Sunday, February 26, 2012
Elena Duran & Stephane Grappelli - Norwegian Wood (RCA - LP 6007)
Actually the name of the album has no direct link to it's contents apart from one song name. Elena Duran is a well known flutist and Stephane Grappelli is a violinist who is well known for his Cole Porter repertoire as well as Jazz Standards. There is also another name, Laurie Holloway, who is mentioned in the notes as she has made the arrangements of the songs in the album.
This album is made up of The Beatles songs which have been rearranged under the heavy influence of Jazz standards. For an unprepared listener, the rearrangements would definitely cause a feeling of "Hmmm, I know this from somewhere". The main melodies are passed on through either by the flute or the violin hence the difference in feeling. I should also point out that Stephane Grappelli is the name who created most of the beauties in the album. Of course the talents of Laurie Holloway should not be taken for granted as she was the arranger, yet the performance of Elena Duran was not enlightening to say the least. The flute was somehow being felt as repeating itself in many of the songs while Grapelli was reinventing himself in each of them. This may be due to Grappelli's previous experiences with rearrangements, but it stood out nonetheless.
The album include "Yesterday", "All My Loving", "Eleanor Rigby", "Norwegian Wood", "Can't Buy Me Love" on the A side and "Here, There And Everywhere", "Michelle", "Hey Jude", "The Long And Winding Road", "A Hard Day's Night" on the B side. My favorite among all these was definitely "Michelle". Maybe also because of it's original structure, it has been the most effective of rearrangements all along the album. "Yesterday" is also a very good example, but I was not utterly convinced with "Eleanor Rigby". Come to think of it, I may have also liked the artists to stretch a bit and make life harder for them by rearranging maybe "Yellow Submarine". That could have been one hell of a change.
The songs being ripped from their modern era defining Pop identities and fed to old school Jazz characteristics has created simple yet effective results. It is a nice album to listen on a Sunday morning (As I am doing now). It certainly is not breathtaking or staggering. It just gives you breathing space and calmness that we so much miss nowadays.
To buy this record:
Currently I couldn't find any link. Will check and update if there is any record on sale.