Edwin Fawcett - Lift Your Eyes

Published Monday 25th July 2016
Edwin Fawcett - Lift Your Eyes
Edwin Fawcett - Lift Your Eyes

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 157740-23182
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Edwin Fawcett has risen from Britain's Roman Catholic Church to become a world travelling musical ambassador. With his skill at arranging choirs and musicians of all levels of ability and composing music from the widest musical palette, this composer pianist is finding ever-increasing popularity in church circles. Eclecticism rules in Edwin's musical world although it is jazz which most often dominates his musical thinking. 'Lift Your Eyes' opens with a brief gospel-like choir and handclaps but quickly moves into "Deliverance" which features folk-style guitar on the intro then some crisp riffs from a horn section before a small choir sing in unison. It's only by track four "He Will Destroy Death" that we have a jazz-styled lead vocal presumably from Edwin himself. All the lyrics are taken directly from Scripture, the Prophet Isaiah and the 24 pieces here range from very short fragments to extended works like "I Exalt You"(from Isaiah 61) through to the title track based on Isaiah 40: 26-31. It must be said that Fawcett's settings of Scripture are not always easy on the ear though there is one track "Listen To Me" which is accessible enough to get an airing on more adventurous radio stations. But elsewhere the sheer complexity of the arrangements so skilfully executed by the singers and musicians demand considerable concentration. Having said that if you are attuned to jazz and enjoy, say, the sacred works of Dave Brubeck, or want music that doesn't really fit into any single stylistic category, you may want to investigate this most inventive of composers and arrangers.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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