The unusual outfit of flautist Jef Kearns from Toronto is probably his trademark. I have had the pleasure of getting to know his solo projects On the Level (2009), Soulfisticated (2013), The Flute (2016) and Jazzy AF (2020). His new EP is called Deep Cover 1970s (2024) and offers a colorful potpourri of well-known hits from this period.

Jef reveals “Deep Cover 1970s is my proudest moment and most cohesive sounding project to date. Working alongside producer, Douglas Romanow, our goal was to modernize and revitalize these 1970s classics in a creative yet highly respectful way.

The project also allowed me to spotlight some of Toronto’s top female vocalists alongside my signature flute sound. I am thrilled to present these songs and artists for current and future generations to discover.”

Without exaggerating, Jef describes precisely what he is presenting to the amazed audience. Excellently arranged and performed, Jef offers us a highly qualified interpretation of an unusual collection whose common denominator is the time period, its popularity and musical charisma.

The album opens with Stop! In the Name of Love, a former hit of The Supremes from their Motown time featuring lead vocalist Diana Ross. Jef's arrangement transforms the song into the present day and offers a successful mixture of song and instruments. Aria Zenua's voice is unusually close to Diana Ross' timbre.

Aria Zenua is also lead vocalist of the second song ABC, a number 1 hit of the Jackson 5 from 1970. Jef was probably inspired by her to record these songs for his EP, because in addition to her own songs, Aria celebrates the music of the Supremes and the Jacksons in her cover band.

How Deep Is Your Love was one of the Bee Gees' most popular hits from 1977, which, together with the movie Saturday Night Fever, brought them worldwide fame and fueled disco fever to an all-time high. The song is interpreted by female vocalist Quisha Wint  for whom it is easy to fill the falsetto vocal range of the Bee Gees with her own fire. The song provides an opportunity to get to touch on this extraordinary singer and her rich musical career.

The rendition of Leon Haywood's I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You only fits into the album overall concept as a counterpoint to the other songs. Alana Bridgewater gives this funky song a fresh female component. She has made a career as singer and actress in numerous musicals, movies and tv series.

The album concludes with an interpretation of Roberta Flack's worldwide hit Killing Me Softly with His Song. Joanna Majoko is the singer who revives the song with her vocal presence. This highly awarded jazz vocalist has already made a powerful statement with her debut album No Holding Back.

On the album Deep Cover 1970s, Jef Kearn's flute does not play the leading role, which he leaves to the female singers in their impressive dominance. However, this does not detract from the overall impression of the album, which is remarkable not only because of the songs but also because of its vocal and instrumental performers.







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Album Information

Title: Deep Cover 1970s
Artist: Jef Kearns
Year: 2024
Length: 0:16:19
Genre: General R&B/Smooth Jazz
Label: Soul Breeze Records

1) "Stop! In the Name of Love (feat Aria Zenua)" (3:01)
2) "ABC (feat Aria Zenua)" (3:05)
3) "How Deep Is Your Love (feat Quisha Wint)" (3:12)
4) "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You (feat Alana Bridgewater)" (3:06)
5) "Killing Me Softly with His Song (feat. Joanna Majoko)" (3:53)

Further reviews:

The Flute

Jazzy AF