AppleJac - AppleJac Presents: Playin’ Favorites

AppleJac
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By opening with The Baldhead Queen’s spoken word “Monologue,” spit over a modified version of Jose James’ “The Greater Good” from Blackmagic, Apple Jac sets the stage for what’s to be expected from his Playin’ Favorites covers EP: the unexpected. As a world renown DJ and Atlanta-based producer, Apple Jacs’ s underground tributes to jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis and remixes for Jiva, Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington, and other indie soul impresarios are the stuff of underground legend. Turning his skillful electro-soul sights to an R&B and pop project, he doesn’t disappoint. Reggie B’s take on Steve Arrington’s “You Meet My Approval” has just enough nasal-voiced grit to make its funk his own.

By opening with The Baldhead Queen’s spoken word “Monologue,” spit over a modified version of Jose James’ “The Greater Good” from Blackmagic, Apple Jac sets the stage for what’s to be expected from his Playin’ Favorites covers EP: the unexpected. As a world renown DJ and Atlanta-based producer, Apple Jacs’ s underground tributes to jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis and remixes for Jiva, Eric Roberson, Darien Brockington, and other indie soul impresarios are the stuff of underground legend. Turning his skillful electro-soul sights to an R&B and pop project, he doesn’t disappoint. Reggie B’s take on Steve Arrington’s “You Meet My Approval” has just enough nasal-voiced grit to make its funk his own. Ramona’s coffee rich alto proves the star of Playin’ Favorites with her spacious, intergalactic cover of Dionne Warwick’s ‘70s classic, “De Ja Vu.” The Paul McCartney penned, Beatles ballad, “The Long and Winding Road” is also treated to a minimalist, loosely structured cover by a suitably airy and deliberate Rogiérs. Little Dragon’s oft-covered“Twice” might be the most obvious selection in a set that is anything but. Yet, Applejac’s inspired choosing of Dallas expatriate Carmen Rodgers was unanticipated; that she and Applejac give singer Cleveland Jones and producer Ahmed Sirour’s near classic turn a run for their money is not. The Apple Jac’s instrumental version of The National Gallery’s “Diana in the Autumn Wind” featuring Shecky’s  Jazzy Tofu is a restrained portrait of strings, synth, high hat and nostalgic guitar twangs worthy of Grant Green or Wes Montgomery. The Baldhead Queen’s poetic interludes appropriately bookends Apple Jac’s work without the clichéd sing-song rhythm stereotypical of the slam scene. It’s all quite spare and lovely and fine, just like the originals. Notable Tracks: “De Ja Vu,” “Twice,” and “Diana in the Autumn Wind”

Vocals: 3.0
Lyrics: 4.0
Music:  3.5
Production: 3.5
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By L. Michael Gipson


 
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