346

Marcus Shelby Orchestra: Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Marcus Shelby Orchestra: Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A man with a deep social conscience and a fervent interest in social history, San Francisco bassist and band leader Marcus Shelby has previously used music to illuminate past injustices on Port Chicago (Noir Records, 2006), and then again with Harriet Tubman (Noir Records, 2008). On Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Shelby once again tackles another large-scale project of social and spiritual significance expressed through his creative musical interpretations.

For Shelby, the inspiration for the album came about as part of a personal journey learning the history and principles of the Civil Rights Movement, and wanting to share the stories of that historical experience through music. In his desire to make this recording politically and socially relevant, Shelby rearranged and re-orchestrated several spiritual and freedom songs associated with Dr. King, in addition to some music written by musicians who were part of the movement, and several originals penned after personal visits to the South.

The bandleader brings the movement to life through his renowned fifteen-piece orchestra featuring vocalists Kenny Washington, Faye Carol, and Jeannine Anderson on seven of these twelve spirited tunes. All three vocalist are featured on the first two traditional folk songs, "There is a Balm in Gilead," and the familiar "Amen." The other vocal pieces include the Gospel standard, "We Shall Overcome," "Go Tell It on the Mountain," Curtis Mayfield's classic "We're a Winner," and "Black Cab (Montgomery), all highlighting solo moments from each singer.

All is not song however, as Shelby contributes several gorgeous big band arrangements, beginning with his "Emmett Till (Bobo)," showcasing tenor saxophonist Evan Francis and pianist Adam Shulman. "Fables of Faubus" features baritone saxophonist Fil Lorenz, though his name is inexplicably not stated on the individual song credits. The disc's two most ambitious instrumentals are "Birmingham (Project C)" and "Memphis (I Am A Man)," which contain excellent solos from trumpeters Mike Olmos and {{m: Howard Wiley, = 13834},} as well as Shulman and Francis, once again. Another interesting aspect of both originals are Shelby's arrangements, incorporating different melodies within each piece, with a beginning and an end, creating a medley of sorts as if each were more than one song.

On Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shelby shines new light on the music that defined the period of the Civil Rights Movement, through soulful song and exciting big band orchestrations, tastefully done with a good measure of spirit and swing.


Track Listing: There is a Balm in Gilead; Amen; Emmett Til (Bobo); Black Cab; Fables of Faubus; We Shall Overcome; Trouble on the Bus (Freedom Ride); Birmingham (Project C); Go Tell It On The Mountain; We're A Winner; Memphis (I am a Man); Take My Hand Precious Lord.

Personnel: Marcus Shelby: acoustic bass, conductor; Gabe Eaton: alto saxophone; Marcus Stephens: alto saxophone; Sheldon Brown: clarinet, tenor saxophone; Evan Francis: flute, tenor saxophone; Fil Lorenz: baritone saxophone; Joel Behrman: trombone; Rob Ewing: trombone; Mike Rinta: trombone; Louis Fasman: trumpet; Scott Englebright: trumpet; Mike Olmos: trumpet; Darren Johnston: trumpet; Mark Wright: trumpet; Adam Shulman: piano; Sista Kee: piano; Matt Clark: B3 organ; Jeff Marrs: drums, percussion, vocals; Faye Carol: vocals; Jeanine Anderson: vocals; Kenny Washington: vocals; Howard Wiley: soprano saxophone (11), tenor saxophone (10, 12).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Porto Franco Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Beauty Within" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty Within
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Allied Forces" CD/LP/Track Review Allied Forces
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "It's A Man's World" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Man's World
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Leaps In Leicester" CD/LP/Track Review Leaps In Leicester
by John Sharpe
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X" CD/LP/Track Review Miguel Angelo Quarteto: A Vida de X
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!