Soul Food

Soul Food

by Cyrus ChestnutCyrus Chestnut


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Pianist Cyrus Chestnut can dazzle with his fleet, sparkling right hand, and he can sing it sweet and soulful when he’s feeling the spirit. On this latest outing, there’s no question the spirit is present in abundance, and Chestnut has assembled a congregation of similarly soulful bandmates to get the mood just right for praising and wailing and keeping it real. The tunes are mostly originals, but he’s placed a smooth, somber solo rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” in the center of the album, as if to remind us where the heart of this music lies. The title tune is a full-out hard-bop vehicle, and it sets the album off to a strong start. “Brother Hawky Hawk” sounds like a New Orleans funeral strut and features an attention-getting solo from trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Chestnut ambles through an old-fashioned stride piano solo on “Coming Through the Rye,” which glows beneath his touch. The “guest musicians” are superb, too, including vibraphonist Stefon Harris, who nearly steals the show on “Brother with the Mint Green Vine” (on marimba) and “In the Underground,” and trumpeter Marcus Printup, who blows a bright, keenly edged solo on a resoundingly upbeat tune titled “Wellllllll!” Recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/16/2001
Label: Warner Records
UPC: 0075678349027
catalogNumber: 83490
Rank: 55443

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