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Over the last few years, jazzy covers of modern-day pop tunes with accompanying s-style videos have been trending all over the internet. Many of these covers come from a project by pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee, who releases videos under the moniker Postmodern Jukebox that feature modern musicians performing his arrangements while dressed in period clothes. Despite this recent surge in popularity, covering pop songs and re-arranging them using staples of jazz and swing styles has actually been a trend for a while. Musicians past and present have recognized the harmonic and rhythmic possibilities that jazz can offer the pop canon. Merging these two styles opens up a whole new world for experimental musicians and listeners, alike. So, here are eight recent jazzy covers of pop songs that encapsulate this trend. The tight horn band plays along like a New Orleans-style street band, marching through the streets, taking the roots of jazz and intersecting them with the future of African American music—hip-hop.
Jazz Covers to Popular Songs You Need to Hear Now
With the likes of Postmodern Jukebox, jazz covers of popular songs are becoming more mainstream, often with a clear s-style influence. However, jazz covers have a much longer history and are much more diverse than that. Everything from upbeat New-Orleans brass bands to mellow, bluesy piano has been used as inspiration in these jazz covers. Whether you like a tune you can dance to or something for relaxing, there's a jazz cover to suit your style. Richard Cheese's version, which features an upbeat piano, manages to make it just that. It's almost impossible not to imagine Darth Vader dancing to this one, accompanied by some Storm Troopers. The arrangement for piano, drums, and bass captures the emotion of the original, while spinning it into something new- a contemporary jazz piece. The Christian McBride keep to the dance-able core of the original in their cover for drums, double bass, and piano, though perhaps with a bit more swing. It won two Grammy awards, including Song of the Year and is one of the best-selling singles of all time. By replacing the horn and vocals with strings, arranger and musical director Raul Patino puts his own flare on the song.
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