Despite its familiarity Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ always hits a nerve; and no matter what cover version you listen to (and there are hundreds) its message, atmospherics and indefinable beauty never lose their impact .
That is self-evident in a glorious new version from a star studded ensemble….Cool Million’s Rob Hardt, soul master Marc Staggers, soulstress Miracle Thomas, the UK’s Michelle Lawson, singer/ songwriter David A. Tobin, guitarist/vocalist/producer Randy Hall, Dynelle “Weather Girl” Rhodes, horn man/producer Toddi Reed, soul diva Terri Green and indie soul man Cornell CC Carter!
The evolution of the new ‘What’s Going On’ goes back to pre-lockdown days when Terri Green and Cornell Carter were working together and suggested a duet. Given the times we live in, the Gaye classic was an obvious choice and before long plenty more top performers were brought on board – marshalled by Rob Hardt and Toddi Reed (Ms Green’s partner in the Terri Green project). The result is two new versions of the song – the original Terri Green/Toddi Reed mix and a Rob Hardt mix. Both pay respect to the original with Reed’s sinuous sax echoing the Gaye classic’s lines, Randy Hall’s guitar channelling a George Benson feeling while each of the star vocalists perform with clear commitment to the message.
This new, vibrant ‘What’s Going On’ will be released in the UK on Quattro Music on July 31st with some of the proceeds being donated to the Black Lives Matters campaign. Miss it at your peril!