Anthony Branker

Beauty Within

origin 82719

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MUSIC REVIEW BY George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

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Anthony Branker doesn't even play an instrument here; he's the composer and director of these nine pieces performed by Ralph Bowen/ts-ss, Pete McCann/g, Fabian Almazan/p, Linda Oh/b and Rudy Royston/dr. The liberating part of this concept is that no musician is beholden to being the major voice; they serve the music completely.

The pieces themselves are quite sophisticated in concept, and varying in textures as well. You get some simple piano gentility on "Prelude to Wisdom" while Almazan gets romantic with Bowen's tenor on the flowing "Loving Day (June 12)." The piano and rhythm gets choppy on the staccato "People Everywhere" with the soprano sending out a Morse Code message of sorts, and the strings get elastic on the tricky "Joy" and "Beauty Within." The closing "(God's) Wisdom" is the most richly textured, appealing to the heart more than the head with perfect delight. Thoughtful!






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