Review: DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3 – Various Artists (BBE)

DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3

Anyone who has had the pleasure of going to a DJ Spinna gig will have been blessed to hear one of his sets, be it for his Stevie Wonder-inspired WONDER-Full DJ performances or a set encompassing any musical genre that the maverick has embraced.

Celebrating the gift that Stevie Wonder has given to DJ Spinna by way of inspiration, to say the least, is at the heart of DJ Spinna’s WONDER-Full DJ sets. And there’s no better person to delve into the soul legend’s back catalogue, hunt the globe for brilliant cover versions by a man who has influenced many and present them to you then DJ Spinna.

Now on its third album, DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3 is an exciting compilation of cover versions from artists both well known and lesser known, which features Stevie classics as well as some tunes you may not have even heard of.

DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3 kicks off with a laidback funk groove from the East St. Louis Gospelettes with a cover of Stevie’s ‘Have a Talk with God’. Latin vibes at the forefront on the classic ‘Pastime Paradise’ with a salsa edge. While Billy Preston’s cover of ‘It’s my Pleasure’ brings on a huge vocal jam, while Stevie’s signature-style harmonica glides effortlessly alongside piano riffs.

I’ve been a huge fan of DJ Spinna since his hip hop days with the group Jigmastas and his Heavy Beats Vol. 1 album, which also featured one of my all-time favourite tunes, ‘Rock’. As I’ve grown with DJ Spinna’s eclectic range of EPs, compilations and albums both on the production front as well as an artist in his own right, and followed his path along the more dance and house music foray, it is his passion for the legend that is Stevie Wonder that truly lives in his heart and soul.

DJ Spinna’s done a fab job of compiling tunes from popular artists including The Jackson 5 and Quincy Jones on DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3, but it’s the lesser-knowns who provide the backbone on this album. Tony Sherman, whose cover of ‘As’, is a brilliant take on a classic Stevie favourite with a vocal range so strong that comes close to the legend himself at times. Another standout performance comes from Reel People featuring Tony Momrelle, whose soft and harmonising vocals akin to a young Stevie, smoothly sashay through the tropical vibes on the cover of another Stevie Wonder classic, ‘Golden Lady’.

And it’s the rarities that come forth on DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3 in all its experimental entirety – Jrod Indigo’s ‘Go Home’ for one. This Nouveau Ame version of Jrod Indigo’s ‘Go Home’ takes you through various musical soundscapes – from electro, dance and R&B, but it’s the Prince-like vibes owing to the guitar riffs that grace the track throughout that pull out all the strings, quite literally, on this cover. Love it!

Great feel good vibes courtesy of a musical legend and the musical offspring he has created in his wake, and an equally legendary DJ and producer who continues to champion both the Wonder himself and the wondrous that follow.

DJ Spinna presents The Wonder of Stevie Vol. 3 – Various Artists is out now on BBE. DJ Spinna’s world-acclaimed WONDER-Full party comes to London on Sunday 10 July  at the Prince Of Wales, Brixton. For tickets, visit Resident Advisor

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