Bobby McFerrin & Yo-Yo Ma

vocal // contemporary classical

Sadly, too many people only will recall “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” when they think Bobby McFerrin. Beyond novelties, McFerrin actually brought a lot of innovation to a capella and music, in general. The song below comes from his 1999 collaboration with cello master Yo-Yo Ma. In a simply divine arrangement, McFerrin’s voice and Ma’s cello weave lyrical lines together and apart, creating a sonic landscape that escapes categorization. I hear hints of Akira’s Dolls’ Polyphony in the tune (and since it was released only 2 years after the movie, I bet it’s more than coincidence.)

A master of voice and a master of string. Making sound.
Bobby McFerrin & Yo-Yo Ma – Grace
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13 Responses to “Bobby McFerrin & Yo-Yo Ma”

  1. Golden Lady :

    This is probably one of my favorite albums, ever. It actually broke in half when someone sat on my CD case – this reminds me I need to buy it again.

  2. vjb2 :

    Just for the record, AKIRA was originally released in 1987. You may be thinking of one of the re-releases.

  3. suigeneris :

    Simply… thanks from Spain.

    Your blog ever discover me new visions of world music.

  4. Jerome :

    Wow, that was nice and refreshing. It’s weird that the album was release in 99’…i remember just seeing it at starbuck’s a couple of months back.

    Also, great touch putting in that Akira music. I thought the exact same thing and wanted to listen to it right after.

  5. Jared :

    Got to love Bobby.

  6. Anonymous :

    Loved the song.

    And great site!

  7. Anonymous :

    I got to see Bobby perform in Seattle a week or so ago. It was fantastic. During his vocal improvisations, which ranged from sublime to funky he did this hilarious compressed version of all the Wizard of Oz music. I’ve never seen someone so exuberant and having such a great time on stage. He’s also very good at getting the crowd to participate.

  8. Paul Irish :

    Too cool!
    Thanks for the field report, anon. I’d love to catch him in person.

  9. mersenne :

    hate to make a plug but I’ve featured a terrific house song by his son Taylor Mc Ferrin here on undomondo with some scat rhythms like his father (or maybe they’re actually by his father who knows?)

  10. Paperdaisies :

    Wow, this is amazing. I’ve never even given a second thought to Bobby McFerrin until just now. You’ve certainly opened my eyes…thank you again.

    This was the best stumbleupon site I’ve ever stumbled on. I love this blog, you’ve restored my faith in amazing music!

  11. Mister Suss :

    what a great site! so lucky to have found it. also i’m lucky enough to have been raised with parents who love bobby mcferrin for his other music, especially his collaborations with the likes of chick corea and, obviously, yo yo ma.

    question, to which i assume the answer is yes: have you heard aesop rock’s song “garbage,” in which he samples from “grace?” it’s really what turned me on to him, hearing an old favorite used so creatively. good stuff.

  12. Paul Irish :

    @Suss, I don’t think I had heard that track. Very cool!

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