by Jeff Meier (FB: Jeff.Meier.90)
In earlier Stevie Wonder playlists this month, GBN has featured playlists devoted to cover versions of the songs from “Songs in the Key of Life” and from “Talking Book.” Today’s playlist, in our month devoted to the music of Stevie Wonder in honor of his 70th birthday, features the music of “Innervisions.”
By 1973, Stevie was already on an impressive streak. Now having complete creative control over his work, both “Music of My Mind” and “Talking Book” from the previous year were tremendously successful both commercially and creatively. “Innervisions” took things to the next level.
Beautiful ballads of love like “Golden Lady” and “All In Love Is Fair” are intertwined with the political commentary of “Living for the City” and “He’s Misstra Know-It-All.”
It was a new kind of soul album and it all worked – kicking off an unprecedented streak of winning Grammy Album of the Year awards for three of his releases in a row.
This covers playlist differs from the other two albums. This time, instead of switching up genres from song to song, we’ve delved deeper into jazz versions of songs from “Innervisions.”
Stevie has been an immensely influential musical force among the jazz community. Jazz musicians are constantly covering Stevie – and many have done tribute albums devoted solely to his compositions (Nnena Freelon, Stanley Turrentine, and Najee to name a few).
Nevertheless, though we’ve confined the playlist to jazz, we’ve tried to mix up jazz styles and instruments, including everything from avant garde vocalists to smooth jazz saxophone. We hope our Innervisions playlist is a great vehicle to explore jazz styles, from the comfort of already knowing all the twists and turns of the original songs by heart.