The Essentials

The Essentials

Don’t let the name fool you: This ensemble doesn’t deal in over-intellectualized performances. By retrofitting modern pop hits into swing and pop-jazz arrangements that held sway in decades (or centuries) past, Scott Bradlee’s players emphasize the eternal qualities of strong melodies. After all, new jack swing drew from jazz, so it makes perfect sense to take Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and turn it into a sashaying midtempo number full of trombone flourishes. You’ve likely never heard “All About That Bass” with as much sass, either.

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