As any good movie buff knows the soundtrack makes the movie. Composers know that music is one of the most powerful ways to play on a person’s emotions. Take a moment to think of your favorite movie and how much would be missing without the soundtrack. Better yet, hit the mute button next time the hero is in a fight for life and the mere existence of the entire human race and discover the importance of that surround sound that put you back a couple of paychecks. The soundtrack heightens our emotions, persuading us to cry, to laugh, and to be scared in the appropriate places.
Music has power; vocalist Charles Williams and percussionist Tom Teasley use this power to convey clear messages, dealing with subjects like; racism, self power, religion, and African-American history under the appropriate name of Word-Beat. The powerful subjects are swayed by music- it catches our attention and stimulates the brain.
The Soul Dances is the latest CD from the duo drawing heavily on various African proverbs and traditional African-American spirituals; delivering ancient wisdom on top of infectious grooves and elevating melodies; a celebration of the human spirit in both song and verse.
The story telling begins with "Shango," an African inspired pulse drives the cut with sung/chanted vocals, call and response horn section and a driving variety of percussion interments. "I know I’ve been changed" has a feel of the church, with hand claps on beats two, four and the and of four. The choir and sax will make you want to make a joyful noise.
The soundtrack to this soul dance relies heavily on the ability of Teasley to create grooves that are interesting and complex, without boring the listener of almost any musical preference. The world music listener will probably be most at home with the script of Word-Beat. However, with the addition of horn and flute solos and interesting use of ensemble passages using horns and voices, the jazz listener will easily relate to the plot.
The thought provoking subject matter and the world class drumming keep The Soul Dances alive and moving. The pictures are in your head with Word-Beat supplying the soundtrack with all the emotion and inspiration for many journey filled listens.