STYLE: Jazz RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21280-11887 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by T A Sutherland
Upon first listening to this Middlesex-based ensemble you are immediately comforted by the quality of musicianship as the CD opens up, delivering a varied line up of soulish and modern jazz styles wrapped around worshipful solo lyrics. The ensembles leader Peter James outlines the purpose of the recording; "What attracts me to the Psalms is their passion, honesty and breadth of expression. They articulate the tensions between hope and despair, faith and doubt, exuberant praise and deep mourning. Our aspiration was to capture something of their essence through the music, not set word for word to a particular translation. Improvisation and free musical genres are mixed with more structured song writing to communicate their vitality and freshness." Despite the obvious musicianship of the ensemble, I'm afraid to report that 'Psalms' doesn't live up to Peter's optimism. The often dated easy listening jazz arrangements on this CD sometimes detract from the psalms. However, that said, there are some worthy exceptions including the mysterious eastern vibe of "Tuba Introduction" which leads into the light, soulish, lilting refrains of "Why Are You Downcast My Soul". Shame there aren't more tracks of this standard.
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out