Wycliffe Gordon, trombone; Eric Reed, piano
Any CD beginning with a rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" must, one might suppose, indicate a message. Both Wycliffe Gordon and Eric Reed have given their lives to the Lord, notwithstanding both having done time under Wynton Marsalis. Needless to say, most Jazz fans will know that these guys are great musicians, with or without help from above. Both have a sensational technique. Both swing mightily when the occasion demands, and your truly has experienced these men when they were hell-bent on a road to Lord knows where. Reed lays back and his piano playing probably gets as close to having us hearing the angels popping thumbs as is ever likely. And Gordon on trombone "talks" to his sidekick throughout.
I personally can't stand religiosity, but in this case, it works. Gordon actually sings to a cantering Reed accompaniment on his own composition. "This Rhythm On My Mind." Gordon wows us with a wah-wah on "Embraceable You." Reed remains in humble attendance, until he gets to roam through a chorus or so in his own inimitable way. By the time "Cherokee" turns up, you know the guys are ready to blow, and they sure do. But this CD is mostly about two Jazz musicians paying their tribute to the Lord. It is done with taste, there is no saccharine and I really appreciate having this one on my racks.
These men must really be close. You get to envy their fellowship, but they also offer a beautiful hour relaxing with someone you may have forgotten is always with you. Highly recommended.
by Lawrence Brazier
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