Joe Gilman | View So Tender: Wonder Revisted Vol. 1

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View So Tender: Wonder Revisted Vol. 1

by Joe Gilman

Contemporary Acoustic Jazz
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Wish
8:18 album only
2. Don't You Worry About a Thing
6:19 album only
3. Smile Please
7:35 album only
4. That Girl
6:52 album only
5. Sir Duke
6:36 album only
6. Taboo
7:07 album only
7. Send One Your Love
5:24 album only
8. Love Light in Flight
6:42 album only
9. Go Home
6:33 album only


Album Notes
After the Brubeck sessions in 2003, Joe, Justin and I wanted to continue the idea of new takes on great music. Many composers came to mind, but Stevie Wonder's music was a natural choice. Beautiful melodies, adaptable harmony, flexible forms, longevity, and dozens of classics from which to choose.

We set out searching, listening, talking, writing, playing, laughing, and discovering in the Winter of 2004. We listened to almost a dozen hours of Stevie tunes. Many different approaches were discussed, including generating arrangements from rhythmic phrases, collective improvisations, reversing roles of the instruments, and many other concepts we learned from the Brubeck sessions.
Finally on June 10 and 11, 2004, we sat down for 13 hours and recorded 28 tunes, some of which you hear on this CD.

Who wouldn't want to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder? And we realized there are many Stevie tribute CDs out there. But this isn't so much a tribute album. It was never conceived that way. It is almost more like a string quartet that records all of the Beethoven repertoire. It is more of a dialog between the two genres of jazz and R&B. Between a genius of modern music and three humble
students. Delving deep into a catalog and finding ways to reassemble the music into vehicles for improvisation. Only a few of the things that are so great about the possibilities of the artform we respectfully call jazz.

VIEW SO TENDER on Two National Top 10 Lists

VIEW SO TENDER is the #2 most added jazz CD nationwide
for the week of July 31, 2006, behind Joe Lovano (CMJ report)!

sophisticated jazz treatment of infectious pop
Rating: 4 of 5

Joe Gilman is one of those many jazz artists deserving of wider recognition - a really swinging, creative pianist. I enjoyed his two album treatment of Brubeck compositions, but to be honest, I'm not that big a fan of Brubeck, whose songs (with the exception of In Your Own Sweet Way, which Gilman gives a driving solo rendition on Vol #1) always struck me as either clunky or uninteresting. This album is another matter. If you grew up in the seventies, as I did, these Wonder songs will seem so likeable and familiar that just the title will evoke the bar (or the grocery store) where you heard them last. Putting them in the context of a jazz trio might seem gimmicky, but Gilman's fantastic arrangements make them interesting without destroying the "hooks" which made them so appealing in the first place. Highlights include the shifting time signatures of Don't Worry Bout a Thing (7/4 (?) to 4/4) and the fluid solo in Send one your Love. I wouldn't rank Wonder's songs among the greats of Tin Pan Alley, but by giving them jazz respect, Gilman makes them good for serious listening.

View So Tender: Wonder Revisited Vol 1 Capri ***

Pianist Gilman succinctly sums up the attractions, opportunities and challenges (sometimes they're the same thing) of Stevie Wonder's music as "beautiful melodies, adaptable harmony, flexible forms." In this buoyantly swinging trio tribute he makes the most of them, particularly the latter two. The approach is considered, the arrangements thoughtful and enhancing, and the material drawn thoroughly into the jazz fold by a crisply together group completed by Joe Sanders (bass) and Justin Brown (drums). Much of the material is lesser known work, but even the familiar Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing is refreshed by the trio's inventive way with it. Standouts on a finely crafted album include Smile Please, Sir Duke and Send One Your Love.

~ Ray Comiskey

View So Tender: Wonder Revisited - Volume One
Joe Gilman Trio | Capri Records (2006)

This is the same crackerjack trio that delivered two volumes of Dave Brubeck classics, artfully freshened with a new coat of musical paint. (Volume One was reviewed here in 2004.) Now, with View So Tender, the group turns its focus to Stevie Wonder, forging a uniquely creative and delightful link between R&B and jazz.

First, a word about the trio itself. Among Joe Gilman's recent accomplishments is winning the 2004 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. His bandmates were barely out of high school when they did the first Brubeck disc - and if they were terrific then, they're even better now, as the trio has even more assurance, ease and flow. Always desirable traits, they're especially crucial with rhythms as complex as these.

For example, "Sir Duke" is in 9/8 and "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" is "mostly in 7/4, with a bar of 4/4 thrown in every once in awhile for good measure." But this is not random complication: each rhythmic change or reharmonization shines a bold new light on Wonder's timeless melodies, revealing new facets and textures. "I Wish" swings like crazy, as does "Send One Your Love," a personal favorite that gets an update full of affection and respect. Other tunes will be familiar even if their titles are not, like the winsome "Smile, Please," with its gorgeous, uplifting bridge, the funky "Love Light In Flight," and the pulsing "Go Home." I'd never heard the beautiful "Taboo," but then the rumor's always been that Wonder has a huge catalog of unreleased tunes.

Since Volume One of this series contains only nine of the 28 tracks the trio recorded in 2004, we probably have more classy and satisfying recordings to look forward to. In the meantime, this is an exciting start, and a must-hear release for fans of both Wonder and jazz.

