Disney's Instrumental Impressions

Jack Jezzro

Walt Disney Records, 1998


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


At last, I think I've found a disc to help me sleep now that my Environments tape of the seashore wore out! Pillow, meet Jack Jezzro.

In one sense, my attribution of Disney's Instrumental Impressions to guitarist Jezzro is incorrect; Jezzro is backed by an orchestra throughout this album. But these 14 selections of interpretations of some of Disney's best-loved film music is sleepily beautiful, almost like I was listening to the Muzak station in my own home. It's pretty, but you gotta admit, it's fluff.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Jezzro and the orchestra lovingly take on such classic numbers as "When You Wish Upon A Star," "Bella Notte" and "Lavender Blue," and are able to keep the songs' original spirits while adding a touch of modern style to them. In fact, the performance of "When You Wish Upon A Star" sounded like something I've heard before reviewing this album.

Some questions arise when Jezzro and the strings tackle more modern numbers like "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (which will never sound right without Elton John), "If I Never Knew You" (a track from Pocahontas) and "Beauty And The Beast". Oh, it's not that the versions have anything wrong with them; it's just that they're still babies in the Disney catalog, and as such, the generation that remembers the originals won't want to hear them tampered with in any way.

The biggest complaint I could register about Disney's Instrumental Impressions is it's so laid back, I found myself ready to doze off several times during its time in the ol' CD player in the Pierce Archives. Fans of lighter pop will love this album to death, while the rest of us... well, let's just say you shouldn't listen to this one in your car, especially if you experience "highway hypnosis".

In general, the selection of these songs is well-chosen, and presents a nice balance of old and new that should put a spark in a romantic evening before the fireplace (or, at least this summer, in front of the air conditioner). However, I can't see this being a "make-out" CD; somehow I think hearing "Some Day My Prince Will Come" as one is about to make his move would kill the moment. (Then again, I used Beethoven my first time... and lived to tell about it.)

Disney's Instrumental Impressions has enough value for the young listener to get some enjoyment out of it, while the older listener might appreciate the more gentle touch taken to the songs. Still, if it weren't so sleepy, it would have been that much better of an album.

Rating: B-

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© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Walt Disney Records, and is used for informational purposes only.