For Marcus Shelby, history breathes music. Over the past decade, the San Francisco bassist/composer has created a series of captivating large-scale works that illuminate the accomplishments, spiritual fortitude and tribulations of African-Americans. In his debut recording for Porto Franco Records, Shelby delivers his breathtaking meditation on the Civil Rights movement, Soul of the Movement," a powerful record mixing original compositions with jazzed-up spirituals as well as a rollicking version of Civil Rights anthem We Shall Overcome," Charles Mingus' politically charged Fables of Faubus," and Curtis Mayfield's black pride hit We Are a Winner."
Based on his extensive research into the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, he's crafted a highly personal work that captures the era's charged energy and fierce sense of mission. Wielding his 15-piece jazz orchestra with confidence and precision, Shelby brilliantly showcases some of the Bay Area's most accomplished and expressive musicians, including trumpeters Darren Johnston and Mike Olmos, reed experts Sheldon Brown, Howard Wiley and Gabe Eaton, pianist Adam Shulman and drummer Jeff Marrs. The video showcases the 15-piece ensemble at the height of their powers, brilliantly interpreting Shelby's music and his message.
Just out on January 18, Soul of the Movement" is already earning rave reviews:
he has created a most affecting and uplifting recording, performed with passion by the superb 15-piece Marcus Shelby Orchestra... Soul Of The Movement is an inspired, and inspiring, album." Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz
his most ambitious project yet... a glorious tapestry that weaves together his vivid original compositions with his arrangements of classic spirituals." Ed Enright, DownBeat Magazine