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  • Landmarks [2 LP]
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Landmarks [2 LP]


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Landmarks
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Vinyl, April 15, 2014
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (April 15, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00I45818G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,713 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Down River
2. Landmarks
3. State Lines
4. Ark.La.Tex.
5. Shenandoah
6. He Died Fighting
7. Friends Call Her Dot
8. Farewell Bluebird
9. Bonnie Be Good
10. Embers

Editorial Reviews

Landmarks, the fourth recording by Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band, marks their return to Blue Note Records, released in cooperation with the Shreveport, Louisiana based label, Mid-City Records. Brian chose to record seven of the ten compositions in his hometown of Shreveport at Blade Studios which was opened in 2011 by Brian's older brother, the drummer and producer Brady Blade, Jr. Shreveport is an inland port city situated 40 miles south of Arkansas, 20 miles east of Texas, and 100 miles north of the Gulf Coast and its location makes it a sonic catchment basin for various Afro-diasporic strains gospel, rhythm-and-blues, the blues as such and various iterations of jazz and vernacular folk idioms that developed indigenously in the surrounding territories.

As on each prior Fellowship Band release, Blade and pianist Jon Cowherd refract these impressions into their own musical poetry, with an ear to the individualistic styles of Myron Walden (alto saxophone, bass clarinet), Melvin Butler (soprano and tenor saxophone) and Chris Thomas (bass). For the recording of Landmarks, Marvin Sewell and Jeff Parker are on guitars. Excepting the guitarists, The Fellowship Band has remained a unit since their eponymous 1998 debut and its 2000 follow-up, Perceptual, both on Blue Note. You can hear it in the cohesion and exploratory spirit of their collective and individual interpretations, orchestrated and propelled by the leader s in-the-moment beats and textures.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
68%
4 star
26%
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5%
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See all 19 customer reviews
Some of the best jazz music out there right now.
Gabriel R
I though that the musicians try to get a very special mood very intimate, very close to the heart.
Manuel Grosso Galvan
It has a great mix of short interstitial pieces and extended songs.
JD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Cocktail Carillon on August 20, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first two recordings from this band (Fellowship and Perceptual) changed my life as a listener. I will continue to listen to those records for the duration. Their last two records (this one and Season of Changes) don't come close to capturing the brilliance, freshness and magic of the first two and are disappointing by comparison.

The band became far less vibrant when it reduced from a septet to a sextet for Season of Changes (Dave Easley's pedal steel is greatly missed), and it is even less compelling as a quintet augmented by guest guitarists on this recording. Although his touch is admirable and his sound and harmonic approach are perfect for the group, Jon Cowherd is not a strong enough pianist to compensate for the absence of Easley and Kurt Rosenwinkel. The collective sonic and creative power of the ensemble has been greatly diminished, as has their previously breathtaking approach to texture and dynamics.

There is some good news here. Most importantly, the band continues to emphasize a story telling, ensemble-first, compositional approach to the music, which is a heaven sent alternative to the brief head and long solos approach so often found in small group jazz. On a more specific note, the bass is thankfully audible throughout, which has not always been the case on prior Fellowship recordings.

Like Season of Changes, this record is a somber, plodding approximation of the vital, open, pastoral, and nimble footed first two records. The band works entirely within their previously established conceptual vocabulary rather than breaking any new ground. However, in all fairness, when the band plays compositions from Landmarks and Season of Changes in concert, they do so with tremendous passion, depth, and conviction.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JD on May 5, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have had this CD less than a week and I have gone back to listen to it three times. It is like listening to a conversation done in music. There is just the right amount of give and take between these musicians. For a drummer led band there at least two tracks that have no drums, which is way cool.

The CD has a very atmospheric vibe to it. In short spurts it sometimes reminds of Miles Davis with Gil Evans Orchestra. It has a great mix of short interstitial pieces and extended songs.

This was my first purchase of a Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band. I am glad I did. Now it is time to get up to speed with their back catalog.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David L Stern on August 7, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a meditative and precise search for musical beauty. I listen over and over and over.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Grosso Galvan on May 13, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Now I found several new jazz records very soft and deep. I though that the musicians try to get a very special mood very intimate, very close to the heart. It's not jazz for hear in clubs, even not to hear with other people, are works to hear alone. I feel this is music very near to the ground. This one is the perfect example of this kind of music. Is the fourth album of Brian Blade and Fellowship Band. Are the same musicians plus Marvin Swell on guitar and I love the incredible peace of his music. Blade is a great drummer, Melvin Butler is perfect on saxophones, Jon Cowherd on piano and Chris Thomas on bass, but the really important is the music, the spirit of his music. A great record for your pleasure only.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary A. Gardner on January 13, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is outstanding "landscape" jazz. The extended pieces each take you on a journey, a very enjoyable trip. Although the instrumentation is different, for a ​genre think Pat Metheny. These artists are masterful on this album, and I encourage you to listen to them with very good quality earpieces or speakers, at a resolution higher than MP3; the quality and subtlety is that good, and quite present.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Landmarks depicts tragic history of a certain town in the past in America. It may be a town named Shreveport, Brian Blade’s birth place. Every song is placed as if the Western develops. Out of tune melody in Down River connotes sorrowful history of this place. Myron Walden’s bass clarinet tells unhappy feeling of native Americans, who were expelled from this land. Ark.La.Tex. begins with solemn march by native Americans, who were proceeding to a fight with colonists. Saxophones depict their desperate fights against injustice. Sounds gradually changes into a funeral march. Joe Cowherd’s pump organ and Myron Walden’s bass clarinet in Shenandoah conjures up a solemn funeral procession of fallen warriors. He Died Fighting starts with the characteristic rhythm of American Indian. An easy-to-hum simple melody is pitted against a marching-into-battle rhythm, which falters, revives, stumbles and rebounds with renewed vigor. It was an all-out battle. Bass clarinet sounds like lamenting the fallen warriors in Friends Call Her Dot. Myron Walden’s alto and Melvin Butler’s tenor in Farewell Bluebird convey desolated landscapes after the war. Colonists started their new lives. Distorted guitar sounds by Marvin Sewell tells their joy. On the other hand, native Americans found another new place. Bass clarinet depicts the dim light of their hope. The day dawned. In Bonnie Be Good, settlers were increasing and beginning their occupations. The new history began in this place. People are bustling in Embers.
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