Jim Gelcer is a multi-instrumentalist & singer, an in-demand collaborator who’s performed and recorded with other artists at the top of their game, people like Paul Hoffert, John Switzer, and Richard Underhill, to name a few. Jim Gelcer rocks on piano, guitar, harmonium, and vocals but his musical through-line has always been percussion. And as a timekeeper, Gelcer is second to none on djembe, cajon, dumbek or a standard drum kit.
Gelcer's latest release MELODIES PURE AND TRUE is a compilation of jazz interpretations of pop songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, by Bill Withers,, Billy Preston, Carole King, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, and others. Songs like “On A Clear Day”, “Littke Wing”, “People Get Ready”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Signs”, and more.
Alongside Jim Gelcer on vocals and drums, the band features two of Canada’s Jazz icons – Reg Schwager on guitar and George Koller on bass. Recorded at the beautiful Number 9 Recording Studio, it was mixed by multiple Juno award-winning producer, John Switzer.
We wouldn't call MELODIES PURE AND TRUE strictly a cover album, much rather interpretations of well-known and lesser-known #Pop and #RnB songs. It is a Jazz album after all. Maybe 'interpretations' isn't the right word either.
Gelcer, Schwager, and Koller reference both lyrically and musically to the originals. Just enough to make them recognizable as such. Which is an interesting and refreshing approach. You will find no overbearing, overproduced, attempt to set a new standard here. Play that Jazz and have fun!
This is how MELODIES PURE AND TRUE feels and sounds. It is almost like the trio decided one day to set up the drum kit, plug in the amps and mics, started to play Jazz, record, and release the result. Casual but by no means careless - there is simply too much quality and professionalism going around to let that happen.
The result is an album that befits the title.
MELODIES (and verses) referring to Pop and R&B classics that are PURE AND TRUE in their approach and delivery. We love this album!
- On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) | original from the eponymous 1929 musical, performed for the 1970's movie version by Barbra Streisand
- Will It Go Round In Circles | Billy Preston (1972)
- Three Little Birds | Bob Marley & The Wailers (1977)
- Little Wing | Jimi Hendrix (1967)
- Fields Of Gold | Sting (1993)
- Witchita Lineman | Jimmy Webb, Glen Campbell (1968)
- People Get Ready | The Impressions, Curtis Mayfield (1965)
- I Feel The Earth Move | Carole King, James Taylor (1971)
- Lean On Me | Bill Withers (1972), Club Nouveau (1987)
- Mercy, Mercy, Mercy | Marlena Shaw (1967)
- Signs | Five Man Electrical Band (1970)
- Jim Gelcer: Vocals, Drums
- Reg Schwager: Guitar
- George Koller: Bass
- Engineer: John Switzer