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5-Star review for Children of the Light

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Tuesday November 24, 2015

From The Examiner

Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade “Children Of The Light” • September 18, 2015 • Mack Avenue Records

Pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci, and drummer Brian Blade don’t even make a pretense of melody in this new album, Children Of The Light.

Together, these outstanding jazz musicians provide a glimmer of intuitive brilliance in their homage to mentor Wayne Shorter.
Out since September 18, 2015 on Mack Avenue Records, this acoustic jazz trio album is as much an homage to their mentor jazz sax legend Wayne Shorter, as it is what they can bring to the studio.

Together, they’ve played beautifully original music with the Wayne Shorter Quartet for many years. Separately, the award-winning, highly influential movers and shakers of today’s jazz have carved out their own music as legends do.

This new album is their first effort at expanding the process of improvisation with intuition, group synergy, and imagination. Just as the album title and cover suggest, nothing is laid out in a linear fashion for kicks and giggles. Forget stabs at cute covers or ingenious make-ups. The 11 breathtaking compositions within are real, true, and original.

Children Of The Light’s original music is hinted at, inferred, subtly translated in a new art form of feel through sound. “The compositions on this recording represent the idea of ‘going beyond the music.’ That’s what [Wayne Shorter] has taught us: to not think about music just in musical terms, but as a tool for the betterment of society. It’s about creating music that brings people together,” Perez explained in a DL media release.

In a way, the musicians compose as people feel, in moments that are quickened by excitement or lengthened by immeasurable sorrow. Such originality doesn’t have time to single out one or two titles but begs for the listener to take every one in, one at a time, in a single, blissful moment.

“We can ‘comprovise’ (spontaneous composition) with dense harmonic and melodic forms, but we can also explore the beauty of a simple harmony,” Perez added. “And you can see the care each one of us put into the songs we brought in.”

The songs, or “soundtracks of our own lives,” go from mood to mood, a reflection of the day, or perhaps, the arc of a person’s life in a series of ups and downs. Where “Luz Del Alma” feels like the gentle hand of God in Perez’s hands, “African Wave” contains the deeply embedded, yet occasionally frenetic pulse of drummer Brian Blade, hinting at worlds beyond his understanding.

Each song glimpses some understanding in an intrinsic, soulful sense of the musician — perhaps the best jazz has to offer.