Spirituals & Dedications is a nod to a period in music's history when jazz reflected a strong connection to the church and its musical repertoire. This modern interpretation of the beauty and simplicity of the traditional hymn is brought to life by an eclectic collaboration among Jane Bunnett, Stanley Cowell, Larry Cramer, Mark McLean, Kieran Overs, and Dewey Redman. Together they perform the music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus, as well as several original compositions by members of the collective. Saxophonist Jane Bunnett has composed a remarkable tribute to pianist Don Pullen with "Don's Light," a slow, tranquil church mode that reflects the strong connection to the natural spirituality of the piano's white keys as played by Stanley Cowell and the gospel-tinged voice of Dean Bowman. "A Laugh for Rory" has an ingenious arrangement featuring Bunnett on flute and Dewey Redman on tenor saxophone with mutual impact by bassist Kieran Overs and Mark McLean on drums. The doctrine of effects is clearly present on this recording. For those seeking a different musical perspective on traditional hymns and the relationship between spirituality and emotions or jazz and gospel, look no further.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein