All forms of jazz are a means of artistic personalization, but gospel jazz may be the ultimate form of individualized musical expression for those who believe. It serves as an aural representation of the individual communing with a higher power, and giving thanks. A broad yet set repertoire often binds gospel jazz projects and artists together, but no two people approach this style of music in the same manner. Pianist Hank Jones favored quiet musings on the divine while others, like pianist Cyrus Chestnut, often prefer a more flamboyant and chops-driven method of performance. This form of music is as ...read more
A good dose of personal humility and devotion to a higher power can de-clutter the life and chosen form of artistic expression. In the case of pianist Sharp Radway, who comes to his gospel jazz from early musical endeavors in the church, a pure spirit of artistic expression is revealed on his debut, Hymns and Things (Introspection and Reflection).Radway mixes solo piano, piano trio and two-horn frontline quintet offerings--very adeptly sequenced--into an engaging and cohesive set of that speaks eloquently to the CD's subtitle. The solemn solo opener, Sweet Hour of Prayer," gives way to the ebullient jubilation ...read more
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