Vinnie Corbo – In Bloom
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Becoming part of pop culture is the surest road to earning wonderful success and then becoming irrelevant. You see, it’s hard to remain cool and relevant once everybody knows who you are and what you do. The only way to bypass this is to have other artists continue to make use of your work.
This is why Vinnie Corbo’s technically proficient and surreal jazz cover of “In Bloom” is doing Nirvana a great service. It testifies to the fact that Kurt Cobain, a musician who rarely saw the need to travel past his power-chord vocabulary or how two pedal guitar rig, has earned the kind of respect that sets him in a group of truly elite songwriters.
It also means that Nirvana, a garage-rock group from around Seattle, will have their music live out for centuries. Like Oscar Wilde, William Shakespeare, or The Beatles, it’s hard to imagine a time when people will not be listening to Nirvana or reinterpreting their work.
Vinnie Corbo is carrying out the story that Nirvana started. The jazz arrangement is purposely schmaltzy, a kind of Las Vegas kitsch. It is designed to make rockers and musicians smile and nod in approval. It’s a joke that we’re all in on because we still see relevancy in the songs found on “Bleach” and “Nevermind.”
Zaub – Collisions
Genre: Jazz Fusion, Progressive Rock
All sorts of areas of the brain, otherwise stuck in rotting malaise, get activated when you purposely do something difficult, or that you instinctively turn away from on first glance. When it comes to modern guitar music, the hard listening tasks are labelled “progressive rock” and, indeed, can be very rewarding. Zaub’s jazzy Eats meets West experiments are meant to show you that you shouldn’t be scared by such musical complexity.
Musical skill, in itself, simply does not matter. The ones who insist it does are simply frustrated students who do not possess enough creativity to use all of the techniques that they have acquired. Emotion matters as long as it is accompanied by imagination. Frankly, without a certain amount of proper technique, some incredible sounds would simply be lost to us.
Zaub’s “Collisions” sounds just like the trip that inspired the piece must have looked – like American musicians taking a sniff of the Oriental world. These adventures typically stun and overpower our North American friends. But Zaub’s kept cool, soaked up all the influences and translated them into music. The result is journey music that sounds both dynamic and at peace with the world.