Despite such projects as Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, Stevie Wonder is seldom associated with straight-up jazz. Eivets Rednow provides some of the reasons why. Like its title (“Stevie Wonder” spelled backward!), this album is a genuine curiosity. First released in 1968 when he was still “Little” (18, in fact), Eivets finds Wonder rendering charmingly schmaltzy harmonica-blown versions of “A House Is Not a Home,” “Never My Love” and that great jazz standard “Alfie.” The latter was actually released as a single in the summer of 1968, and did respectable business, at that. Even at the time of its creation, Eivets Rednow would’ve never been confused for the hard stuff; most of these tunes sound like they were arranged by Henry Mancini or pop-jazz king Quincy Jones (circa the ’60s). But in spite of its schlocky MOR trappings, Eivets Rednow is a genial workout, a “gotta-geddit” for Wonder completists. (Nicky Baxter)
Edited by ed80kv on 3 Jul 2006, 15:15
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