Jazz Loves Disney 2 – A Kind Of Magic Review
Following the success of the first album, Disney have released a new collection of Jazz covers of some classic Disney songs, with many of the top Jazz artists. This album has been created by artists including Angélique Kidjo, Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum, Jacob Collier, George Benson, Madeleine Peyroux and more.
The album kicks off with a cover of “Beauty And The Beast” by Bebel Gilberto, which is a great opening track, its close enough to the original to keep that Disney Magic but its been made unique by the artist. One of the highlights of the album.
Some Day My Prince Will Come from Snow White, has been given a different take by Imany, its got all the big Jazz elements and is a fresh take on a classic. It feels like a cover that I would usually here on a Michael Bublé album.
I’ve been a big Jamie Cullum fan for years and have many of his albums, so his version of Be Our Guest, is easily one of the highlights for me as I liked his voice before hand. I wasn’t too sure when I saw Eric Cantona would be singing on this song, since he is a famous French footballer that played for Manchester United when I was a kid, but he actually did a good job since his accent and style are similar to the way its done in the movie.
For Little Mermaid fans, there is a Under the Sea cover from Jacob Collier, which keeps it close enough to the original with its Caribbean vibe but it has also been given a fresh Jazz take, which I love and actually made me go find out a little more about this artist.
One of the more recent covers is, Try Everything from Zootopia by Angelique Kidjo, which is a very different take on the Sharkia song and is another great track that I have hit repeat on many occasions.
Steamboat Willie by the Amazing Keystone Big Band is one of my favourite tracks from this album, it sounds like something you’d hear on Main Street USA or in one of the theme park resorts, its perfectly Disney and fits the style of many classic Disney movies set in the south that I instantly think of Disney with this type of music.
Since this album is created in France, Les corbeaux by Thomas Dutronc is a French version of “When I See An Elephant Fly” from Dumbo and I’ll be honest, its one of my least favourite tracks from the album since its quite removed from the original in both style and language.
Selah Sue’s cover of Cinderella’s So This Is Love sounded so different from the original, I actually had to go listen to the original to make a comparison. And that also applied to The Golden Touch by Madeleine Peyroux, as I didn’t know where the source was from. Both of these tracks just didn’t feel very Disney to me and could have just been anywhere.
I love the Phil Collins version of You’ll Be In My Heart from Tarzan, so I’m glad this version George Benson keeps it very similar to the original, its much more laid back and softer, to the point where its nearly a instrumental version of it. This is a lovely track that I really enjoyed listening to, that felt like a totally different version but staying true to the original.
And for the final track, Stay Awake from Mary Poppins, is performed by Laura Mvula, which originally was a lullaby in the movie. This version is a very different style to the original, but it works, since its so soft and gentle, but again I’m not sure many fans will recognise it.
OVERALL: Doing Jazz covers of some Disney classic songs is an odd choice for a project, with a wide range of different artists, many of which aren’t mainstream, but giving us some unique takes on well known classics. Some of the songs work as covers with a Jazz style, many other tracks just feel like the artist took an idea so far from the original, that they lost what made them so loved. My personal favourites include Beauty and the Beast, Under the Sea, Be Our Guest, Steamboat Willie and You’ll be in my Heart, which I’ve now added to my Disney playlists, since they deliver the Disney magic with a Jazz twist, making the album well worth checking out, however the other tracks sadly aren’t something I will return to.
REVIEW SCORE: 7 Good