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VINE VOICEon 27 January 2004
It’s almost impossible to know where to turn at the moment if you are happy riding the wave of resurgent “accessible” jazz. Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall and Peter Cincotti have all contributed to an upsurge in the popularity and the listenability of jazz. And you can add Curtis Stigers to the pile.
Stigers is similar to Cullum in that he doesn’t only revisit jazz standards, and that he often takes quite big risks by completely reshaping a song, as a listen to the Beatles’ I Feel Fine will amply confirm. On the whole, the risk-taking pays out handsomely, with some excellent tracks, well-arranged and excellently performed. Stigers has a good jazz voice, plays a mean sax and has a backing band plainly in tune with where he wanted to take this album. Fools in Love is for me the stand-out track.
Four stars only because unfortunately some of the tracks don’t quite work out. Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind just doesn’t fit the feel of the album, and Love and I Fall In Love Too Easily didn’t do it for me either. Nevertheless, on the whole the album is fresh, innovative and well worth adding to your collection.
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on 18 October 2003
This is the third cd to be released on the Concord Label, and it is clear to see that artistic freedom is alive and well!!
"You Inspire Me" crosses all musical boundaries, from standards that will always be covered - through country to pop, and Curtis blends them into one amazing melting pot of great songs. Performed live is even better : catch a show if you ever have opportunity, you will not be disappointed.
Material by Bob Dylan, Merle Haggard and Irving Berlin all being performed on a jazz cd - where else could you find a singer brave enough to do this, and succeed ?
From 1960's pop songs given a jazz groove to the much-loved Chet Baker's "I Fall In Love Too Easily" being turned on its head and still sounding amazing.
Larry Goldings - is a genuis! This was the one track I had concerns about (as I love the original) but this one gets my vote too. I love what has been done here with the B-3 organ.
Mr. Stigers : you've done it again. Long may you continue to perform such wonderful material.
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on 12 October 2003
You Inspire Me...Is a masterpiece
Curtis...a highly talented songwriter himself, just has the knack
of finding songs to make into a style all of his very own.
On this wonderful album Curtis takes songs from all different
types of music, rock, pop,country,soul,folk,,blues and Jazz.
He transforms them into a style that is so unique. It is Curtis Stigers at his very best...Yes there are surprises on this album.
DID YOU EVER HAVE TO MAKE UP YOUR MIND being the most whacky,
hilarious,drunken (sounding) song I've ever heard!
I FEEL FINE is another wonderful song originally recorded by the
Beatles. It really does swing...Rock, pop and slide guitar, so
Jazz standards are executed in the usual Stigers way...Full of
Passion. And the SAX is back! In a big way...Breathtaking
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on 4 January 2004
They may not be his own songs but boy that man can sing and play sax as if they were his own.
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on 30 May 2014
I've been a Stigers jazz fan for a very long time. His vocal style melds old and new songs all into loved classics. Pick up this album, sit back & enjoy. He's even better live.
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on 21 December 2015
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on 11 October 2003
Still worth buying if you liked "baby plays around" and "secret heart" but I am sorry Curtis but in places it just doesn't work
- worst tracks are Crazy Moon and Did you ever have to make up your mind which are in the current tour repertoire - swap them for She's got a way,I'll be home or "Blue Skies" from this cd or some other older tracks from the past albums please ! There are a couple of somewhat unusual versions of songs :- Bob Dylan's Don't think twice,it's alright and the oldie I fall in love too easily played pretty much solely on a Hammond B3 organ so that certainly is a new avenue - I'd have put these two together at the end of the cd as some poeple may skip these as they are almost a little misplaced on here but I do enjoy them both ! The Dylan one sounds almost like No woman no cry by Bob Marley in places ! Stand out tracks are Joe Jackson's Fools in Love, the title track written by Nick Lowe and the three I mentioned above Billy Joel's She's got a way,Irving Berlin's "blue skies" and Randy Newman's "I'll be home" - The Beatles "I feel fine",Kinks "Tired of waiting" and Lennon's "Love" are all also more than acceptable. To conclude just two poor tracks - "Crazy Moon" and "Did you ever have to make up your mind". A couple of songs ( the two Hammond B3 ones) which I quite like but I can see some people objecting to them.Also I don't agree with the sleeve notes stating how great the guitarist is - ruins "I feel fine" which sounded excellent live on the recent tour without guitar.
That slide guitar just makes the cd sound too much like country
and add to that Merle Haggard's awful Crazy Moon we are heading too much for Nashville.Ditto Loving Spoonful's " did you ever have to make up your mind" with awful guitar. So do buy it but be prepared to skip the odd track here and there !!!
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