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Tapestry (1997)

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Tim Hagans

Belden seems to be among the small (but growing) number of jazzmen who can find gold in the rock generation's song catalogs. Here is one of the richer lodes, all originally found on a single Carole King album called Tapestry, and Belden gives them an appealingly smooth, near-Wave treatment but with propulsive drum grooves to keep things from bogging down. Not only that, Belden chooses to present the tracks from Tapestry in the original sequence in which they appeared on King's album, a thoughtful and artistically sound gesture that will trigger the nostalgia banks of any rockers-turned-jazzers among the boomers. The songs suit Belden's relaxed, R&B-slanted soprano sax; Tim Hagans' yearning, muted trumpet; the Rhodes-like electric piano sound that Kevin Hays conjures; and the lovely acoustic and electric guitar work of John Hart. The uptempo groovethon "I Feel the Earth Move" and the surprisingly energetic Weather Report-like treatment of "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" are the most irresistible cuts on the disc. ~ Richard S. Ginell