New Gospel Revisited

New Gospel Revisited

When Chicago trumpeter Marquis Hill debuted in 2011 with New Gospel, it signaled the rise of one of jazz’s most potent young stylists. Now widely acclaimed and with numerous releases behind him, Hill returns to the source, as it were, with an intense live recording that revisits the music of those early years. One difference is the jaw-dropping new lineup of players that he’s assembled for the task: tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, vibraphonist Joel Ross, pianist James Francies, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Kendrick Scott. Another major shift is the presence of vibes and absence of guitar and alto sax, giving the band a different harmonic and textural color. While staying true to the spirit of the New Gospel repertoire, with its accessible melodies and grooves, these high-echelon players look for ways to stretch and enrich the dialogue. At key transition points, there are brief solo features for each instrument—a beautiful infusion of new material amid the old.

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