The use of every track has already been detailed in the liner notes. The fact that Jordan Walker-Pearlman made very good use of them is very apparent.As it opens with "T…
The use of every track has already been detailed in the liner notes. The fact that Jordan Walker-Pearlman made very good use of them is very apparent.
As it opens with "Thou Swell," we take a triumphant march into the CD. The legendary Joe Williams and the Basie Band shined in a way that all those middle-of-the-roaders could only wish to do. Lalah Hathaway and Joe Sample brought new life to the standard "For All We Know." Yes, Ms. Hathaway’s father, Master Donny Hathaway, performed it and he always managed to make me forget who’d done it before. She has done the same, but her father’s spirit smiles back in this rendition.
The memories flood with Joe Tex’s "You Said A Bad Word," which was a follow-up to the seedy soul classic "I Gotcha." For those who have the visual image of Joe Tex and Soul Train dancer Damita Jo Freeman acting out.... .us kids couldn’t get enough. It was indeed the naughty playground jam.
Sweet Honey in the Rock always delivered reflective, soul-stirring interpretations of traditional gospel, spiritual and message music. "Sometimes I Feel Like A) Motherless Chil," was always a simple, but deep song that we relate to in times of loneliness, trial and turmoil. These vocalists will bring many of us to our knees to find answers after hearing this.
"Deliver Me" is a central piece with a strong message and a somewhat gentle vocal that is extremely appropriate. It is somewhat pop-jazz, meaning it’s appropriate for that format, but not limited to it. Karrin Allyson communicates a yearning for freedom and love that pierces the soul. The choral accompaniment keeps the spirit alive and does not linger in depression, but vocalizes strength and support to Allyson’s plea.
The instrumentals were well chosen in terms of variety and theme:
("Prelude," "Mother Father," "Hands," "Seasons," "The Tissue," "This Time," "The Rescue" and "Little Prince"). With a range from romantic, to angry and introspective, Walker-Pearlman weaved a very rich fabric for the film. The shortest piece, Michael Bearden’s "Big Brother" was packed with emotion and beauty, therefore coming across as much longer than its 1:41 timing. Stanley A. Smith was indeed the instrumental lion as this was no "cheap" soundtrack. How many of us long for music that truly brings a movie alive, rather than these current, "made for radio" tracks. One wonders whether the movie was ever a consideration. There’s no "fly-by-night" here. All involved brought more than their talents.
A word must be given to Niki Harris/Gene Harris performance in "His Eye Is On the Sparrow." When one discovers the true meaning of the song and can extract "religion" from true spirituality, you’ve really heard it. Ms. Harris delivered this spiritual standard in a way that all could find the love, victory and protection it describes.
If you wish to do a film, take note; should you be honored enough to do a soundtrack for a major motion picture, give this at least three listens before any attempt. The word "dream" was used in reference to the film and its musical score. Let’s take this a step further for accuracy; the correct word is "inspiration." Yes, it is.