8

Jaimeo Brown: Transcendence

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
One of the more thought-provoking releases to come along this year, drummer Jaimeo Brown's Transcendence is an ethnomusicology patchwork with elements of the blues, gospel, rock, and modern jazz. Inspired by Gee's Bend, Alabama—an African American rural community formed in the early 1800's that is steeped in vibrant music and art—Brown's project conjures the voices of the past and imparts his own language to the town's deep history and relevant present.

A drummer with explosiveness and touch, Brown recruits saxophonist JD Allen who has garnered critical acclaim for his emotive playing and soulful recordings. Add to this, some back-country blues and gritty rock from guitarist Chris Sholar and contributions from the esteemed pianist Geri Allen in the moving "Power of God." Brown leads these and other artists through a wide range of emotions with thunderous rolls or tender cymbal caresses in twelve aural soundscapes.

Splicing voice samples of sacred music with free flowing improvisational changes, the compositions are both evocative and intriguing. The juxtaposition of dissimilar but common voices is arresting in "Somebody's Knocking" and "I Know I've been Changed" which incorporate black spiritual music with the exotic talent of East Indian vocalist Falu or the Old Meter Hymn sampling of "A Charge To Keep I Have" at the end of the mesmerizing "Patience." The gut wrenching emotions expressed in "You Can't Hide" and "This World Ain't My Home" speak of life's hardships whereas the sweet repeating lullaby "I Said" includes the voice of Brown's 2-year-old daughter, Selah. Throughout the project, Brown and the other musicians deliver performances that are inspired and fervent.

Gee's Bend's history represents community, strength, and perseverance. It's also about the ingenuity displayed in the renown quilts created by the town's women; beautiful works that have been celebrated in museums, documentaries and projects by other jazz artists such as Jason Moran's commissioned work for The Philadelphia Museum of Art in February 2013. Brown's project is equally memorable as he splendidly adds his own unique identity to the patchwork with this auspicious release.

Track Listing: Mean World; Somebody's Knocking; Patience; You Can't Hide; Be Free; Power of God; I Know I've been Changed; I Said; Baby Meish; Accra; You Needn't Mind Me Dying; This World Ain't My Home.

Personnel: Jaimeo Brown: drums; JD Allen: tenor saxophone; Chris Sholar: guitar, electronics; Gee's Bend Singers: vocals; Geri Allen: piano; Falu: vocals; Dartanyan Brown: bass, additional production; Marcia Miget: flute; Marisha Brown: vocals; Selah Brown: vocals; ; Kelvin Sholar: keyboards, additional production; Andrew Shantz: harmonium.

Title: Transcendence | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Motema Music

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Power of God

Power of God

Jaimeo Brown
Transcendence

In Pictures
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Work Songs

Work Songs

Motéma Music
2016

buy
Transcendence

Transcendence

Motéma Music
2014

buy
Transcendence

Transcendence

Motéma Music
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Requiem for a New York Slice Album Reviews
Requiem for a New York Slice
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019
Read Trion Album Reviews
Trion
By Dan McClenaghan
April 22, 2019