Blue Note celebrates the Motor City experience with a collection of 12 classic songs interpreted by the jazz label's artists. Some of the cuts are new, some are old, and some, previously unreleased. But don't be fooled into thinking you know what lies ahead by the opener, a sweet version of "I'll Be There" with nice interplay between saxophonist Dave Koz and guitarist Jon Herington; this disc has surprises in store for you. the once-explosive dance grooves of berry gordy's enterprise are here mutated into often unexpected textures, such as the intriguing weave of violin, accordion, and acoustic guitar that bolsters Dianne Reeves' restrained vocal on "Tracks of My Tears." The central image of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" sounds more like a funky spider web, as constructed by Earl Klugh's nimble acoustic guitar, Jeff Mironov's wah-wah, and Dave Grusin's atmospheric electric piano. "Inner City Blues," a highlight of the set, unites a powerhouse front line of Everette Harp and Kirk Whalum on saxes, with Najee on a tensile flute solo over Greg Phillinganes' soulful organ. Charlie Hunter's take on "You Keep Me Hangin' On" is Motown as re-imagined by Quentin Tarantino: all reined-in desperation and icy cool, courtesy of Monte Croft's vibes. Capped off with a joyful Stanley Turrentine turn on Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke," Blue Note Salutes Motown will leave you with only one question: May we have a volume two?
--- Larry Nai, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz