TonyModi blesses Cosmicleaf Records with a new unidentified chilling object. Defying categorization, this album is full of flavor and color, grooving along with a very refreshing joyful tone. The melodies are soulful, the beats are jazzy but in a good way and overall that signature vintage sound that TonyModi is well known for keeps things nice and fuzzy. Very nice female vocals round off the occasional track with good taste. So if you have a void to fill, consider this. You will not be disappointed.
Although Hans Zimmer receives nominal credit, Tears of the Sun is in fact a collaborative effort featuring contributions from the composer's Media Ventures colleagues including Lebo M., Steve Jablonsky, and Heitor Pereira - the end result channels some unexpected ethnic influences into an otherwise by the book war film score reliant more on its emotional scope than its action themes. While African percussion and chants enliven several cues, Tears of the Sun is above all dominated by a palpable sense of melancholy - little here echoes the heroic, larger than life scale of war scores past, and all vestiges of patriotism are superseded by post-9/11 angst. It's certainly unexpected, especially given Zimmer's affection for bombast, but it works.
Gabriel is back with another funky contemporary jazz album, collaboration with Jeff Lorber (keys, g, b). In addition Brian Bromberg (b), Chuck Loeb (g), Rock Hendricks (sax) and Rob Tardik (g) all make guest appearances. Hasselbach plays trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and flute. He soars, soothes and keeps the melodies crisp. They waste no time getting down to business with the opener "King James", the first of ten cuts that sizzle. Gabriel and company are energized and when you plug this one in you too will be Kissed By The Sun!