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Sherman Irby Switches Gears on New Album

Don’t expect any typical, straight-ahead jazz on Sherman Irby’s new album, Faith. With Gerald Cannon on bass, Larry Willis on piano, Willie Jones III on drums and Khalil Kwame Bell on percussion, Irby’s latest venture has a variety of emotions, everything from melancholy to joyful to a sense of uncertainty. Irby described the album as an “expression from everybody in the band playing together as one to create a certain kind of sound.”

The saxophonist and composer said he has nothing prove with his new album: “I’m just trying to have a good time and get a chance to play with friends I’ve played with for years.” Irby keeps an optimistic view of life and said through Faith, he wants to others to know that “Everything is going to be okay… we just have to keep going.”

Irby’s previous album, Black Warrior, released in 2001, is a more high-strung and energetic album than his latest. He commented, “I’ve made changes that are good in my life. I was trying to find my place and I’m enjoying where I am now.”

Faith was released on July 12 on his own Black Warrior Records and is distributed by City Hall records.

Irby said his next album, due out in January or February, will bring more of his Southern roots, such as soulful blues, into the music, creating an album he described as “groovy.”

Originally Published