Let Freedom Ring!
Be Where You Are
All the musicians excel, but special praise should be directed toward powerhouse drummer Rod Youngs, percussionist Satin Singh, and iron-fingered bassist (and Dune Records patriarch) Gary Crosby, who negotiate the rubbery 3/4 time of the first and fourth movements, the Mingusy Black Church 6/8 of the second, and the 5/4 groove of the third with equal aplomb. This is a serious work, but it always swings, relentlessly and joyously. It is, ultimately, music of celebration. Okri's spoken-word interludes could have been a distraction; they are not. If anything, his entrancesagain, perfectly placedelevate the music considerably and frequently produce chills.
This is a marvelous work. I am hesitant to overstate its importance, or how educational it is (the styles covered over the three-quarters of an hour can be seen as a sort of jazz history in which polyphony, swing, chamber music, and free jazz all appear) because that would suggest that this music is like sonic broccoli: good for you, but not terribly fun. It is fun, endlessly inventive, singing, and propulsive. It is impossible to imagine how on earth Baptiste will be able to ever top this workbut whether or not he even tries to, I'll be listening to whatever he does next. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: 1. I Have a Dream 2. With This Faith 3. Let Freedom Ring! 4. Free at Last!
Personnel: Denys Baptiste: tenor sax; Nathaniel Facey: alto sax; Abram Wilson: trumpet; Trevor Mires: trombone; Omar Puente: violin; Jenny Adejayan: cello; Andrew McCormack: piano; Robin Banerjee: guitar (#2,4); Adam Goldsmith: guitar (#1,3); Gary Crosby: double bass; Satin Singh: percussion; Rod Youngs: drums; Ben Okri: voice; producer: Jason Yarde. Singing, clapping, shouts by ensemble and Jason Yarde.
Record Label: Dune
Style: Modern Jazz
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