This album is subtitled "Sounding the Liturgical Year Through Jazz" and divides the session into three subdivisions (Advent-Christmas-Epiphany, Lent-Passion-Easter, Pentecost-Ordinary Time). Pianist Nelson Boschman explains that the songs are linked to the liturgical year of the Catholic Church and, as such, offer not only a traditional approach but an innovative one per the listener's rediscovery of these themes.
The opening track, the traditional "Shenandoah," which is an American folk song based upon a sea shanty, does not appear to have any religious background and is a bit of a mystery in this collection. Boschman begins and ends the album with trio performances which are both melancholy and reflective. On alternate tracks he is joined by Bria Skorberg on flugelhorn and trumpet, who adds a positive Milesian ballad touch, and Rob Des Cotes' flute. On "What Wondrous Love" Des Cotes is joined by Lance Obegard's trombone for a most effective addition to the musical palette.
The second half of this album contains several startlingly different presentations. On "Waking Up Happy," the full ensemble performs in an up-tempo bebop manner and the aptly titled "Unexpected" uses a Latinized pulse; both offer changes of pace from the other meditative tracks. "Holy God, We Praise Your Name" is a mid-tempo funky offering.
While I can't report that I have any familiarity with the liturgical melodies, Keeping Time was a learning experience for this listener.
Track Listing: Shenandoah, Yearning, Lo,How A Rose E'er Blooming, Gloria-a Coda, What Wondrous Love, Jerusalem Hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Waking Up Happy, Fairest Lord Jesus, Unexpected, Holy God,We Praise Your Name, Song for Ordinary Time, O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.
Personnel: Aggregate personnel:
Nelson Boschman, piano; Adam Thomas, bass; Kenton Wiens, drums; Rob Des Cotes, flute; Bria Skonberg, trumpet,flugelhorn; Lance Odegard, trombone.