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Shelby, Marcus Orchestra / Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Album:Soul Of The Movement: Meditations On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collection:Jazz
Artist:Shelby, Marcus Orchestra Added:01/2011
Label:Porto Franco Records 

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Add Date:2011-01-16 Pull Date:2011-03-20 Charts:Jazz
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Album Review
Fo
Reviewed 2011-01-15 
MARCUS SHELBY ORCH.: Soul of the Movement
Porto Franco, 2010

MODERN BIG BAND – S.F. bassist/composer Shelby continues his string of large-scale works based on African-American history. This time the focus is the civil rights struggle of the 1950s/60s, and the music includes both original tunes and reinterpretations of spirituals that were anthemic to the movement. Shelby’s 15-piece big band is bolstered by 3 of the Bay Area’s finest vocalists (Faye Carol, Kenny Washington, Jeannine Anderson) for a strong gospel-jazz flavor. As with Shelby’s other major works, the vibe here is essentially late-period Ellingtonian, mixed with elements of Marsalis, Mingus and soul music.

Fo’s Picks: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 12

1. 2:04 – slow spiritual, focusing on Jeannine Anderson’s rich soprano
2. 6:44 – swinging spiritual, upbeat sax dialogue and scat vocal duet
3. 5:31 – brooding, poignant elegy: lovely composition, strong ensemble work
4. 7:17 – light swinging vocal with a nicely retro feel, bright solos & scat break
5. 8:32 – Mingus tune, intricate arrangement sprawls across the orchestra
6. 2:59 – heartfelt anthem, slow and reverent, focus on vocal harmony
7. 7:03 – striding groove for the Freedom Riders, cool horn work here
8. 11:34 – big & episodic: speedy pulse w/strong trumpet, then a slow, bluesy moan; sax builds it back up before a broad swing at the end
9. 3:37 – swinging gospel riff, gripping vocal harmony & cool sax
10. 4:17 – funky Curtis Mayfield tune, sassy Faye Carol vocal
11. 8:06 – bass-heavy stride with gliding break, excellent sax & drums
12. 6:37 – fabulous, powerful gospel: just vocal duet + piano + sax

[ Fo ] 01/15/11

Track Listing
1.There Is A Balm In Gilead 7.Trouble On The Bus (Freedom Rides)
2.Amen 8.Birmingham (Project C)
3.Emmitt Till (Bobo) 9.Go Tell It On The Mountain
4.Black Cab 10.We're A Winner
5.Fables Of Faubus 11.Memphis (I Am A Man)
6.We Shall Overcome 12.Take My Hand Precious Lord