This straight-ahead piano jazz CD comes from Niayana Recordings, the label that gave you (and me) SoundDoctrine. The opener ‘When Morning Gilds the Skies’ has clever excerpts from ‘America the Beautiful’. Similarly ‘Doxology’ has refrains recognisable to me as ‘All People That on Earth do Dwell’.
The lovely waltz time of ‘O How I Love Jesus’ marks a change of pace from the first two frenetic numbers. The tempo is back up for the sax-led ‘The Church is One Foundation’, one of several gospel staples which receives a storming jazz treatment on this album. I particularly enjoyed ‘Our Great Savior’ with its Latin flavour and nice, warm jazz guitar sound.
Let’s not forget that Phillip, as well as being a talented and fiery pianist, brings bass, organ and drum playing skills to the project. On ‘O God, Our Help in Ages Past’ the organ is to the fore and the bass moves around energetically. I like the Harvey Mason-esque vibes sound on ‘I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say’ and I’ve got to tell you – if you are a fan of jazz trios which can bring something new to gospel standards, you’re going to find some inventive, sometimes challenging, music here. Fans of more traditional gospel – or even people who think they know what gospel should sound like – will revel in the party-like atmosphere of the closer ‘Down by the Riverside’.