Herbie Hancock and Corinne Bailey Rae
Check out this audio stream of Jazz master Herbie Hancock and Corinne Bailey Rae performing Joni Mitchell's 'River' which become a mainstay of many holiday playlists, and Herbie Hancock's version with vocalist Corinne Bailey Rae from his critically lauded 'River: The Joni Letters' should be on yours this year.
Jazz master Herbie Hancock - recently honoured by his peers with a gala tribute concert and by the Thelonious Monk Institute with their first humanitarian award - has created a new album, 'River: The Joni Letters', a paean to longtime friend Joni Mitchell.
Mitchell herself appears on the record, as do Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Leonard Cohen and longtime Hancock and Mitchell collaborator saxophonist Wayne Shorter. But the classic title track is sung by British pop star Corinne Bailey Rae 'as if it were hers' (PopMatters), blending with Shorter and Hancock's interplay and guitarist Lionel Loueke's African rhythms to bring to life the 'poignant yearning' (Downbeat) many associate with the holiday season.
'River' has been covered more than 100 times, and the unconventional seasonal favorite that begins 'It's coming on Christmas/They're cutting down trees' has been included on more than two dozen Christmas albums in the past decade. It's part of a 'moody and meditative' (The New Yorker) collection that creates just the right atmosphere for an evening of 'putting up reindeer' or sitting by the fire (as it happens, the track is also included on Starbucks' 2007 holiday compilation 'Stockings By the Fire').
Hancock recently invited Corinne Bailey Rae to join him, along with vocalists Sonya Kitchell and Melody Gardot, bassist Tal Wilkenfeld and 'River' bandmates Shorter and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, at a 'Live From Abbey Road' session in London that will air on the Sundance Channel in 2008.
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