Saxman Greg Vail’s newest offering The Gospel Truth is, as its title suggests, rich with the influence of church music, while occasionally sporting funky soulfulness in varying degrees. The opener finds Vail’s saxophones in R&B mode, framed by a gospel choir. Vail’s rich tenor recalls Gato Barbieri on the Coster/Santana tune “Europa,” expressing all of the tune’s inherent soulful grandeur.
The remainder of the program is performed only by Vail on saxophones and Rob Mullins on keyboards and programming. Seven of the ten tunes, most with obvious religious connotations in their titles, were composed by Rich Muchow, and in Vail’s and Mullins’ hands, they come across as simple yet eloquent, reflective, contemporary Christian fare. “Healing Grace” finds Vail’s flute in a pastoral setting. This CD will probably appeal more to fans of contemporary Christian music who want to add some light, reflective instrumental music to their collection rather than to jazz lovers.
Track Listing: People All Over the World; Healing Grace; Europa; Good and Worthy; Don
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.