May 18, 2024

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CD review: Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band – Kings Highway – 2023: Video, CD cover

Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band is releasing their first studio recording since the 2017’s Body and ShadowKings Highway, the bands seventh record, unites drummer Brian Blade with pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Christopher Thomas, saxophonists Myron Walden and Melvin Butler.

Kings Highway features two cuts that have been the centerpiece of many of the bands live performances (the title track Kings Highway and Migration).

The Fellowship create a sound of its own genre, encompassing jazz, gospel and folk music that continues to uplift and inspire listeners worldwide.

Brian Blade’s Fellowship Band introduced a magnetic new musical synthesis on its self-titled 1998 debut: jazz-inflected, gospel-rooted music suffused with a glowing consonance. All of these qualities coalesce again on a new song titled “People’s Park” — the first single from a forthcoming album titled King’s Highway, due out on Blade’s own Stoner Hill Records on July 7.

Blade, a peerless drummer with a gift for subtle shading and flowing undertow, has always had a crucial partner in Jon Cowherd, the band’s brilliant pianist, who presumably titled “People’s Park” after a storied plot of land in Berkeley, Calif. There’s a spirit of hope and humanity in the song’s drifting waltz time, which Blade and Cowherd carry aloft with help from bassist Christopher Thomas.

1  Until We Meet Again (4:44)
2  Catalysts (5:04)
3  People’s Park (5:03)
4  Kings Highway (13:00)
5  Look To The Hills (4:21)
6  Migration (15:06)
7  God Be With You (2:34)

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