ARTIST: THE REVEREND
SONG: BROTHER CHILD
GENRE: JAZZ / JAZZ
SIMILAR: GRP ALLSTARS
Review by: Justin Stone
So here I am at my computer on a Sunday night. I really want to go out and
enjoy some tunes but I have to work in the morning. What to do? I know, I'll
put on The Reverend's "Brother Child". Wow, this song really makes
me feel like on West 54th in a smoky jazz club with no name on the door so only
the locals know to go there to unwind.
If you like jazz, you best read this review. Let's get to the meat.
Brother Child musically really moves me. I like the Dave Brubeck type of piano rhythm with the bass. I almost feel like it's the subway - you know it keeps going if you're not on it. Anyway, it fits the mood, nice and light. At first I felt it was a bit too repetitive, but the rhythm section seems to get out of the way when the flute is harping or the singer is swooning. It's all nice and light. The band seems to fit well together, seeming almost to play off each other in this smooth half time triplet pattern.
Also, I like the mixdown. Whoever mixed the track did a wonderful job bringing down the music for the breaks, albeit the percussion, flute or vocals. However, perhaps bringing down the piano track a bit would help the flute sing more through the tune. Also, the drums were a bit hot, but I know mixing is a tough art - usually no one is happy with it. Overall, I felt the mix was well done; I felt like I was sitting front row center at the gig, martini in one hand and a cigar in the other.
As for the vocals, I was really on the fence on this. I loved the singer's bluesy, Jill Scott type lungs, but I just didn't get the lyrics. They really didn't help move the song. I would almost prefer more of a jam session with a little scat here and again. Don't get me wrong, the singer is extraordinary in her belts, but I would have more substance in there. When playing in a jazz group, 9 times out 10 the musicians are going to be pros who excel in their in instruments. When one is the singer, one's voice is the instrument and one shouldn't be afraid to show off. I feel as if the vocals were an afterthought.
That in mind, this was a choice session. I really dig the new jazz out there. With so many computer artists, it's nice to grab 5 or 6 good musicians and just create. It's a nice change of pace for awhile. Plus, with so many greats in the biz, a lot of cats get intimidated, but if you have a horn, blow it, and have fun doing it.
You know as I'm rereading this review I just thought about Bill Cosby and how he loves jazz and used to put it as filler music in the Cosby Show. This would have worked well. "Rudy!