Published May 09, 2019Bernard Fowler has one fascinating resume. For 30 years, he's been a backing vocalist for the Rolling Stones, but he has also sung on seminal albums by the likes of Tackhead, Material, Philip Glass, Herbie Hancock, Yoko Ono, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Public Image Ltd.
This new solo album showcases his skills as an interpreter, as it's comprised of strikingly original and fresh takes on Rolling Stones songs. He does indeed turn them inside out, choosing to deliver them in an expressive spoken word style that places emphasis on lyrics, rather than typical Stones-y grooves.
Fowler is assisted by such elite players as drummer Steve Jordan, guitarist Ray Parker, Jr., David Bowie pianist Mike Garson, and Stones bassist Darryl Jones, and the resulting sonic gumbo includes '70s funk, R&B and salsa elements. Funky wah-wah guitar enlivens "Dancing With Mr. D," honking sax adds to the sinister feel of "Undercover of the Night," and a Davis-like trumpet punctuates "Sister Morphine."
Fowler smartly unearths some lesser-known Stones cuts, with only "Sister Morphine," "Sympathy For The Devil," and "Undercover…" qualifying as well-known. The result is a record that could appeal to non-Stones fans and devoted followers alike. (Rhyme and Reason)