Alexandra Quartet

In the Heart of Babylon

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On In the Heart of Babylon, soaring melody lines and lightly painted percussion blend and intertwine with the greatest of ease. Alexandra Randolph on keyboards, percussion and vocals leads the group, with guitar, percussion and sax. "Crossings" sways along on Jack Schaeffer's sultry, "safe" sax. "Blues for Ahmet" is a jazz tribute to the founder of Atlantic Records, appropriately smoke-filled and langorous. "Sultan's Kiss" and "Esperanza" have a festive flavor, while the poignant "The View from Here" is a touching piano piece. Randolph's vocals on "Hymm for Modern Man" tenderly reach toward a universal paradise. The closing track, "Distant Voices of the Heart," hints at a balanced, earthy place of rest. In the Heart of Babylon ranges from mellow, intimate passages to stirring, sensual harmonies with ethnic influences.