“We all play folk music.”
– Thelonious Monk (to Dylan)
Jazz spans a period of over 100 years and encompasses a range of music from ragtime to the present day, and has proved to be very difficult to define. Jazz makes heavy use of improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note,as well as aspects of European harmony, American popular music,the brass band tradition, and African musical elements such as blue notes and ragtime. The birth of Jazz in the multicultural society of America has led intellectuals from around the world to hail Jazz as “one of America’s original art forms”
Bob Dylan is Jazz at heart, what I mean is that he improvises, he elaborates on his own work. Sometimes his songs are unreckognisable to us. He goes with flow, he goes where the song takes him. He is very “jazzy”, but he does seldom sound like jazz.
I have had quite a few posts with Bob Dylan cover versions and today we are looking at Jazz artists doing their interpretations of his songs.
People sometimes seem surprised that Bob Dylan looks more and more as a country artist, but they forget that country and folk were essentially the same genre once, and rock’n roll began as the rockabilly side of country. Bob Dylan’s connection to country music should not be a surprise to anyone.
“Even at a young age, I identified with Hank Williams. I’d never seen a robin weep but could imagine it and it made me sad. When he sang ‘the news is out, all over town’ I knew what that was, even though I didn’t know. When he died it was like a great tree had fallen. Hearing about Hank’s death caught me squarely at the shoulder. The silence of outer space never seemed so loud.” – Bob Dylan
I have picked my favourite country versions of his songs, some I found only audio of. Some of the songs are by other artists and some are collaborations between Bob Dylan and other artists.
“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine . . . I must have recited those lines to myself a million times. Johnny’s voice was so big it made the world grow small.” – Bob Dylan
10. Kris Kristofferson – Quinn the eskimo, from the recently released Chimes Of Freedom in honor of 50 years of Amnesty International, wonderful and rough version:
9. Every grain of sand – Emmylou Harris, from her album Wrecking Ball (1995) my favourite Emmylou album.
Emmylou Harris live May 24 2016:
8. It Ain’t Me, Babe – Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, released on Orange Blossom Special in 1965. We have chosen a version from an Australian TV-show in 1973:
Maria McKee sings Bob Dylan – Happy Birthday Maria McKee
Maria Luisa McKee (born August 17, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter. She is best known for her work with Lone Justice and her 1990 UK solo chart-topping hit, “Show Me Heaven”.
McKee was a founding member of the cowpunk/country rock band, Lone Justice, in 1982, with whom she released two albums. Several compilations of both previously released and unreleased material and a BBC Live In Concert album have been released since the group disbanded. Her band opened for such acts as U2.
Family Tree is a 2007 compilation album of home recordings by Nick Drake. The album is notable for the appearance of Nick’s sister, Gabrielle, on one track and the contribution of two original songs performed by Nick’s mother, Molly Drake. Recorded before the release of his first album Five Leaves Left, most of the tracks on the album circulated on bootlegs in the years before official release due to the generosity of Drake’s family in sharing them with fans. The album reached #35 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart, making it Drake’s first album to chart in America. It has a lovely version of Dylan’s Tomorrow Is A Long Time.
Tomorrow Is a Long Time is a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan. Dylan’s version first appeared on the album Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Vol. II compilation, released in 1971. It was subsequently included in the rare triple LP compilation, Masterpieces.