The passing of any singer or musician will follow with an endless amount of tributes, either in music/album form or in live performances. Sometimes the results are good, other times they are just a mess but in the case of jazz vocalist Charito, it is very much the former. Heal The World (Zoho) is a nice-sized 10-song tribute to the late singer, and it shows vocal and musical tribute to a man whose music continues to make an impact. They’re done with a lot of respect, and I could see myself listening to this, pulling out the album at any given point and wanting to listen to this.
The songs here range from all major eras of MJ’s music, from early Jackson 5 songs to his solo classics, Charito’s Latin jazz twist to “I Can’t Help It” is perfect and I could easily see some of today’s and tomorrow’s producers using this as sample fodder (and decent fodder at that). “Rock With You” are slowed down a bit to become a very romantic ballad, and that goes back to how basic yet useful the original song was back in 1979. Hearing “Ease On Down The Road” (the song Jackson did with Diana Ross for the film The Wiz updated for 2011 is really good. All of the songs should and deserve a lot of airplay on jazz and smooth jazz radio, perhaps allowing fans to hear these songs when they might have avoided MJ in a normal context. In a way that’s dumb, because away from what MJ represents to people, the songs are still very good and that’s due to the original songwriters, everyone from Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett to Rod Temperton, Stevie Wonder and Clifton Davis, so it’s very much a tribute to their work to. Regardless of the representative umbrella, Heal The World is simply a very nice jazz tribute album to a pop singer the world may never experience in the same away again.
(The original pressing of Charito’s Heal The World was released last summer, but will be reissued to a wider audience on April 12th via Zoho.)