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On track 2, "Andante," it is virtually impossible to distinguish McFerrin's voice from Ma's cello at first listen. They move through this piece as a cohesive unit. Stellar tracks are Rachmaninov's "Vocalise" and Bach's "Air" -- both are just traditional classical pieces performed to their utmost potential by two gifted artists. They also have moments of fun, like on "Hoedown!" and "Coyote," and McFerrin even pokes fun of NPR on Bach's "Musette," while giving a Jimi Hendrix plug at the beginning of his vocalizing.
I could picture straight-laced classical purists shying away from this kind of tomfoolery, and jazz purists might find the classical pieces too confining. They are both missing out, though. McFerrin had shown shades of this kind of work "Lullaby" and "Psalm 23" on his MEDICINE MAN disc and even on PLAY with Chick Corea. This is a new side of Yo-Yo Man, however, and one which I would like to see again. I would pay big bucks to have been a fly on the wall during these recoring sessions!!!Read more ›
Although McFerrin is perhaps best known for the ditty "Don't Worry, Be Happy" which is either his most popular or least liked song, he has a clear love for classical music; indeed, this album is a reflection of his almost child-like (and I mean this in the positive interpretation of the term) wonder of the genre. Listen, for instance to his interpretation of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee;" his vocalization here conjures up images of a playful child imitating a buzzing bumblebee.
More impressive to me was the loveliness of the interplay between McFerrin's voice and Ma's flawless-yet-never-cold performances with the cello, particularly in the performances of Vivaldi's Andante movement from the Baroque composer's Concerto in D minor for 2 Mandolins, Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, and the beautiful Ave Maria by Gounod.
McFerrin is a serious musician, in the sense that he treats each note with skill and love for the genre (classical). He has worked with various opera companies and conducted Beethoven's Seventh Symphony (at his own 40th birthday party, no less) in San Francisco. Yet, his intention here is not to preserve the myth (perpetuated by the music industry) that classical music is for old rich folks but rather explodes it.Read more ›
McFerrin gives new life and humor to several pieces that one thinks as "serious" classical standards (Bach's "Musette"). I enjoy the exploration of McFerrin's voice and the tremendous talent and flexible playing of Yo-Yo Ma on this CD. Some of McFerrin's vocalising reminds me of Gregorian Chants, which was interesting to hear with Ma's classical music playing... For purists of the classical genre, they may be less amused with the treatments.
The imagination and talent that flows from this work continues to reinforce the reasons why I love classical music -- the ability for one to put personal emotion to a piece and also enjoy it for its own sake.
For those looking for something different, fun and funky, it's a great buy. For the purist, you may want to pass...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonder smooth lush fun you should have this one for yr enjoyment!! real aartists in voice and instrument lonve and peacePublished on April 24, 2014 by Amazon Customer
First, let me say that I'm a Bobby McFerrin fan....but...only in live concerts. He holds the audience in the palm of his hand and one gets mesmerized at what he can do with his... Read morePublished on January 19, 2014 by Manny Herz
Love this CD! Had it, then lost it! Got it again, and I love it! Amazing music when paired up together!Published on December 10, 2013 by Quinn MacKay
When two talented musicians come together, the sum is much bigger than the parts. This is a classic CD. Great mix of music and humor.Published on August 5, 2013 by Julie Fulkerson