soprano saxophone of Marion Meadows, as does the closer "People Make the World Go Round," played as an elegant groover. The latter features some lovely piano work by Baldwin.The only cut that doesn't work here is "Bell & Creed," an overly sentimental tribute to the songwriter and producer Linda Creed, Bell's production partner at Philly International. That small hiccup aside, this is a well-arranged, nicely selected collection of some of Bell's finest tunes, performed by some of contemporary jazz's best.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/10/2012
Label: Ent. One Music
UPC: 0099923239727
catalogNumber: 2397

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bob Baldwin   Primary Artist,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals
Will Downing   Vocals
Gerald Albright   Alto Saxophone
Marion Meadows   Soprano Saxophone
Audrey Wheeler   Background Vocals
Vaneese Thomas   Background Vocals
B.J. Nelson   Background Vocals
Tony Lewis   Drums
Craig Derry   Background Vocals
Preston Glass   Drums,Horn,Keyboards,Vocals,Clavinet,Loops
Vivian Green   Vocals
Anthony Jackson   Bass
Curtis King   Background Vocals
Paulette McWilliams   Background Vocals
Paul Taylor   Soprano Saxophone
Buddy Williams   Drums
Dennis Johnson   Drums,Drum Loop
Ragan Whiteside   Flute,Vocals
Toni Redd   Vocals
Russ Freeman   Guitar
Paul Brown   Guitar
Chembo Corniel   Percussion
Bob Francheschini   Saxophone
Gemia Burns   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Will Downing   Producer
Bob Baldwin   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements
Onaje Allan Gumbs   Arranger
Phil Hurtt   Composer
Thom Bell   Composer
Linda Creed   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Alan Glass   Composer
Preston Glass   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Paul Taylor   Engineer
Wayne Warnecke   Engineer
Andi Howard   Executive Producer
Dennis Johnson   Producer,Engineer
Andrew Kelley   Art Direction
Blake Harden   Engineer
Russ Freeman   Engineer
William Hart   Composer
Bob Francheschini   Engineer

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