Anthony Branker & Ascent

Blessings

origin 82527

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Jerome Wilson, Cadence

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Composer Anthony Branker does not play anything on Blessings but he has assembled an impressive group of musicians, including Ralph Bowen, Steve Wilson, and Bryan Carrott, to perform his work. Branker's music falls under the broad Mainstream Jazz umbrella. His pieces are heavy on melody and, as their titles suggest, have a decidedly spiritual feel. "Ascent" is a strongly uplifting piece with soaring horns supported by Carrott's vibes. "Sacred Song" and "Wisdom" sound like stately hymns and "Arise" and "Crystal Angel" are Latin themes where Carrott really gets to cut loose. "Never Alone" is an elegant, bluesy feature for Clifford Adams, Jr.'s, trombone and the urgent "Praise" has Jonny King bashing his piano like McCoy Tyner. No matter the tempo of style there's a gentle, reflective vibe of inner peace and love rather than melancholy. This is a lovely work brought to life by an excellent band.






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