"It's about time!" - jazz fan from Ohio
At long last, here's a musical collaboration between two bright lights in the jazz world! Bill Carter took his Presbybop Quartet into the studio to meet Warren Cooper, the dynamic vocalist from Philadelphia. The results are documented here, on an album that is deeply swinging and spiritually rich.
"We wanted to update some of the music that has shaped our lives," Bill notes. "Most of the songs are gifts to us from the church, and we wanted to pass them along as to gifts to all the people who enjoy good modern jazz."
The duo's jazz sensibilities are obvious from the very first cut, a fiercely swinging presentation of the old spiritual "Go Down Moses." The freedom song is done in the style of the Blue Note recording sessions of the '60's.
Or there's the title cut, a stirring ballad that Bill wrote a few years ago. "Warren and I performed the piece at a large gathering of Presbyterian ministers," the composer remembers. "Walter Brueggemann, the great Old Testament scholar, came up afterwards and asked if we had recorded it. So we thought that maybe we should."
The music is a bebop re-thinking of church music, always keeping its spiritual character, yet infusing it with the passion of jazz. Some of the music comes from Swing a New Song to the Lord, a jazz hymnal that Carter edited as part of a Lilly Foundation Grant.
The result is an amazing collection of eleven jazz performances, uncompromising and enjoyable to the last note.
The CD features Carter's Presbybop Quartet, a nationally touring band that presents concerts and jazz worship services. Featured musicians are saxophonist Al Hamme, virtuoso bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Tom Whaley. The group is enhanced on a few cuts by Jeff Stockham, an outstanding trumpeter from New York, and drummer Joe Roma.
For more information, check out the Presbybop Music website, at www.presbybop.com.