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June 30, 2011 • Music Diary, Reviews

Music Diary Notes: A Baker’s Dozen of Great Jazz Covers of Beatles Songs

No sooner had my Music Diary Retrospective: A Magical Mystery Tour of the Beatles Catalog been posted last year, I got an email from someone saying that they were surprised given my love and heavy coverage of jazz (including the recent Rubber Soulive by Soulive), that I didn’t list any jazz covers of Beatles songs. I thought about doing something but got busy with other things, and then this week I was enjoying the excellent George Benson record ‘The Other Side of Abbey Road’ and thought it was definitely still worth doing!

I won’t even begin to try an exhaustive listing of all of the great Beatles covers by jazz artists – there are literally hundreds for me to choose from! I decided to do a nice round list of a ‘baker’s dozen’ songs whose cover version I have known and loved for at least a few years and that have resided on my iPod for some amount of time. And since I can, I threw in a song that isn’t a Lennon & McCartney composition, and also one that isn’t a jazz song but is an awesome cover.

So let’s get right to the songs!

George Benson – Here Comes The Sun

Wes Montgomery – A Day In The Life

Bobby McFerrin – Blackbird

Jaco Pastorius – Blackbird

Stanley Jordan – Elenor Rigby

Jeff Beck – She’s a Woman

Brad Mehldau Trio – She’s Leaving Home

Ramsey Lewis Trio – A Hard Day’s Night

Grant Green – I Want to Hold Your Hand

Alan Holdsworth – Michelle

John Scofield with Medeski, Martin & Wood – Julia

Lee Morgan – Yesterday

Herbie Hancock – Norwegian Wood

Sonny Rollins – Till There Was You
(And yes, I know this isn’t a Beatles original)

Earth Wind & Fire – Got to Get You Into My Life

What are your favorite covers of Beatle’s songs – jazz or otherwise?

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