JVE Remixes - Robert Lamm
When "Robert Lamm Songs: the JVE Remixes" first arrived I was excited to listen to what new music and arrangements Robert Lamm and John Van Eps, a frequent co-writer and producer of many of Lamm's other solo works, had put together this time.
I am a fan of both men and own most of their collaborative efforts from "Life Is Good In my Neighborhood", "In My Head/Too Many Voices", and most recently "The Bossa Project".
At first listen however, I was shocked, almost angry, at the result. How could they take Chicago songs like "Beginnings", "Saturday in the Park", and "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" and destroy them in such a way? Even "It's A Groove" from one of my favorite Lamm solo projects, "Subtlety and Passion", was almost unrecognizable.
I had heard "On The Equinox" since it was previewed on "Living Proof", so of course it was "supposed" to sound like this.
That is when it occurred to me: the problem was not with Lamm, Van Eps or this CD. The problem was me and the way I was listening to it. I have heard these songs hundreds of times, either on record, CD or live and I have the arrangements/performances embedded in my brain; expectations of how they are "supposed to sound". When I could break free of the closed minded "little box" I had put them in and listen as if I had never heard the tunes before, I really came to enjoy this CD for its originality and appreciate how brave Lamm and Van Eps were to take on such a task.
Fans, I believe, sometime try to hold captive the material wanting it unaltered because of the memories associated with the songs for them. They do not want the artist to grow or change the work because it disturbs their memories, their past, their "little box". I found in order to listen fairly, I had to let go of my personal memories I associated with the music and be open to something unique and different; hear these songs as new material and not as something so familiar to me. After a few listens I realized how much like this CD, no I maybe even Love this CD. It's a rare combination of pop, jazz, hip hop, big band with interesting vocals, timing and arrangements. Highly recommended. Five Star Gentlemen. Shine on.