"When The Saints Go Marching In" is Bradley Sowash's follow-up to 2001's "We Gather Together". Aptly subtitled "Hymns & Spirituals for Solo Jazz Piano", Sowash combines traditional gospel and jazz stylings with his own contemporary flavor, creating a collection that is fun, inspiring, and uplifting. A pianist with impeccable chops, Sowash's playing always sounds effortless and spontaneous. Some of the tracks really cook, like "Down By the Riverside" and the title track. Others are more reflective ("Come Ye Disconsolate", "America", "Beach Spring", "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need") and some are bluesy ("He Never Said a Mumblin' Word", "Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho" and the medley of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot / Michael Row the Boat Ashore"). "Jesu, Jesu" doesn't really fit any of those categories, but has a beautiful, swirling effect that is full of joy and life. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of Bradley Sowash's albums, but this one may be my favorite. "When the Saints Go Marching In" is strong and exciting from start to finish. Even the cover art and liner notes are exceptionally good. Highly recommended!(Kathy Parsons, amazon.com)
Trombonist J.J. Johnson, 64 at the time of Quintergy, is heard in top form on this Live at the Village Vanguard set. His quintet, which includes Ralph Moore on tenor and soprano, pianist Stanley Cowell, bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Victor Lewis, is perfectly suited to interpret the spirited set of advanced bop. Highlights include Johnson's feature on "You've Changed," "Coppin' the Bop," "Lament" and his unaccompanied playing on "It's All Right with Me." Excellent music. Another Antilles CD, Standards, comes from the same sessions.
The recording captures Lewis's ensemble perhaps at zenith. "Jazz at Vespers" is one of the key albums in the George Lewis canon. It was recorded during a Vespers service in 1954 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Oxford Ohio. This was the church of Rev. Alvin Kershaw, a jazz enthusiast who was one of the first to use jazz bands as part of a service. George Lewis was at his best playing spirituals, his clarinet gentle and introspective, weaving inside the melodies like a white dove. The band backed him sensitively.Highly recommended. Clean, clear recordings.
Not just vibraphone, but glockenspiel, xylophone, marimba and even tubular bells. The youngest of the remarkable Marsalis brothers plays them all, sometimes multi-tracking several at once. This is an engaging set, tuneful and good-humoured, with titles like Blessed Unrest and The Man With Two Left Feet. Marsalis has a wonderfully crisp technique and a flair for inventing catchy melodies. As for the title number, you’ve never heard When the Saints Go Marching In sound anything like this. The rest of the quartet – pianist Austin Johnson, bassist Will Goble and drummer David Potter – really shine here.