Most of you are, by now, probably familiar with our album “Songs From Neverland – a bluegrass tribute to Michael Jackson”. Well, recently I was granted the opportunity to re-visit some of MJ’s tunes (in their original form) and I just wanted to write a little post about how amazing they are.
I got called for an audition with a great 14 piece MJ tribute band here in the Bay Area called ‘Foreverland’. For audition #1 I had to learn three tunes: P.Y.T., Rock with You, and I Want You Back. While the Jackson 5 era hits all have something wonderful to offer, and while P.Y.T. is one of the great songs of all time (off of the top selling album of all time “Thriller”), my personal favorite MJ album is “Off The Wall”, which gave us Rock With You, Working Day and Night, Don’t Stop (Till You Get Enough), and Burn this Disco Out. Admittedly, some of this music is slightly dated and VERY disco, but as a bass player I just don’t think you can beat Louis Johnson’s playing on this record. Dance music today thrives on repetition, but if you listen carefully to Louis’ playing on Off The Wall, you will hear a bassist who is creative at every turn, someone who plays around with the groove, tastefully appropriate throughout.
So do yourself a favor, get a copy of Off The Wall, load it on your iTunes, put on some headphones and take yourself for a 42 minute walk around your neighborhood while you spin these classic tracks. It’s some of the best entertainment available.