Anthony Branker & Ascent

Spirit Songs

Origin 82876

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...Anthony Branker's compositions are luxuriously packaged in both classical and jazz forms, blending and intermingling to the point of no longer knowing what planet we are on, except for that of an exceptional composer... Musical beauty in the service of thought, or perhaps the reverse...
Paris-Move

Composer Anthony Branker's ninth album for Origin Records is a re-issue of his debut recording for Sons of Sound Records in 2006. This was Branker's first recording as a composer/bandleader writing specifically for his ensemble, Ascent, the first of his three collectives that would establish him as an important emerging writer and "a force to be reckoned with in the world of modern post-bop jazz." Spirit Songs is a bold, spacious recording that showcases Branker's earlier compositions, rooted in modal harmonies, displaying a unique sense of lyricism and full of highly rhythmic grooves, based in the world of jazz but blended with culturally diverse musical styles. At the center of the recording is the inspired, fiery and always surprising drumming of the late, great Ralph Peterson, Jr., whom, along with trombonist Clifford Adams, Jr., this reissue is dedicated in the memory of. With saxophonists Antonio Hart and Ralph Bowen, pianist Jonny King, and bassist John Benitez, Spirit Songs marked an auspicious debut for this formidable composer whose "place in Jazz has been consistently building unique architectures that speak to the cultural reparation of allowing this art form to thrive as protest music."


Track Listing:

1. Chant for Peace Eternal 7:08
2. Parris in April 8:30
3. Spirit Song 7:29
4. Sketches of Selim 7:20
5. Imani (Faith) 6:45
6. In God's Hands 6:00
7. Mentor 8:05
8. J.C.'s Passion 7:54

Composed & arranged by Anthony Branker
Published by J PROF Music, BMI

Performers:

Ralph Bowen - tenor & soprano saxophones
Antonio Hart - alto & soprano saxophones
Clifford Adams, Jr. - trombone
Jonny King - piano
John Benitez - double bass
Ralph Peterson, Jr. - drums
Anthony Branker - composer & musical director

Production Info:

Produced by Anthony Branker
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Mike Marciano
at Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Recorded on May 18-19, 2004
Remastered by Mike Marciano
Cover design & layout by John Bishop


Reviews of Spirit Songs

Jazz Weekly (George Harris)
Composer and musical director Anthony Branker mixes some rich harmonies with a rhythm team led by Ralph Peterson/jr/dr, John Benitez/b and Jonny King/p along with a front line of Clifford Adams, Jr/tb and the saxes of Ralph Bowen/ts-ss and Antonio Hart/as-ss. He's released other albums with bands named Imagine and Wordplay; each album is consistent ...

Jazz Views (UK) (Ed Sapiega)
Anthony Branker is a multi-talented artist who is known for his sophisticated approach to modern creative post-bop jazz. He is a composer, arranger, musical director, and educator. Branker trained to be a trumpet player, however, he has focused on composing for much of his career due to health issues resulting from a brain aneurysm in 1999. Bran ...



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