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Season of Changes

21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 6, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

2008 release of Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band which is their first new album in eight years by this critically acclaimed ensemble. Season of Changes finds the dynamic performer and composer reunited with his writing partner and muse, Jon Cowherd (Lizz Wright's Salt) and the critically acclaimed guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Brian Blade is universally acknowledged as one of the finest drummers and musicians in all of popular music. His resume is as diverse as it is impressive having recorded and or/performed with Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Bill Frisell, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Joshua Redman, Seal, Wayne Shorter and more. 9 tracks.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rubylou's Lullaby
  2. Return of the Prodigal Son
  3. Stoner Hill
  4. Season of Changes
  5. Most Precious One
  6. Most Precious One (Prodigy)
  7. Improvisation
  8. Alpha and Omega
  9. Omni

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 6, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0015MS7DO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,307 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By monte on May 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Born in Louisiana, Blade developed his unique drumming style from a wide range of influences and teachers including Elvin Jones, John Vidacovich, Art Blakey, David Lee, Jr., and Paul Motian.
Brian has made quite a name for himself as a sideman drummer, playing for artists ranging from Joshua Redman to Joni Mitchell, to Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny, Seal and Emmylou Harris.
His style relies more on tone and subtle flourishes instead of speed, power or in-your-face complexity; attributes that are attractive to leaders who need steadiness in their percussion, not co-leaders.
Brian Blade is also a very capable leader himself and the three opportunities he's taken to be one on an album he's shown a propensity for melody, mood, and ensemble playing.
The Daniel Lanois-produced debut album "The Brian Blade Fellowship" firmly sets down those principles, but it's on "Perceptual" (produced by Blade himself) where such principles are fully realized and executed.
Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band make their Verve Records debut with the release of "Season of Changes", after eight years from "Percetual", released in 2000.
This beautiful and powerful album features acclaimed drummer Blade, pianist and composer Jon Cowherd (piano, pump organ, moog, Wurlitzer), Chris Thomas (bass), Myron Walden (alto saxophone, bass clarinet), Melvin Butler (tenor saxophone), and Kurt Rosenwinkel (guitar).
It features nine new moving works by Blade and Jon Cowherd.
It opens with the gently striking "Rubylou's Lullaby", just one of six Blade compositions on the record, followed by Jon Cowherd's driving "Return of the Prodigal Son", a work in several movements that showcases the amazing guitar work of Kurt Rosenwinkel and the emotive tenor of Melvin Butler.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cocktail Carillon on May 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This record is slower and more somber and deliberate in general than the previous two Fellowship releases. It's also missing the inspirational and atmospheric pedal steel work of Dave Easley, who was a big part of the first two discs.

But it's still a must-have and a must-listen for me. It has the instantly recognizable Fellowship vibe, which is not to be found anywhere else. This band plays with tremendous commitment and communion, and the writing is truly singular and remarkable. There's nothing else out there that sounds like this ensemble, and few efforts go as deep or feature such empathetic playing.

Brian Blade and the other players in this band have been involved in many other noteworthy projects, but this thing that they have together as a unit is special. To me, the three Fellowship records are confirming and uplifting emotional and spiritual touchstones. I frequently give them to people and hope that they can take some time out, soak the music in and give it a chance to make a difference to them.

Whether you're a musician or not, as many people have said, music has the power to change and enhance lives, and the Fellowship's body of music is right up at the top of my personal list of life changing and enhancing music. I know it's not for everyone and some people are not overly enthusiastic about it - that's OK. It reached out and grabbed me involuntarily, and I'm so glad that many others feel as strongly about this group as I do.

Keep this band working and recording, Brian. I know the economics are a challenge for a 6 or 7 piece band playing original music. But it needs to keep on being heard and felt.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Olukayode Balogun on June 2, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Two albums in, I've learned to recognise Brian Blade's very unique sound and as soon as I heard the first few bars of the first track on this CD, the first we've heard from him and his Fellowship Band since 2000, a beatific smile spread over my face. Some hoping for some sort of musical radical departure may be disappointed, feeling that this is just more of the same but I'm as happy as a lark with it. As always, Kurt Rosenwinkel's guitar seduced me in from the word go and I was swept away right until the very last note of the final track.

More or less all the members of the Fellowship Band are present and correct: supporting Blade and his drums are Jon Cowherd on piano, pump organ, Moog & Wurlitzer; Rosenwinkel is on guitar of course; Myron Walden is on alto saxophone & bass clarinet; Melvin Butler on tenor saxophone and Chris Thomas is on bass. The only thing missing from the familiar mix is Dave Easley and his pedal steel guitar but it's a minor deficiency - if that's even the appropriate word to use - and goes practically unnoticed.

I have no favourite tracks this time around (though the unusually thumping, driving beat of "Most Precious One (Prodigy)" is the one song that made me look up from what I was doing while I was listening); the entire album is intoxicatingly delicious. Highly recommended, as are Blade's other two recordings, 1998's Brian Blade Fellowship and 2000's Perceptual.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By eliot gardenstreet on August 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just played this cd after listening to Progressions: 100 Years of Jazz Guitar, co-produced by John Scofield, and I was struck by how Kurt Rosenwinkel's playing with the Brian Blade Fellowship sounds better to me than the playing of most of the greats of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. So many of these guys sound tense, as if they're trying to prove something. I like virtuosity as well the next man, but I like it most when a player's skill gives him the confidence to relax and get into a tune. Kurt's playing on this album displays that rare combination of flawless technique and a big heart. In fact these are my favorite KR tracks since Heartcore. Melvin Butler's tenor playing and Chris Thomas's bass playing are unusually soulful too. Thanks Brian for a great album.
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