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Collections of Beatles covers have been released by everyone from Chet Atkins to Count Basie, from Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops to the Chipmunks. Whole Beatles albums have even been covered at once: Both George Benson and Booker T. and the MG’s, for instance, took on Abbey Road. But there are still superlatives to be conquered. To wit: local jazz pianist Jon Simon, who has released what he proudly terms “the first solo piano recording dedicated to the Beatles’ music.” The 11-track Beatles on Ivory is Simon’s fifth release. His first was a selection of original solo compositions, the four that followed, collections of Jewish folk songs arranged for jazz piano (hence the title of one, Hanukkah…and All That Jazz). On Ivory, Simon’s choice of material suffers from predictability: All but three of the disc’s 11 songs appear on the Top 10 list of Beatles compositions most widely interpreted on U.S. recordings. (The exceptions are “Blackbird,” “Magical Mystery Tour,” and “Here, There and Everywhere,” which doesn’t quite count, since it comes in at No. 13). It’s just as well that McCartney tunes predominate here, since Simon’s style proves best suited to Ivory’s ballads; his self-consciously funky rendition of Lennon’s “Day Tripper,” for example, is unconvincing. On the whole, the disc’s least fussy arrangements—as on the gentle “Here, There and Everywhere”—are its most effective. And though the pianist’s interpretations are sometimes very loose indeed (cf. “Magical Mystery Tour”), the songs generally retain their essential character: The cloying “Michelle” remains so even as an instrumental, while the plaintive “Eleanor Rigby” is as haunting as ever.—