Kairos Ensemble - Passion Suite

Published Monday 28th April 2014
Kairos Ensemble - Passion Suite
Kairos Ensemble - Passion Suite

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 150693-21971
LABEL: Mulberry Tree Music MULTRE0901

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

This Easter-themed concept album from Kairos Ensemble sees the Hertfordshire jazz quartet and guest artists such as Iona guitarist Dave Bainbridge and LCGC singer Mica Townsend on top form and is summed up perfectly in the accompanying press release which suggests it is "beautiful, powerful and engaging". Very much a meditation on the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection, it's clear that lead writer Peter James and his colleagues have themselves grappled long and hard with the subject matter to create a masterpiece that will captivate the listener from start to finish. From the opener "Invocation", Dan Foster's virtuoso sax playing takes centre stage and, although the scene seems to be set for a set of high quality modern jazz pieces, the Ensemble use a number of different musical leanings to evoke different parts of the Easter story. For instance, "The Trial" perfectly induces the tension surrounding Christ's confrontation with Pilate by melding frantic jazz with some prog rock elements - notably Bainbridge's Hammond solo and some stunning drum work from Tom Hooper - whilst "The Death Of Christ" is fittingly dark and brutal before a daring three minute silence launches into the joyful and mysterious "Resurrection". Use of strings in the likes of the more placid "It Is Finished" and the classically-tinged "Arms Of The Everlasting" offer up some light to the shade found elsewhere whilst Townsend's soulful recurring vocal refrain ensures that both words and music maintain the narrative on this exemplary release.

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