BootLeg Betty

CD Review: Various Artists, “All My Friends Are Here” (NuNoise). 2 ½ stars

MassLive.com
Various Artists, “All My Friends Are Here” (NuNoise). 2 ½ stars.
It’s tough to argue with the sentiment behind this posthumous tribute to the legendary late producer Arif Mardin, though the music ranges from incredibly tasty to incredibly trite.

Completed after Mardin’s death in 2006, it celebrates the Istanbul-native’s lasting legacy on the international music scene, with a collection of songs he composed and co-produced with his son Joe Mardin, all performed by an all-star cast.

The exception is the amusing, swingin’ opening cut, “The Greatest Ears in Town,” which is sung and co-written by Bette Midler.

Many of Mardin’s other admirers can also be heard, including Diana Reeves’ rather disappointing “No One;” the very tasty “Goodbye to Rio,” by Raul Midon; the lackluster drag of Amy Kohn’s “Dual Blues;” and the borderline discordant “Chez Twang’s,” featuring Dr. John in a song Mardin wrote while still a student at the Berklee School of Music.

Carly Simon, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson and Chaka Khan are among the many others on board for the CD, which is the companion piece to the documentary “The Greatest Ears in Town.”

Tracks to download: “The Greatest Ears in Town” “Goodbye to Rio.”

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