We’ve come a long way since John Coltrane shot “Chim Chim Cheree” out of his horn with his galvanizing rendition on “The John Coltrane Quartet Plays” album (Impulse! 1965). “Everybody Wants To Be A Cat” (Disney Pearl Series) invites a who’s who of jazz musicians and singers to take a crack at the Disney songbook and the results are as stellar as the music.
The best tracks are from trumpeter Roy Hargrove who takes the lead on the title cut, a tune from “The Aristocats.” He pounces over a groovy swing beat and shadow boxes notes against the Technicolor solo by his pianist, Jonathan Batiste. The magisterial Dave Brubeck (is this guy really 90?) goes at it with his trio on “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” a roiling tour-de-force complete with signature rhythmic shifts and ¾ time swing. Violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Joshua Redman, vocalist Roberta Gambarini and jazz singer Dianne Reeves each shine in their element on their respective tracks. But it’s the animated tunes by guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel (“Feed The Birds”) and The Bad Plus (“Gaston”) that defy categorization, weaving intervallic improvisation and aggressive dissonance to color outside the lines. Then again, recent Grammy® winning bassist Esperanza Spalding, who takes on “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” refashions the essential melodic element of the song and turns it into sonic aphrodisiac making it the sexiest soundtrack you’ll ever associate with Disney. (13 tracks; 65:17 minutes)
Labels: Dianne Reeves, Esperanza Spalding, John Coltrane, Jonathan Batiste, Joshua Redman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Regina Carter, Roberta Gambarini, Roy Hargrove, The Bad Plus