STYLE: Ambient/Meditational RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 48618-14590 LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD2882 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 RELEASE DATE: 2008-08-31 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Ewan Jones
'Hymn To Grace' mixes the familiar with the unexpected, sometimes embracing traditional arrangements but often re-interpreting famous hymns from out of left-field to bring a touch of creative jazz to proceedings. Edwards is, of course, the UK's hugely experienced keyboard player and producer having worked with artists as varied as Paul Weller and Graham Kendrick. Playing with him on this album are recognisable names Ben Castle, Dan Wheeler and Lou Fellingham. A version of "Oh To See The Dawn" brings to mind the staccato compositions of Philip Glass, while "Abide With Me" could be submitted as an alternative theme music to Film 2008. Edwards has produced an instrumental album with skill and insight; not just a lazy carbon copy of a song that's been "done" a hundred times before but a creative and fun collection. You may not choose to use the Caribbean-tinged "How Deep The Father's Love" or the lounge version of "Father God I Wonder" in your small group worship - but that's not what this album's about. Instead it is inspirational renditions of songs you thought you knew played with a deft musical intelligence that demands more attention than mere background music.
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1. Great Is Thy Faithfulness 2. Oh To See The
Dawn 3. Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace 4. How Deep The Fathers Love 5. There Is A Hope 6. Father God 7. Fathers Song 8. Abide With Me 9. Here I Am To Worship 10. Lord How Majestic 11. His Name Is Wonderful 12. Creation Song
It is such a gift, this rich and mysterious element in creation which we call music. Our creator has invested within it the power to heal, to calm, to uplift, to bring human beings together in unity, to touch and change a life, without the need of a single word. I believe it is a universal language of emotion and spirit. It has been a vital part of my daily life for as long as I can remember. Increasingly, over the past few years I have found playing music can be a way of expressing love and gratitude to our creator. That is what this music is about, a kind of ‘giving back’; an offering to the father who is so generous, patient and kindtowards us. A hymn to grace. The recording process was a little unusual for this album, in that I locked myself away for a week and recorded the piano first . I wanted to be alone with God and for the music to come from that place. The other instruments were then added one at a time. It really is a great privelige to have each of these wonderful musicians on this recording. Some I have worked with over many years, others are new friends. It is my prayer that in some small way this music might be an aid in your own spiritual journey.
Mark Edwards 2008