Michael Jackson's tragic passing in 2009 may have marked the end of the King of Pop's reign, but it also reignited interest in his music from younger and older listeners alike - one such listener is Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava. Although Rava had largely ignored Jackson's music when it was new, he was prompted to explore the singer's discography following the intense media coverage of his death, and the music connected with him so much that he decided to release Rava On the Dance Floor, a live tribute to Michael Jackson's music recorded in 2011 and released in early 2013 for ECM Records.
As expected, the album consists of jazz renditions of some of Jackson's more well-known tunes, and even a few deeper cuts. These recordings explore multiple styles of jazz, but an electric and distinctly 'Rava' flair pervades the entire album; the arrangements give the songs plenty of room to breathe, and the improvisations are more than competent. At the end of the day, On the Dance Floor isn't the most mind-blowing album you're ever going to hear from Enrico Rava (or ECM Records, for that matter), but it serves as a nice entryway into Michael Jackson's music for any jazz listener as well as a good way for a Michael Jackson fan to begin exploring jazz.
2. They Don't Care About Us
6. I Just Can't Stop Loving You / Smooth Criminal
7. Little Susie
8. Blood On The Dance Floor