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Stevens, Bill / Lema Sabachthani
Album:Lema Sabachthani Collection:Jazz
Artist:Stevens, Bill Added:05/2012
Label:Milessmiles 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2012-05-26 Pull Date:2012-07-29 Charts:Jazz
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Album Review
Fo
Reviewed 2012-05-26 
BILL STEVENS: Lema Sabachthani
Milesmiles, 2012

MODERN JAZZ – This wide-ranging suite in 15 parts takes trumpeter Stevens on a journey through Miles Davis style chromatic fusion, with a few diversions into more straight-ahead postbop sounds. His electro-acoustic sextet has plenty of like-minded, adventurous talent, and they keep it tight no matter where the music goes. This is excellent work, especially on the darker-toned Disc 1.

For background, the suite was inspired by a series of abstract paintings by Barnett Newman, who in turn was trying to relate the “stations of the cross” in the Passion of Christ to a more universal parallel of human experience. Neither the paintings nor this music are religious, but both have elements of yearning or contemplation. The title comes from Jesus’ famous cry from the cross, “why have you forsaken me?”

Fo’s Picks: Disc I – 1, 3, 4, 5, 7 Disc II – 3, 4, 5

DISC ONE

1. 12:30 – Uptempo Miles Davis fusion-funk; long solo stretches in the middle
2. 5:00 – dark fusion creep: keyboard moves gently in the gloom
3. 8:56 – solo bass intro, striding postbop w/bold optimism, even-keeled solos
4. 8:31 – slow, somber fusion w/bass clarinet: gradually rises over quiet drone
5. 9:48 – solo drums set up rolling, open postbop groove; calm piano ending
6. 4:00 – relaxed and ballad-like, short solos passed around the band
7. 6:14 – dragging pace & a very nice sound with a bluesy Miles Davis touch

DISC TWO

1. 6:10 – surprise! sort of a cheesy reggae lope with some sunny solos
2. 5:05 – upbeat fusion: chugging beat, a bit loose in the horn solos
3. 3:59 – dark marching beat, overlapping horn lines fall into catchy theme
4. 8:00 – brisk chugging pulse: trumpet drags, sax roams, guitar tweaks
5. 4:08 – relaxed acoustic piano/sax duet, a melodic pas de deux
6. 9:00 – thumping off-center beat, jabbing horns, melting keyboards, runs on
7. 5:44 – ambient crowd noise, percussion + some world-music accents
8. 8:24 – contemplative intro, flowing ballad; piano & bass solo, long ending

[ Fo ] - May 2012

Track Listing
1.First Station 8.Eighth Station
2.Second Station 9.Ninth Station
3.Third Station 10.Tenth Station
4.Fourth Station 11.Eleventh Station
5.Fifth Station 12.Twelfth Station
6.Sixth Station 13.Thirteenth Station
7.Seventh Station 14.Fourteenth Station
 15.Be, Ii