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Recorded live and unedited at St. Thomas’s Church in London, England Above The Clouds is an adventurous yet divine and moving experience. Mark Ramsden (soprano saxophone) and Steve Lodder (organ) recorded this project in 1995 as a limited edition release, thankfully NAXOS had the foresight and wherewithal to reissue this recording on their burgeoning jazz label. Above The Clouds is a magnificently beautiful recording which highlights an unlikely pairing of jazz-style soprano sax with the almost ancient yet spiritual sounds of a church organ. These gentlemen produce richly melodic, untarnished or pristine sounding tone poems that go straight to the heart and soul. Ramsden’s sweet lyricism along with Lodder’s pensive yet emphatic organ work are a near perfect match. These musicians reach for the heavens through an admirable display of renaissance spirit enacted through charming and earnest interplay. Religious overtones aside, Above The Clouds is a superb outing that provides insight into the seemingly limitless possibilities of jazz in its native form especially when in the hands of two gifted musicians-composers. A shared vision implemented with conviction and passion.......Recommended!!...* * * *
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.