When Jamie Ousley calls his buddies, Phillip Strange and Larry Marshall, a serious game of "come out, come out where ever you are" ensues. His latest release “Back Home" is a prime example.
Joined by contributors, Ira Sullivan and Ed Calle, all is good in the world of Jamie Ousley. Stretch a little to include hand in glove duo vocalist SAMM, percussionist Carlomagno Araya, Violin, Mandolin, Cuatro, Maracas specialist Johnny Mendoza and additional vocals by LeNard Rutlande and Nanami Morikawa, BAM the result is inspirational music worth a sincere "'listen."
Opening is a frontal message called aptly titled "A Tune Sir." Question or statement? Listen and decide for yourself. Mr. Strange employs is trademark style of finding just the right number and choice of notes. Mix in some of Ira Sullivan's trumpet to add color and the result is a galloping introduction that says "Hello" in a way that ensures there is more to come.
"Nashivillatlino" follows with a solid Latin feel linking back to Mr. Ousley's connection to the capital of Tennessee plus his deep South Florida Latin influence. Just consider this composition the result of a musical pouring to a blender.
After John Coltrane gave us an instrumental version of "My Favorite Things" the obvious question is, why would anyone go out on a limb to provide another interpretation?" Listen and the question really becomes... Why not? Mr. Sullivan jumps to flute and changes the game and slithers through the Sound of Music classic with ease, releasing to Philip Strange's piano tribute to the classic, again with surgical "notification". Close with Mr. Ousley's lyrical bass messaging, Ahh pure happiness about things "favorite."
"This is it" is a punctuating, funky composition that says "deal with me" The Ousley bass lays the repeating foundation. Above it, Mr. Strange ices the cake with his improvisation supporting the Ousley "vamp" of follow me if you dare. Mr. Sullivan then enters the picture. After one flirt with a verse or two, the groove switches to a concluding swing chase. Oh my!
"Clearing" mellows the scene with a waltz of Soprano Sax, piano, bass and Larry Marshall's brush work. The melodic work sax and piano leave the listener wanting to know more about for whom this song was written. Just Beautiful.
Next is the title composition "Back Home." Enter SAMM, a long time vocal partner with Mr. Ousley. After the initial "oh my goodness" sensation of her deep purposeful voice, this listener attentively tries to find out where home is and clearly understand why SAMM and Jamie's music long to return back there. Can we go with you? I'll drive!
Well Mr. Chopin, with all due respect your music has just received a breath of new life. Mr. Ousely and Crew honor energize your "Nocturne in E-Flat" in such a way that commands a listen as well as a tap of the toe. Ahh, classical purists take note. Enough said.
When a person loses someone very close, either friend or family a significant void is left. "So Long" is it a way of saying good bye or a way of painting the void of time passing since seeing the lost one. Listener decide, I suggest maybe a little of both.
"Pasaje Tennessee" pays tribute a second tribute to Mr. Ousley's Latin musical influence as well has his Tennessee roots. Larry Marshall's percussive undercurrent delivers the confident pulse. SWEET!
"Prayer" is the most basic of childhood wishes. Put to music perfectly, who could wish a simpler request? Perfection in its simplest form. "Now I lay me down to sleep..." The rest is best just experienced by the vocals of Nanami Morikawa. So Peaceful.
What better than to hear "Back Home" again only this time with Ed Calle's soprano sax sans vocals. Let it get deep in your soul and move you where it will.
Passionate music made by passionate musicians touches the soul.
Thank you Jamie and friends. This is Special!