Peter Bacon reports:
Barak Schmool’s Jazz Rhythm Class at the Royal Academy of Music is celebrating release from lockdown by hailing a cab: Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi to be precise. It’s hard to think of a more feel-good protest song, its strong message disguised beneath a jaunty melody and an even jauntier delivery from the students.
In the words of the press release:
“The words remind us to appreciate what we have, and realise what is being taken away from us without our consent, a message all too relevant in current times.
“The uplifting up-beat nature of the music hides the complexities of message and rhythm. There is a touch of M-Base structuring about the arrangement, whilst retaining the lighthearted mood of the original. Homegrown singer-songwriter/guitarist Rosie Frater-Taylor and German Exchange student Alma Naidu share the lead vocal duties with solo contributions from future stars Joel Knee (trombone), Seth Tackaberry (bass), Matt Carter (synth), Sam Norris (alto sax) and Justin Tambini (percussion).”
Raising money for Help Musicians UK, the single was recorded under the now-customary but still testing conditions of lockdown. It’s in lieu of a cancelled performance project by the full graduating class of 16 musicians.
Here’s a video teaser:
Jazz Rhythm Class 2020’s Big Yellow Taxi is available for download only via FIRE at http://f-ire.com/label/f-irecd104.html