CHI-CENTRIC


The Impressions: I’ve Been Trying
From Keep On Pushing (ABC Paramount, 1964)

The Notations: I’ve Been Trying
From 7″ (Twinight, 1971)

The Kaldirons: To Love Someone (That Don’t Love You)
From 7″ (Twinight, 1970). Also available on Twinight’s Lunar Rotation.

J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound: To Love Someone (That Don’t Love You)
From 7″ (Addenda, 2010)

Recently got in one old 7″ and one new one and coincidentally, both are covers of some classic Chicago sweet soul tunes. To be sure, I don’t think either cover improves over the original but I often enjoy hearing a new twist on familiar songs.

I didn’t realize the Notations, during their formative, early stint on Twinight, had covered the Impressions’ “I’ve Been Trying”; I guess I’ve been depending too heavily on that Twinight’s Lunar Rotation anthology to school me but at 40 songs, it’s nowhere close to being a complete compilation. The Notations’ approach to this Impressions’ classic is fairly loyal though the production definitely sounds updated to fit in with ’70s aesthetics. It’s smoother and has more going on compared to the beautiful sparse original. Still a great composition in either hands.

The Kaldirons’ “To Love Someone” was my favorite song off that Twinight anthology; it also happened to be one of the rarest titles on the label. Maybe that’s part of what encouraged J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound to tackle it on their forthcoming 7″ release. While nothing can really match the sublime majesty of the original, I like the small arrangement differences on Brooks’ version. His falsetto doesn’t quite match that of the original but all said, what they pull off here, at the very worst, is still an enjoyably pretty cover.


Speaking of Chicago: I reviewed Kanye’s new album (apparently this generation’s Illmatic???) for NPR in case anyone’s interestred.

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