New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band marks its 20th anniversary with the release of their sublime fifth album, Body and Shadow, a succinct nine-track meditation on lightness/darkness that arrives like a balm for the soul, ebbing and flowing with grace, subtlety and no shortness of beauty. The album will be released on vinyl and CD, and will be available on all digital retailers and streaming services, on November 10. The lead track "Broken Leg Days" is available today to stream, download, or receive immediately with album download pre-order.
Formed in 1997, the Fellowship released their eponymous Blue Note debut in 1998, but the bond among the musicians goes back even further. Brian Blade, the band's namesake and drummer, first met pianist Jon Cowherd in 1988 while attending Loyola University in New Orleans, and they met bassist Chris Thomas
in the Crescent City a year later. With Myron
Walden (alto saxophone and bass clarinet) and Melvin Butler (tenor saxophone), the Fellowship Band's sturdy unified bond ("we think of the band as a collective instrument," Cowherd says) has evolved with every album, and Body and Shadow, which also features Denver-based guitarist Dave Devine, is an extension of that evolution.
Blade and Cowherd wrote, arranged and produced the songs for Body and Shadow, which was recorded at the historic Columbus Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island. The experience reminded Blade of recording the band's debut with producer Daniel
Lanois at the Teatro, a former movie theater in Oxnard, California.
"It is always great to be in the moment and in process with the band," says Blade. "We come in with all our grand plans and then there's this yielding to, 'Okay, here's what's actually being captured.' Maybe not what I thought but another feeling, another energy, which is unpredictable. There's joy in the whole mystery of what we are hoping to create. You step into the process to see what you're made of, individually and together. Since we've shared so much time together, that trust and the sort of inherent knowing of what's needed for each other kicks in pretty quick."
"I think we have a lot of hope for the world and ourselves and the desire to create something which will move or touch people," Cowherd adds. "There's a spiritual background to the band. We come from a foundation of playing music that is inspirational and I think we all want it to be intellectually interesting, too."
2017 ALBUM RELEASE SHOWS:
November 10 - Scullers - Boston, MA
November 11 - Exit Zero Festival - Cape May, NJ
November 12 - Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club - Bethesda, MD
November 14-19 - Jazz Standard - New York, NY