June 21, 2024


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CD review: John Daversa Jazz Orchestra feat. Justin Morell – All Without Words: Variations Inspired By Loren 2021: Video, CD cover

All Without Words is an ambitious concerto for trumpet and orchestra that gives voice to the voiceless in more ways than one. John Daversa’s dry, expressive trumpet speaks for Loren Morell, the non-verbal, autistic son of composer Justin Morell, whose thoughtfully titled movements reflect stages in the relationship.

The movements are long, encourage introspection, and most feature a wall of strings — more in the style of Richard Strauss than Phil Spector, perhaps even more in the style of Béla Bartók.

This is a long, serious work with a complex agenda, primarily an aim to heal. It does not swing, and it’s not about virtuosity, even though the musicians Daversa and Morell have assembled sound absolutely organic in Kabir Sehgal’s sumptuous production.

Each track stands on its own, though the careful sequencing and thematic progression strongly suggest that the best way to experience this would be in its proper sequence at a standalone concert.

1. Loren’s Theme (feat. Justin Morell) (4:08)
2. Searching but Never Finding (feat. Justin Morell) (4:48)
3. Two Steps Forward (feat. Justin Morell) (6:30)
4. Seeing It Again for the First Time (feat. Justin Morell) (7:38)
5. The Urgency of Every Moment (feat. Justin Morell) (5:08)
6. Invisible Things (feat. Justin Morell) (6:46)
7. Walking in Our Own Footsteps – The Circle Game (feat. Justin Morell) (5:50)
8. The Smallest Thing (feat. Justin Morell) (8:02)
9. A Day Is Forever – Like Any Other (feat. Justin Morell) (6:16)
10. Three Roads Diverged (feat. Justin Morell) (4:58)
11. Learning Simply to Be (feat. Justin Morell) (6:06)
12. It’s Enough to Be Here, Now (feat. Justin Morell) (7:01)

Personnel: John Daversa, trumpet; Justin Morell, guitars; Tal Cohen, piano; Dion Kerr, bass; David Chiverton, drums; Lev Garfein, violin; Conrad Fok, piano; choir; orchestra: strings, winds and percussion.

All Without Words: Variations Inspired by Loren by John Daversa featuring  Justin Morell on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

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