Jeri Brown: Unfolding the Peacocks

Vocalist Jeri Brown brings emotional texture to these eight selections where she is backed by Kirk Lightsey, piano, Peter Leitch, guitar, Rufus Reid, bass, and Wali Muhammad, drums. Michel Dubeau plays shakuhachi flute on “The Peacocks” and soprano sax on “Jean.” She scats effectively on “Orange Coloured Sky” and “Wouldn’t You,” and on “Jean” and “The Peacocks” it’s more of a high-pitched chanting. “If You Could See Me Now,” “Tuang Guru” by Abdullah Ibrahim, “The Peacocks” by Jimmy Rowles, and “Jean,” are long musical narratives that remain interesting by the sense Brown gives of pursuing a journey of discovery along with her listeners. She climbs to a yearning, plaintive peak on “Somewhere Near” and is affecting on “Don’t Ask.” The lilting, swinging “Twang Guru” has Lightsey playing in a joyous style. Guitarist Leitch, co-arranger with Brown, is a sensitive accompanist throughout, while Lightsey and Reid always manage articulate, well-constructed solos.