Saxman Greg Vail’s newest offering The Gospel Truth
is, as its title suggests, rich with the influence of church music, while occasionally sporting funky soulfulness in varying degrees. The opener finds Vail’s saxophones in R&B mode, framed by a gospel choir. Vail’s rich tenor recalls Gato Barbieri on the Coster/Santana tune “Europa,” expressing all of the tune’s inherent soulful grandeur.
The remainder of the program is performed only by Vail on saxophones and Rob Mullins on keyboards and programming. Seven of the ten tunes, most with obvious religious connotations in their titles, were composed by Rich Muchow, and in Vail’s and Mullins’ hands, they come across as simple yet eloquent, reflective, contemporary Christian fare. “Healing Grace” finds Vail’s flute in a pastoral setting. This CD will probably appeal more to fans of contemporary Christian music who want to add some light, reflective instrumental music to their collection rather than to jazz lovers.