Marvin Gaye's most memorable music will soon be heard in a brand-new way.
On his last album, producer and keyboardist Jason Miles � who has collaborated with many of the top names in smooth jazz � invoked the sprit of the late jazz trumpeter Miles Davis with a work called Miles to Miles.
Now Miles has his sights on the songs of Marvin Gaye for a CD he�s just finished recording called What�s Goin� On: The Music of Marvin Gaye. Miles rearranged many of Marvin�s greatest hits and enlisted several top-notch musicians to help him, including vocalist Bobby Caldwell on �Distant Lover,� guitarist Nick Colionne on �I Heard It Through the Grapevine,� Spyro Gyra saxophonist Jay Beckenstein on �Too Busy Thinkin� Bout My Baby� and trumpeter Herb Alpert on �Let�s Get It On.� As always, Miles assembled a killer rhythm section with bassists Marcus Miller, Scott Ambush and James Genus, drummer Gene Lake and percussionist Cyro Baptista on board here.
Among the CD�s other songs are such Marvin Gaye nuggets as �What�s Goin� On,� �Sexual Healing,� �Mercy Mercy Me� and �Ain�t Nothin� Like the Real Thing.� There's a good mixture of instrumental and vocal tunes, with some inspired singing by Mike Mattison, Chiara Civello, James "D Train" Williams and Guida DePalma.
Miles says the idea for the CD came on an October evening at a restaurant in Martha�s Vineyard that was playing Marvin Gaye songs. Miles is no stranger to compilations. He has produced several other concept albums, including To Grover, With Love, Celebrating the Music of Weather Report and A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins.
What�s Goin� On: The Music of Marvin Gaye will be available Feb. 7 on the Narada label.
After listening to an advance copy of this CD, I feel condident in saying it's one of the best tribute projects to come down the road in a long time. Miles takes Marvin's music in a new direction, and it's exhilarating.