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Sojourn by Bill Cornish

Bill Cornish shines here with strong synth and piano work on selections that make Sojourn a truly diverse and illustrative project. It proves worthy of its boast that it’s an exercise in "cinematic storytelling" and that Cornish’s music defies easy categorization. There are strong flirts with blues, jazz, and world touches. Surprisingly for one with such rock roots (he’s a current member of a rock group known as the Thomas Connor Band and has opened for rock heavy-hitters Kansas, Steppenwolf, Joan Jett, Pat Travers, and others), no cut here hints heavily at rock at all. Believe it or not, that’s a big feat, a temptation hard to resist for many so-called crossover artists. Many have tried and have failed miserably.

So where do we go on this journey with Cornish? Well, we travel along some road to witness a Denali Sunrise in all its glory on track 5. We walk in Cairo on track 8 and witness the wails and percussion intermixed with some modern jazz sax and synth for a unique traipse. We experience the ice, the cold, the frigidity, and the wind in "Beneath the Ice". This is a reflective, mellow, touching; oddly caressing piece that almost seeks to comfort us in the cold, in the dark. I was really quite impressed with its vividness, its imagery. Its unspoken message was loud and clear through its daunting feel. It’s followed by another gentle tune called "Fragile" with a piano lead, beckoning one to follow, if cautiously. Very serene and inviting, indeed.

Cornish blends the jazz & blues elements nicely in this melting pot of aural experiences. A unique jazz/blues/world ditty called "Maneki Neko, "New Day Dawning (Part I)," and "Olla Padrida" are great examples. Of course, the album is simply laced throughout with examples of world music at its most panoramic (to add to "Denali Sunrise/Little Susitna" and "Walking in Cairo," there’s "Harajuku" and "The Caves By the Sea," for example). Diverse journey? In a word, yes. Very much so and with taste and mental collages.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bill Cornish
  • CD Title: Sojourn
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: This Recording
  • Tracks: Earth and Sky, Maneki Neko, New Day Dawning - Part I, New Day Dawning - Part II, Denali Sunrise/Little Susitna, Cheetah, Second Chances, Walking in Cairo, Beneath the Ice, Fragile, Olla Padrida, The Veldt, Harajuku, The Caves By The Sea
  • Musicians: Bill Cornish (piano, synth, organ, percussion), Anthony Sarain (sax, flute), Filippo Bertacche (drums), Tony Rogers (cello, viola, violin), Frank Lazzaro (percussion), Rodney Zinnen (drums), CM (trumpet), Michael Tagart (violin)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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