Is there time to explore and reflect on musical beauty in the frenetic pace of modern life? It's a question vocalist Anne Walsh
asks on her latest CD Go," which was released September 27th on AtoZink Music. The title sums up my wish to move forward as an artist, and strike out into areas of the musical art-form that I haven't had the opportunity to explore in the past, said Walsh. Her and husband Tom Zink created this memorable musical journey as the follow up to their previous project Pretty World," which earned a Grammy nomination for the arrangement of In The Still Of The Night."
The collection showcases a pair of Brazil 66' hits ("Cinnamon & Clove," Batucada"), several originals written by friends ("Je Vousem," Bumble Bee," I'll Wish for You"), classic jazz pieces with original lyrics ( Wayne Shorter's Go," & Azymuth's Cascade of the 7 Waterfalls"), a song discovered on LinkedIn ("Melanie"), and even a piece of the soundtrack to Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid ("South American Getaway"). Once again, Walsh's husband, Thomas Zink, produced and arranged the dozen tracks that mesmerize in Go."
The CD gives both a point of view and asks some questions about the current times we live in, and the evolving way we listen to music. The song Bumble Bee, really sums up what it's like to be alive these days: buzzing around, always moving, wings always flapping, and so busy that it is unfortunately easy to neglect the ones and the things we love," said Zink. Though we are constantly bombarded with information, there is an up side to this sometimes overwhelming deluge: the ability to study, observe and enjoy so many different cultures, and styles of music. We wanted to incorporate that positive element into the format of the CD, so it's very eclectic." It flows almost like a mix tape from, but with a unique kind of cohesiveness.
Throughout Go" a top-notch group of all-star musicians that includes noted bassists Brian Bromberg, and Jerry Watts, saxophonist Gary Meek, Guitarist Larry Koonse, and percussionists Chris Wabich, & Tiki Pasillas, help bring the musical vision alive. The result is a consistently colorful program in which one song leads logically to the next one, yet nothing is predictable or obvious. Not unlike modern life.
While this collection acknowledges the challenges of twenty first century living, it also provides an antidote through the rich layering of the musical elements, and a varied mosaic of orchestration. Some of the songs are fairly simple in their construction, while others invite the listener to thoughtful reflection in order to discover all the elements that are woven into the piece. Anne's voice takes the lead in much of the orchestrationincluding background parts, on solos, introductions and interludes. Sometimes with vocal jazz projects, there's a disconnect between the way the voice and other instruments are used in a song, but we wanted to bridge that gap and link the elements together with the voice," explained Zink. In fact, many of the solos evolve as a conversation between Anne's vocals and the solo instrument.
Ultimately we believe that beauty is real and rooted in the nature of creation. It can be reflected in music, or in the way a life is lived," said Zink. With this in mind, Anne chose to end the CD with an original song (Spring's Unfold) that she wrote as a tribute to the beauty of the sacrificial love that her parents lived out as they raised her and her brothers.