A BALM IN GILEAD…Brian Blade and the  Fellowship Band: Body and Shadow

While having a musical relationship for 20 years, drummer Brian Blade’s Fellowship Band has only released five albums, including this one. The benefits of non-demanding relationships is the appreciation of the get-togethers. This latest one with Myron Walden/as-bcl, John Cowherd/p, Chris Thomas/b, Melvin Butler/ts and Dave Devine is an unassuming and relaxed collection of musical pastiches, not unlike a sonic walk through a gallery of Andrew Wyeth paintings.

Moods akin to an unpretentious Sunday church meeting are brought forward as Cowherd’s gentle keyboards lend into an all band recitative of “Have Thine Own Way, Lord” while Butler’s tenor teams with the piano at the altar for a genteel “Traveling Mercies.” Rural atmosphere’s float with Devine’s guitar during “Body and Shadow (Noon)”  and sepia shadows during the “Body and Shadow (Morning)” with the “(Night)” version including Walden’s sighing bass clarinet.

The most jazzy  pieces are the unpretentious post bop pieces with Blade suavely swinging with the entire band on “Broken Leg Days” and the shuffling “Duality.” Sublime sounds.




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