For today’s Morning Groove instrumentals, I tried to pick a few songs that are associated with Michael Jackson, but are performed by smooth jazz artists.
The first of these was extremely popular in the 80s, coming three years after the original song was released. It also turned Stanley Jordan into a household name in smooth jazz circles. From the album Magic Touch, here is his take on Jackson’s “The Lady In My Life,” from Thriller.
The late Grover Washington, Jr. was no stranger to covers—his early albums featured a great deal of them. By the time this cover was released, he had been writing his own material, while the covers decreased in frequency. On his Skylarkin’ album, mere months after Jackson’s Off The Wall was released, he released a version of “I Can’t Help It,” one of my favorite songs from that album.
A more recent album by BWB (Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, & Rick Braun) paid tribute to Jackson with cover versions of songs Jackson performed either solo or in the Jackson 5. I recommend you check out the album if your taste runs toward smooth jazz; it is very well done. Two of the songs from the album Human Nature are featured here: the weeper “She’s Out Of My Life” from Jackson’s Off The Wall and “Who’s Loving You,” performed by the Jackson 5 on their debut, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5.
There are certainly many more instumental covers of Jackson or Jackson 5 songs that could have been included here; this is just a sampling. Please enjoy the Morning Grooves for today, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.