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Talk about self–effacement. The members of the Brentwood Jazz Quartet aren’t even listed by name on this anthology of the quartet’s most appealing work. The music, too, has a faceless quality about it, albeit with a twist — everything the quartet plays is gospel–oriented, as such titles as “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” and “All Creatures of Our God and King” make abundantly clear. If any Christian–centered radio stations employ a “lite Jazz” format (I wouldn’t know), these tunes may be chart–busters with that audience. The BJQ, whoever they are, are smooth and professional, and the music they play, once one gets past the “message,” is comparable to what is heard on commercial radio whose programming embraces Kenny G and his surrogates. Actually, much of what is presented on Best of the BJQ would not be out of place on any station, no matter its religious orientation (or lack thereof), as most of the melodies would (I believe) be unfamiliar to anyone apart from its most ardent champions, and the music seems expressly designed to rest comfortably in the “smooth Jazz” niche. There is only one vocal (“It Is Well with My Soul”) and a minimum of overdubs or other special effects to detract from the quartet’s forthright purpose. Some Christians who admire this musical genre may be familiar with the BJQ; those who aren’t (and those who aren’t Christians or even especially religious) may find this a pleasant listening experience.
Track listing: We’ve Got a Story to Tell the Nations; What a Friend We Have in Jesus; Fairest Lord Jesus; Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Holy, Holy, Holy; Were You There?; I Love to Tell the Story; It Is Well with My Soul; Send the Light; Praise to the Lord, the Almighty; His Eye Is on the Sparrow; All Creatures of Our God and King; Do Lord; A Mighty Fortress; O Sacred Head Now Wounded (68:26).
Contact: Brentwood Music, One Maryland Farms, Suite 200, Brentwood, TN 37027 (615
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.