Spirit of Life Ensemble - a little oasis
Written by Edward F. Nesta   

Spirit of Life Ensemble - a little oasisMulti-dimensional, multi-faceted, and multi-cultural - the jazz sound of Spirit of Life Ensemble.

 

 

Spirit of Life Ensemble - a little oasis

Spirit of Life Ensemble - a little oasis 

Spirit of Life Ensemble - a little oasis:  124th & Ruiz; Sue's Summit; It's Raining; Baku & Bismark; Without You; Baila Plena (Plena Funk); One; Pine Brook Paradigm ‘Forget About It'; Mixing It Up; Bewitched; Dance For a New Day  

Personnel: Daoud-David Williams: band leader, multi-percussion; Bob Ferrel: music director, trombone; Joe Ford: alto saxophone; Ray Blue: tenor saxophone, vocals; Vinnie Catro: trumpet; Rob Henke: trumpet; Michael Cochrane: piano; Guilherme Franco: percussion; Calvin Hill: bass; Victor Jones: drums; Joe Lee Wilson: vocals; Mina Agossi: vocals; Michael Logan: bass; Cornell McGee: trombone  

a little oasis was released on the Cristal Records label.  If you have not been properly introduced to the Spirit of Life Ensemble (SOLE), then just flip through your jazz, gospel, funk, or rhythm & blues collection, or pull out your Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Duke Ellington Orchestra, or Earth, Wind, and Fire releases and read about the personnel who performed on those releases and you will be introduced to the many exceptional musicians who make up the Spirit of Life Ensemble. Daoud-David Williams founded the group in 1975 after a career of recording with some of the icons of jazz, from Ray Drummond to Charles Davis, Joe Lee Wilson to Bob Crenshaw. SOLE, which numbers over 50 musicians and is 31 years young, is a world-renowned band that is still as creative, captivating and diverse as ever; they infuse their music with their varied cultural influences to create a sound that remains fresh and spirited. 

a little oais is a very diverse compilation of songs starting with 124th & Ruiz where a dominant horn section leads the way, and where the melody is bright, brash and exuberant, like a splash of sunshine in your drink. The second track, Sue Summit, is more progressive and layers in Bob Ferrel on trombone with Michael Cochrane's superb piano work; It's Raining with Ray Blue on vocals is a nod to the great jazz ballads, the track is a soft patter of percussions and piano holding the line to Ray's whimsical vocals. Track 4 Baku & Bismark, and track 5 Without You is another change into the extensive world of jazz, as they slow it down a bit with emphasis on cohesiveness and the musicianship of this group; track 4 features the horn section of Rob Henke on trumpet and Ray Blue on Tenor Saxophone tied tightly with the drums and piano section, and track 5 features the great vocals of Mina Agossi. 

What you find with SOLE is that there are remnants of all different jazz formats, as well as rhythm & blues, African, Caribbean, Brazilian and soul, which makes it hard to categorize the sound, but that is what I like most about the group, they are not a sound that you can compartmentalize; any categorization would do an injustice to Spirit of Life Ensemble. I would highly recommend giving the release a little oais a listen, it will be well worth your time; it is also available with a DVD that covers the history of the Spirit of Life Ensemble.  

A few websites where you can procure a little oasis are Shop Ireland, Cristal Records, and Spirit of Life Ensemble, or email to Rise Up Production at (rupriseup.verizon.net).

Note - Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the writer, and reflects a compilation of music, sent to us by musicians, producers, acquired during travel to unique destinations, recommended by our country host or a local resident, just happening upon a music event, searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.

© September 2006. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.