The jukebox has gone postmodern

Frank Lillig

Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox released a new album earlier this year titled “Historical Misappropriation.” Scott Bradlee is the coordinator and pianist while the rest of the band consists of rotating musicians and singers, all of whom provide their own spin on this record. This is the sixth album for Bradlee and the fifth for the group. It covers contemporary pop songs in jazz, ragtime and swing styles.
“No Diggity”
This sensual jazz cover of an already sensual R&B song, originally recorded by Blackstreet, is a gem on this CD. All elements of this song make it seem as if it was recorded in a smoky dive bar. Singer Ariana Savalas’ beautiful voice over the muted trumpet makes the song smooth and sexy.
The cover of this hit by Radiohead is just as good the original. Karen Marie lends her unique style of jazz with a mix of staccato singing and crisp pronunciation with strong legato. It’s a very welcomed change of pace compared to other covers of the song.
“All About That (Upright) Bass”
The original version, recorded by Meghan Trainor, is all over the radio today. This cover, sung by Kate Davis while playing the stand-up bass, makes you want to get up and shake what you’ve got. The slightly slower tempo, twinkling piano and explosive drums in gives the original song a run for its money.
“Livin’ On a Prayer”
This ragtime version of the old, classic rock anthem by Bon Jovi features Micah Braden. Lilting clarinets and trumpets take place of the guitar solo and bring this song from anthem to swing and sway status, giving it an almost film noir feel.
First recorded in the 90s by R&B group TLC, this jazzy cover keeps the same feel as the original, but with different instruments. The singer even sounds a little like the original vocalist, but she stands out with her beautiful legato delivery along with the simple, yet beautiful trumpet under her singing. The bridge features twinkling piano and a wind and brass section.
This whole CD is a must-have for music lovers. It has songs from the past and present, but in musical stylings that give it a new twist. Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox have made videos for most of their songs, allowing listeners to watch them recording the music on the CD. Check out pianist Scott Bradlee’s YouTube page to hear his excellent solo work.