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June 1999

The Brazz Brothers
Brazzy Voices
In & Out Records

Any project associated with trumpeter Lester Bowie and percussionist Famoudou Don Moye is a study in musical ethnomusicology-African music and Negro spiritual, Norwegian folk songs and jazz standards fall within their realm of musical explorations.

Here, the two Art Ensemble of Chicago charter members team with Norway's Brazz Brothers-a group that actually includes two pairs of brothers, the siblings Jan and Jarle Helge and Runar and Stein Tafjords, along with Egil Johansen. Also performing with these musicians are a 50-member Norwegian choir, Amina Claudine Myers, and singer David Peaston. Peaston's readings of "Everything Must Change" and Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" were delivered in packages of power and poignancy.

The album, recorded live in 1994 in Norway, opens with Peaston effortlessly reinterpreting "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child."

Then, there's the interesting interplay between Jarle's muted trumpet and Bowie's unconventional notes on "Silver Threads Among the Gold."

"Med Jesus Vil Eg Fara" opens with a quiet soprano prelude, escalating into a communal gathering-which is where things become most interesting.

Originally published in June 1999
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