Playing Chess

In her first full-length, Toronto singer Elise LeGrow puts a fresh spin on blues and soul classics. The title is a wink at Chess Records, the legendary Chicago label that recorded the original songs, but these selections feel wonderfully modern. Remaking hits by Chuck Berry (“You Never Can Tell”), Bo Diddley (“Who Do You Love”), and Fontella Bass (“Rescue Me”), LeGrow dares to change the tone—stripping them down, speeding them up, or simply swapping gritty guitars for rich, romantic piano. On “Long Lonely Nights,” Questlove plays drums on a song first recorded by his father, the late Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews & the Hearts. A special moment.

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