Did Will.I.Am read (and hate) Maureen Dowd’s post (linked here)? Did Obama? Did Scarlett Johansson and Herbie Hancock and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and John Legend and the lot of them?
Perhaps not, but this is a nice response to the notion of Obama-as-Smooth-Jazz-Modernity. It is certainly smooth, and like Hancock’s Joni Mitchell tribute (I wrote about it here) it has its jazzy-qualities; but this is a far hipper, somewhat younger Obama-music connection. And one that, like Smooth Jazz, has racialized overtones for some audiences, but that can be read as (and is explicitly) multi-racial.
And it is gorgeous. I love the multi-voiced quality, the overlapping sounds of men and women’s registers. As I love it in Leonard Cohen’s work and Helena Noguera’s.
Smart politics, smart music, well done.