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Sturm, Ike + Evergreen: Shelter Of Trees

Soothing and relaxing might be the best way to describe the new album from Ike Sturm titled Shelter Of Trees. For the past ten years Sturm has been the Music Director at Saint Peter's Church in downtown Manhattan. The church has been an integral part of the jazz community for over fifty years and Sturm has continued that tradition in a very profound way as demonstrated by this new release.

The music is both calming and pastoral and takes its time to build delicately towards subtle climaxes that just might be the definition of 'classy'. The musicianship is first rate and the solos are perfectly suited to the dreamy and spiritual nature of the individual pieces. The saxophone solo in the gently flowing "River" and the guitar work in the thoughtful opening track "Rejoice" immediately come to mind. The vocals are also a highlight as each singer has an angelic tone adding a delicate and wistful quality to the band's sound. The lovely voicings layered with delicate vibraphone, sax and piano in the dreamy "Tuning Point" is a prime example. The piano is exceptionally tuneful and melodic whilst adding complexity when the need arises and as the song slowly builds the playing becomes more complex, yet in a subtle non-pretentious way. Many of the songs are developed this way with the melody always kept close at hand. The electric guitar in the title track is another highlight, adding a rockier vibe to the band's jazz leanings.

You will likely not hear a 'classier' jazz album this year. Uplifting, melodic and truly inspirational, Shelter Of Trees offers a tasty slice of pastoral jazz that cannot help but warm your soul.

Band Members:
Misty Ann Sturm (voice)
Chandra Rule (voice)
Melissa Stylianou (voice)
Loren Stillman (also saxophone)
Fabian Almazan (piano)
Chris Dingman (vibraphone)
Jesse Lewis (guitar)
Ike Sturm (basses)
Jared Schonig (drums)

Track Listing:
1. Rejoice (4:13)
2. River (7:17)
3. Origins (5:29)
4. Turning Point (5:39)
5. Shelter Of Trees (5:26)
6. Guide (6:27)
7. Renew (5:56)
8. Sanctus (5:25)
9. Family (4:13)
10. Psalm 23 (8:35)

Added: November 16th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1811
Language: english

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