Emotion evoking jazz organ by Gregory Lewis Organ Monk – THE BREATHE STREET: I can say (with a certain amount of authority) that this is THE BEST jazz organ work I’ve heard Gregory do yet… he’s been reviewed many times in our pages, most recently in issue # 139, and while all the previous albums were excellent, this release has some quite complex emotions and feelings piping right on through his keyboards… don’t expect to take the 18:48 opener, “The Chronicles Of Michael Brown“, lightly… obviously, with that sort of length, the composition contains many twists and turns, but the song title alone should give you a hint as to what the album is all about – African Americans who were killed during confrontations with police officers – so, set aside an entire hour to absorb this totally engaging music with your headphones on!
I found the 7:27 “Aiyana Jones Song” to be the most emotionally-laden… the fact that the police officer who shot this 7-year-old girl (in Detroit) was cleared of all charges in the shooting is not just abhorrent, it’s representative of the corruption in our system… but (I felt like) Gregory focused (rightly so) on the vibrant spirit of this young lady, and he and his cohorts (see the track listing on the Republic of Jazz page) really make the work shine brilliantly.
My personal favorite on the album, though, is the 7:19 track dedicated to the memory of “Eric Garner“, who was killed by a police officer (settled out of court) with the by-now infamous “chokehold”… it clearly expresses the disgust that most of us feel for such acts by those who are supposed to “protect and serve”. This isn’t “easy listening” music; it requires focus and dedication to absorbing a message we ALL need to hear (whether we like it or not). The musicianship and high-energy jazz is superb on each of the songs… I give Gregory and his players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) of 4.99 for this great sonic adventure. Get more information at the Gregory Lewis website. Rotcod Zzaj
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