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Belisle-Chi, Gregg: Book Of Hours

With a collaboration list longer than your left leg, the main surprise when you encounter Book Of Hours by Brooklyn based guitarist and composer Gregg Belisle-Chi is that it is only his third such outing. Considering that fact and that this album was initially envisioned as being handled by a nine-piece outfit, the Book Of Hours and the four musicians involved - Belisle-Chi, Day Manski (Wurlitzer), Matt Aronoff (bass) and Michael W. Davis (drums) - do a wonderful job of taking you through what at first you’d guess would be a difficult subject to convey - the text and history of The Mass Ordinary.

Who’d have thought that what, on the face of it, sounds like quite a staid, mundane topic would prove so dramatically diverse, with jazz, rock and an undoubted eye on the classical brought into play through the pointed bursts of “Kyrie”, the dazzling “Dusk” and satisfying “Sanctus”. The production work from Grey McMurray is sumptuous, adding a clarity to what is a decidedly unselfconscious journey where caution isn’t so much thrown to the wind, but intentionally hurled into the maelstrom. At times things can become a little unhinged and carefree but the core is crafted in a way that makes the ride bump free.

The foursome lock in super tight from start to finish but across “Aurora”, “Zuhr” and “Credo”, the come and go between the guitar, drums, bass and Wurlitzer holds on to a natural flow that is rare in such tightly controlled arrangements. It’s a real testament to the skill of all involved, but crucially the focus seems to have been put purely on making the music as strong as it could be from start to finish, making Book Of Hours slip past in the mere blink of an eye.

Track Listing
1. Aurora
2. Kyrie
3. Zuhr
4. Gloria
5. Credo
6. Dusk
7. Sunctus
8. Angus Dei

Added: January 4th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Book Of Hours @ bandcamp
Hits: 228
Language: english

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