Jon Batiste and Celeste

Jon Batiste, who many of us know as musical director and band leader of Stay Human on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, just won and Oscar. Collaborating with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Batiste won Best Original Score for his work on Pixar’s Soul. In addition to writing original jazz pieces for the movie, Batiste arranged a number of covers. One of those covers, that plays during the end credits, was chosen for an additional rendition released as a single. “It’s Alright” features Batiste and singer/songwriter Celeste.

The song was originally written by Curtis Mayfield in 1963, when he was with The Impressions prior to launching his solo career. Here is Mayfield performing the song in 1989 with an all-star backing band that includes David Sanborn on saxophone, Omar Hakim on drums, George Duke on piano and more. If you want to skip past the interview by Sanborn jump to 2:25.

Celeste was in the running for her own Oscar, having co-written and performed Best Original Song nominee “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7. Here she is performing it on Academy Awards broadcast.

Holland’s Bo Saris – Recalling the Soulful Falsettos of Motown

Our blogger friends at Read and Hear surfaced an artist with a retro-soul-falsetto style that recalls Smokey Robinson and Curtis Mayfield. You can read a bit about Bo Saris in this Billboard article. Like many “new” artists, he’s been working and recording for years.

You won’t see Bo in the video for “She’s on Fire”; instead you’ll see clips of Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield and Bo’s library of stripper movies.  “The Addict” was released recently, and this one hides Bo behind clever animation.

To see Bo without any artiface, visual or otherwise, watch this live, unplugged performance of “Tender”.

Since Bo paid homage to Curtis Mayfield in the video for “She’s on Fire”, let’s do the same, and then let’s listen to Smokey Robinson and Daryl Hall having fun with a Miracles classic.

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