Jazz versions of rock hits usually bomb. In most cases, the results sound like music played at a wedding reception, convention center or worse. But in a handful of cases, the union worked, especially when the rock tune, the arrangement and the instrumentalist's feel came together. Readers certainly have favorites of their own. Please add them to this post's Comments section so all can read and share. [Photo by Diane Arbus]
Here are eight of my favorite lesser-known jazz covers of rock hits:
Mother's Little Helper—Joe Pass. From The Stones Jazz (1966), with Tommy Pederson (tb), Vern Friley (v-tb), Bill Perkins (ts), Victor Feldman (vib), Herbie Harper (p), Dennis Budimir (g), Chuck Berghofer (b), Frank Capp (d) and Bob Florence (arr,cond).
So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright—Paul Desmond. From Bridge Over Troubled Water (1969), featuring Herbie Hancock (el-p) Sam Brown (g), Ron Carter (b), Joao Palma, Bill Lavorgna (d), Airto Moreira (perc), plus horns and strings, and Don Sebesky (arr).