~ Dr. Judith Schlesinger

Four-Star Review from Audiophile Audition

The Joe Gilman Trio - "View So Tender: Wonder Revisited, Vol. 1" - (Gilman, piano; Joe Sanders, bass; Justin Brown, drums) - Capri Records 74076-2, 1 hour ****:

Another great theme for a jazz album! Some Stevie Wonder tunes have been picked up by jazz performers but this may be the first entire album of them - nine tracks! And it looks like a second volume is in the offing. Gilman's trio recorded an album of all Dave Brubeck tunes a few years ago, so this was not an off-the-wall idea for them. Lennon & McCartney tunes are being heard more and more in the jazz world as musicians realize how musically original and effective they are, and Stevie Wonder's joyful songs are often in the same class. This seems to be a good time to bring them into the jazz genre since much jazz is being infused with elements of soul and funk.

Dr. Gilman has a master's in jazz and contemporary media from the Eastman School of Music and a doctorate in education from the University of Sarasota. He has performed with Eddie Harris, Bobby Hutcherson, George Duke, Chris Botti and Slide Hampton. He received the Brubeck Institute's first Brubeck Scholar Award and his rhythm section are both Brubeck Institute students. The inclusion of Wonder's "Sir Duke" shows he is no stranger to the world of jazz. I think my favorite track was the trio's treatment of Wonder's Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing."

Tracks: I Wish, Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing, Smile Please, That Girl, Sir Duke, Taboo, Send One Your Love, Love Light in Flight, Go Home.

- John Henry

Click here to read the review on Audiophile Audition's website.

The Joe Gilman Trio - VIEW SO TENDER

Mr. Gilman's jazzified tribute to Stevie Wonder's fantastic music is well received by these ears, to be sure... a rousing intro with "I Wish", with stride lines (both Joe's keyboards & Joe Sanders' bass) galore & superbly crafted rhythms by Justin Brown, will wake you right up & put you right on top of the world! Yes, these ARE tunes you've heard before, but this trio brings new (jazz) life to them, with both skill & a clear sense of love for the music. "Sir Duke" is my favorite track on the album, showing their versatility & cohesiveness as a unit... nothing "stodgy", pure soul to transport you to the same realms the original(s) did... as I sat here listening, I couldn't believe how sweet life can be, & it was th' moods they were creating with their interpretations of Wonder's wondrous music(s) that made it happen. This one gets a clearly deserved HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ears, & I know you jazz fans will want (even need) this fine lil' CD in your collection. Get more information at

- Rotcod Zzaj

Jazz Week Review


JOE GILMAN and TRIO with Joe Sanders bass and Justin Brown drums begin SAJS with two new one's, his slant on Stevie Wonder. This Cd , VIEW SO TENDER: WONDER REVISITED is one of the hottest of a milieu of new releases.

I recall Detroit radio in the sixties, when young Jim Hampton at WXYZ and Jim Jefferies on "KEENER 13" aired romps of Little Stevie Wonders first hit, "Fingertips, part 2." Marvin Gaye, another Motown protege played percussion on that :45 record. It was a live gig and Wonder played harmonica, along with singing. It was a gospel/R&B fracase. Of course, Wonders career has progressed with a series a fine writings and performances, some of which are covered here extremely well with the Gilman taste and verve.

Definitely. Stevie Wonder has to be pleased with this endeavor

We played "I Wish" and "That Girl," as both most certainly will get additional air play for this fine jazz musician and professor of music just down the road from the studio, American River College and The Brubeck Institute at University Of The Pacific in Stockton, where Gilman discovered these two very talented side men, Joe Sanders, bass and Justin Brown, drums.

The Gilman Trio captures the 'smile,' 'spark' and reaffirmation in Wonder's music with very new and interesting twists. This'll play well in concert. Not since Thigpen and Brown joined Oscar Peterson in that "Live' gig in Chicago" album on Verve in the sixties has there been as the electricity conveyed here with Gilman, Sanders and Brown.

Capri Records

This trio is back. For each has their own treasure and destiny and this Stevie Wonder is a way to get back and corrugate.

I remember Little Stevie Wonder on Detroit radio with his first hit as a kid from Flint, to this dissection of his music by the young masters of this art.

Remember, Joe Gilman teaches 16 century music theory down the road from me, and these two young talents, Joe Sanders, bass and Justin Brown, drums. It's understandable for Paul Chambers was just out of Cass Tech high school and Tony Williams appeared at seventeen with Miles in Berlin.

One thing you'll know about Gilman is he has a different slant, taking it form one genre to another with the ease of a master craftsman.

And you'll hear it here. Tunes you know, performed in a very different manner, providing a different perspective of what these songs engender.

Steve Wonder and The Joe Gilman Trio?
This is early Bill Evans, Scott La Faro, Paul Motian magic!

PS: God bless Frank Isola, another Detroiter and drummer who worked with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan who I met briefly outside Verne's bierstube on Woodward avenue in 1960. These Detroit musicians have a special cruise control in hard bop heaven.
So does Joe Gilman for his understanding how to turn pop into bop. It's been done before and not quite like this...

Joe Gilman - View So Tender: Wonder Revisited 4/5

O's Notes: Pianist Joe Gilman leads a trio with Joe Sanders on bass and drummer Justin Brown. They take nine of Stevie Wonder's hits and jazz them up quite a bit. The opener "I Wish" features Joe cooking up a storm. We are classifying it as contemporary R&B jazz but the application is straight ahead. It is sure to touch fans on both sides as it is well executed.

D. Oscar Groomes
O's Place Jazz Newsletter
P.O. Box 2437
Naperville, IL 60567-2437



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