David Murray Featuring Fontella Bass
Speaking In Tongues
This is an unexpected find. Be warned. It’s serious jazz. Producer: David Murray
album release date: August, 1999
Renowned jazz man and tenor saxophone maestro David Murray
presents a rousing Gospel jazz session by painting incredible interpretations
of standard Gospel hymns on the CD canvas. In doing so, he not only
recruits some brilliant side men, but also the rousing vocals of Gospel
veteran, Fontella Bass.
Bass may be known to many for her massive 1965 R&B hit, “Rescue Me”, however
the 90’s have seen her transform and return from
where she started,
with a no-doubt Gospel artistry her 1995 album No Ways
Tired on the Nonesuch label earning critical acclaim.
On this project, Murray wisely lets Bass carry the day on a number
of tracks, including fresh takes on “How I Got Over” and “A Closer
Walk With Thee”. Both are infectious, and are taken to even greater
heights with the swirling Hammond B3 sounds of Jimane Nelson,
whose intricate organ line weaves its way around the vocals of Bass to
create a glorious musical tapestry.
no stranger to the church, comes through with some
masterful intepretations of other hymn classics as well as some Gospel
originals. With Hugh Ragin on trumpet and Ranzell Merritt
on drums, the complete jazz treatment is applied with a openness and
a verve to standards such as “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen”
and “Blessed Assurance”. Jazz enthusiasts will revel in “Jimane’s
Creation” and “Missionary”, two originals that combine for a track
total of 18 minutes.
This is a fascinatingly complex album that combines a
little bit of vocals with a whole lot of jazz. The title
of the project is both scriptural and metaphorical, for
these jazz instruments are but tongues for which to praise.
Oh, for a thousand tongues!
reviewed by Stan North —
in GospelFlava © copyright 1999. Any information reprinted
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