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Jazz renditions of Nick Drake classics

Blog
Jazz renditions of Nick Drake classics

20.09.2017

Text: Cem Kayıran
Translation: Yetkin Nural

One of the most inspiring songwriters of all time, Nick Drake, was born 70 years ago today. In remembrance of this legend, we are looking at some jazz renditions of Drake’s classics.

Brad Mehldau – Things Behind The Sun

Brad Mehldau has been interpreting various Nick Drake songs, both in recordings and live performances. In his Live in Tokyo album, which was released from Nonesuch label, Mehldau included a song by the legendary musician. Mehldau’s solo piano rendition of one of the most special tracks of Drake’s 1972 album Pink Moon, “Things Behind The Sun”, provides a different experience of Drake’s melodies without losing their striking quality.

Charlie Hunter Quartet & Norah Jones – Day Is Done

Charlie Hunter’s seventh album from the Blue Note catalogue, Songs from the Analog Playground, is the first album of the musician that features various vocal collaborations. Along with Mos Def, Kurt Elling and Theryl De'Clouet, Norah Jones was also one of the names who worked with Hunter and his quartet. Nick Drake’s song, “Day is Done” from the album Five Leaves Left, is one of the songs Norah Jones and Charlie Hunter Quartet recorded for this album.

Jason Parker Quarter – Time Has Told Me

Jason Parker decided to pay his respects to Nick Drake with a tribute album, and recorded his own interpretations for all the tracks from Drake’s 1969 album Five Leaves Left. Parker stated that Time Has Told Me, which he recorded with his quartet in 2011, was a dream come true moment for him.

Lizz Wright – River Man

American jazz and gospel singer Lizz Wright’s 2015 album from Concord Records, Freedom & Surrender, is filled with songs that highlights the musician’s vocal talents. The rendition of Nick Drake’s classic song “River Man” from his first album, which Wright arranged together with producer Lerry Klein, elevates the mystic atmosphere of the song to another level with Wright’s impressive vocals and rich instrumentation.

Kate Hammett-Vaughan – Poor Boy

The founder of Songlines Recordings, Tony Reif created the conception for the most comprehensive album that is recorded in Nick Drake’s memory through the Nick Drake tribute concert in 1999, in Vancouver. Many names from experimental jazz and folk music scene came together to interpret Nick Drake songs for Poor Boy: Songs Of Nick Drake, which was released in 2004. The rendition of the song that gave its name to this 14-track compilation, “Poor Boy” by Kate Hammett-Vaughan, showcases the range of possible interpretations of Drake’s songs.

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