10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drummer and composer Brian Blade—a longstanding member of The Wayne Shorter Quartet and an ace session player who's worked with Herbie Hancock and Bob Dylan—has led his group, The Fellowship Band, since 1997. Their fourth release, 2014’s Landmarks, might be their best yet. It’s a grand slice of Americana with composed material and bracing improvisation; it opens with Jon Cowherd playing unaccompanied mellotron on “Down River,” which segues into the Cowherd-penned title track, a spacious and moody composition with room for statements by Cowherd (piano), Chris Thomas (bass), and Melvin Butler (soprano saxophone). The Blade original “Ark.La.Tex.” evokes dramatic movement across, and reflection upon, the three states of its title. Butler’s tenor sax and Myron Walden’s bass clarinet nicely render the melody of the traditional “Shenandoah” as Cowherd’s pump organ fills the air. Drums rumble and groove on the anthemic “He Died Fighting,” which is colored by Marvin Sewell’s electric guitar. Another guitarist, Jeff Parker, adds tasty tones to “Bonnie Be Good.” The gospel-tinged “Embers” brings things to an upbeat close.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drummer and composer Brian Blade—a longstanding member of The Wayne Shorter Quartet and an ace session player who's worked with Herbie Hancock and Bob Dylan—has led his group, The Fellowship Band, since 1997. Their fourth release, 2014’s Landmarks, might be their best yet. It’s a grand slice of Americana with composed material and bracing improvisation; it opens with Jon Cowherd playing unaccompanied mellotron on “Down River,” which segues into the Cowherd-penned title track, a spacious and moody composition with room for statements by Cowherd (piano), Chris Thomas (bass), and Melvin Butler (soprano saxophone). The Blade original “Ark.La.Tex.” evokes dramatic movement across, and reflection upon, the three states of its title. Butler’s tenor sax and Myron Walden’s bass clarinet nicely render the melody of the traditional “Shenandoah” as Cowherd’s pump organ fills the air. Drums rumble and groove on the anthemic “He Died Fighting,” which is colored by Marvin Sewell’s electric guitar. Another guitarist, Jeff Parker, adds tasty tones to “Bonnie Be Good.” The gospel-tinged “Embers” brings things to an upbeat close.

TITLE TIME
0:56
8:22
1:04
11:37
1:52
5:39
4:06
13:22
4:00
2:21

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