The saxophonist is a torrid soloist via his mood-evoking lines, while also conveying strong leadership throughout. Framed upon a horns, strings, guitars, keys and percussion based lineup, the musicians’ spin a modern vibe, while incorporating traditional jazz components into the grand schema. In addition, Baptiste perhaps symbolically, employs a multi-national cast of musicians, featuring Nigerian poet Ben Okri’s rendering of the text during various movements.
The presiding factor emanates from Dr. King’s unifying visions that ultimately pertain to mankind in general. So, Baptiste’s predominately melodic compositions are built upon the musicians’ call and response dialogues, vibrantly enacted choruses and alternating rhythmic patterns. On the title track, the band delves into a heated swing vamp amid vociferous background chatter offset by Baptiste’s yearning lines. And the ensemble injects shades of Duke Ellington into various passages. More importantly, Baptiste manages to revitalize the tried and true with a sound and mystique that conveys a rebirth of sorts. Nonetheless, this compelling affair imparts an impressionable chain of musical events. (Exuberantly recommended.... )