Music is the ultimate balm for the soul, a mind-stabilizer that brings order to chaos. It's the timeless vessel through which humanity's core themes find their expression, and this holds especially true in today's world with its focus on issues like social justice. Musicians bear the responsibility of crafting harmony from discord. They can choose to compose entirely new pieces, or they can revisit and reinterpret the songs of the past, as was the case with "They Don't Care About Us" during the George Floyd protests. This transformative power is precisely what Washington DC-based "Coast 2 Coast and The Fantastic Gems" have harnessed in their rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Save the Children."
"Save The Children" stands as one of Marvin Gaye's most under-appreciated masterpieces. It strikes a perfect balance between soul and jazz, making it a fitting choice for reinterpretation in the 21st century, especially as part of the group's new album, "The New Old Skool." The new arrangement remains faithful to the original format, including Gaye's signature spoken word followed by tenor crooning, while infusing it with vibrant R&B and gospel elements. What truly stands out is the dynamic vocal energy of this new rendition. It effortlessly transitions from the whimsical beginning to the resolute middle and the anthemic crescendo, only to return to whimsy at the end.
Coast 2 Coast's rendition is a superb amalgamation, avoiding unnecessary experimentation and the common pitfalls of corniness often seen in songs centered around justice and harmony. Anthemic choruses punctuate the track with resounding "Save" cries, while the free-flowing piano, bass, and percussion provide a colorful backdrop. Every word is delivered with precise diction and breezy dynamism, a rarity in today's music landscape. This precision is crucial for a song that seeks to pose vital questions about the state of the world and society.
The quasi-improvisatory style in which the penultimate verses are delivered, such as "Live for life, but let live everybody" and "Who's willing to try to save the world that's destined to die," deserve high praise. The performance of the arrangement, along with the mix and mastering, have crafted a thunderous rendition that leaves a lasting impression with its fiery passion and breezy dynamism.
Clocking in at just three minutes and nineteen seconds, "Save The Children" is a powerful tour de force that accomplishes its mission in grand style. It's a rendition that would undoubtedly earn the seal of approval from the likes of Marvin Gaye himself.
About Coast to Coast Featuring The Fantastic Gems In 1968, a musical journey began at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, when a group known as The Fantastic Gems first came into existence. Following their high school days, these talented musicians ventured into various paths, pursuing higher education, military service, and embarking on new careers.
Years rolled by, and in the vibrant musical landscape of Washington D.C., two of the original members of The Fantastic Gems came together once more, forming the dynamic duo known as "Coast 2 Coast." Their collaboration led to recording and captivating performances that spanned from 1986 to 1990.
Fast forward to 2016, and The Fantastic Gems reunited, fulfilling a promise made during their youth in New Jersey. This heartwarming reunion bore fruit in the form of "The New Old Skool," a project that took three years from its inception to its completion. The album stands as a heartfelt tribute to their musical roots and serves as a testament to the community that had always encouraged, supported, and molded their musical spirit. "The New Old Skool" comprises 11 captivating songs that will resonate with fans of R&B, Gospel, Pop, and Jazz, bringing a delightful blend of nostalgia and contemporary artistry.