39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
This compilation contains some of the highlights from Bobby McFerrin's career, but is by no means comprehensive. An obvious place to start is with his massively successful hit 'Don't Worry Be Happy', which constitutes many people's only exposure to McFerrin, which is a shame as it is not representative of his best work, albeit a great song in it's own right.
The tracks on this album are a mixture of solo live recordings that are quite simply stunning, live performances with other (great) artists (like Chick Corea), and studio tracks like the afore mentioned single. Ranging from jazz ('Spain' and 'Another Night In Tunisia') to Beatles covers, one of which, 'From Me To You', is performed live and unaccompanied, as is one of the real highlights on the album. The other live and unaccompanied track is the magnificent 'Thinking About Your Body' (which was once used for a Cadbury's commercial, retitled 'Thinking About Your Chocolate'), and you can tell from the audience response that it must have been a sight to behold. By tapping rhythmically on his chest to create percussive sounds, and interspersing the vocal melody with bass notes and percussive tongue clicks, the result is a vocal one-man band like nothing you have ever heard before. With a vocal range of over two octaves, and the ability to hit any note perfectly in an instant, McFerrin is a virtuoso vocalist who pushed the boundaries of what the human voice can achieve. Simply put, Bob McFerrin is a unique and extraordinarly talented musician, a tag that is hard to disagree with even after a cursory listen to this CD.
This album doesn't feel like a 'Best Of' as much as it does a highly accomplished sampler, and as such is a great place to start if you want to get into his music. The mixture of tracks provides a sweeping overview of his range of abilities, from the laid-back humour of 'Don't Worry, Be Happy', to the hardcore jazz performance art of 'Spain'. Some of the studio tracks detract slightly from his vocal performance, and are not quite as enjoyable as the live tracks, but are still enjoyable tracks. I'd particularly recommend this CD to anyone who hasn't got any Bob McFerrin already, as there is something for everyone here.