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James Brandon Lewis' Red Lily Quintet: Sparrow


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Here is the opening track from James Brandon Lewis' Red Lily Quintet's For Mahalia, With Love (TAO Forms, 2023), a celebration of the music of Mahalia Jackson, remaining true to its original essence but framing it in a jazz context. Not since Oded Tzur's Isabela (ECM, 2022) has such an exalted tenor saxophone-led album come along. Is that Albert Ayler on the tenor, and brother Donald on the cornet? No, but having been summoned, the Aylers stay close to hand, prompting further questions... Is this where John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Ayler started? Or where they left off? Lewis offers some answers with the help of Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Chris Hoffman (cello), William Parker (bass) and Chad Taylor (drums).

Chris May Contact Chris May on All About Jazz.
Chris May is a senior editor of All About Jazz. He was previously the editor of the pioneering magazine Black Music & Jazz Review, and more recently editor of the style / culture / history magazine Jocks & Nerds.

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