Cult of Beauty
Gregory James is right at home leading this cast of virtuoso musicians. Cult of Beauty is an album of open compositions, energetic tracks with second-by-second coordination among the players.
The title track, “Cult of Beauty,” creates an audio environment with plenty of space, skillfully moving sounds, and high awareness from all the players as the moods evolve and shift. It’s not so much solos with accompaniment as an energetically tumbling series of roles among the players with never a missed handoff.
“Alexandria” finds a definitive role for keyboard harmony in the mix, with some 21st-century call-and-response patterns passing among the players.
“As We Said” takes on a pulse pattern with occasional hints at 3/4 or 5/4 time in the open spaces. It gives guitar and piano some options for octave playing, some jazzy trills, and other tasty instrumental flavors. And, what a clean ending!
by Harold Fethe