|Body and Soul|
|Produced by David Kershenbaum and Joe Jackson|
|Released on March 1984|
|UK CHART POSITION #14 . . . US CHART POSITION #20|
|Find it at GEMM|
[high resolution scan]
Y ou could make a case that Body And Soul is Joe Jackson’s best album. You might even win the argument. Certainly it’s the most sonically gorgeous record he’s made so far. It also features the richest fare you’ll find on any JJ album: pop, jazz, Latin dance, songs and instrumentals. Having discovered Body, I can at last acquit him for the crime of Murder. Here is the artist who dazzled us with “Steppin’ Out” and “Breaking Us In Two.” Body And Soul is no mere return to Night, it’s the clarity of the morning after. The arrangements are more sophisticated, the artist’s many interests (jazz, pop, classical) better balanced. In fact, you could argue that Body And Soul is the battle between pop artist and artiste reconciled. He’s never sounded smarter, wiser or more natural in such exotic settings as Latin and jazz (compare the sultry “Cha Cha Loco” to “Cancer”). Much has been made of the album’s cover (a throwback to a Sonny Rollins album I have lying around here somewhere) and little of the album’s theme (the songs of lost love/divorce are linear enough to represent a concept album). Whatever the message, Jackson is writing from a different place on Body And Soul. Gone are the nasty comments and internal grumblings; this Joe is a man of action (“Go For It,” “You Can’t Get What You Want”) writing from the other side of experience. The modish Joe Jackson of Look Sharp! had evolved from the outmoded (and outlandish) Jivester to the “serious” songwriter of Night and, here, into a songwriter where the quotation marks from serious could be safely removed. The album cover suggests that JJ was still role playing, but the music is arguably his most authentic. Stylish yes, modish maybe, but the genius is genuine this time.
JOE JACKSON -- vocals, piano, sax
TONY AIELLO -- saxes and flute
GARY BURKE -- drums
ELAINE CASWELL -- vocals
ELLEN FOLEY -- vocals
GRAHAM MABY -- bass
MICHAEL MORREALE -- trumpet and flugelhorn
ED ROYNESDAL -- keyboards and violin
VINNIE ZUMMO -- guitar
Rik Pekkonen -- engineer
Dan Nash -- mixdown assistant
Jeremy Darby -- production coordinator
Charles Reilly -- photography
Quantum -- layout
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