TODD Passion Music. Jazz Missa Bravis

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Will Todd

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Signum

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 78

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: SIGCD563

SIGCD563. TODD Passion Music. Jazz Missa Bravis

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Passion Music Will Todd, Composer
John Turville, Piano
Shaneeka Simon, Vocals
St Martin's Voices
Will Todd, Composer
Will Todd Ensemble
God So Loved the World Will Todd, Composer
John Turville, Piano
Shaneeka Simon, Vocals
St Martin's Voices
Will Todd, Composer
Will Todd Ensemble
I Am Changed Will Todd, Composer
John Turville, Piano
Shaneeka Simon, Vocals
St Martin's Voices
Will Todd, Composer
Will Todd Ensemble
Jazz Missa Brevis Will Todd, Composer
John Turville, Piano
Shaneeka Simon, Vocals
St Martin's Voices
Will Todd, Composer
Will Todd Ensemble
Tantum Ergo Will Todd, Composer
John Turville, Piano
Shaneeka Simon, Vocals
St Martin's Voices
Will Todd, Composer
Will Todd Ensemble
What Sweeter Music Will Todd, Composer
John Turville, Piano
Shaneeka Simon, Vocals
St Martin's Voices
Will Todd, Composer
Will Todd Ensemble
The two major works on this generously filled disc are further examples of the blending of jazz and choral music exemplified in Will Todd’s groundbreaking Mass in Blue of 2003 (recorded by the Vasari Singers – Signum, A/06). Passion Music (2018) consists of nine movements, drawing on a wide range of texts, including Mrs Alexander’s classic ‘There is a green hill far away’, St John’s Gospel, the Latin Stabat mater and an American spiritual. Wrapped in a highly sophisticated, ‘low-down’, piano-led, post-Godspell garb, there is superb support from a seven-piece combo who accompany the 18 members of St Martin’s Voices. Their perfect tonal blend (albeit with much octave doubling and homophonic chording) makes a startling foil to the ultra-melismatic, quasi-charismatic, gospel-flavoured contributions from the vocal soloist Shaneeka Simon. Although the faster movements (such as ‘A new commandment’) rock along with tremendous rhythmic verve, it is the unaccompanied moments of relative stillness which are especially affecting, for example ‘My love has died for me’.

Todd himself takes over the pianist’s stool from the excellent John Turville for the Jazz Missa brevis, providing plenty of funky McCoy Tyner-like thumbprints, such as in the Benedictus which – minus its texts – would happily grace any 1970s US cop show. The soothing and gentle closing bars of the Agnus Dei lead beautifully into a quartet of recent a cappella settings which make up the rest of the disc. Tantum ergo has a beguiling sweetness, as does What sweeter music of 2015, with its subtle Scottish inflections, simpler divisi textures, ‘scrunchy’ chords and achingly unresolved suspensions. Possibly the finest track of all is I am changed (2016), a delicious setting of the composer’s own ‘born again’ text.

A stimulating release, beautifully recorded and produced.

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