Body And Shadow Brian Blade Fellowship
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- 1Within Everything03:03
- 2Body and Shadow (Noon)03:09
- 3Traveling Mercies04:33
- 4Have Thine Own Way, Lord (Solo)01:20
- 5Have Thine Own Way, Lord (Band)01:15
- 6Body and Shadow (Morning)01:44
- 8Body and Shadow (Night)02:57
- 9Broken Leg Days05:21
Info for Body And Shadow
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band marks its 20th anniversary with the release of their sublime fifth album, Body and Shadow, a succinct nine-track meditation on lightness/darkness that arrives like a balm for the soul, ebbing and flowing with grace, subtlety and no shortness of beauty.
Formed in 1997, the Fellowship released their eponymous Blue Note debut in 1998, but the bond among the musicians goes back even further. Brian Blade, the band’s namesake and drummer, first met pianist Jon Cowherd in 1988 while attending Loyola University in New Orleans, and they met bassist Chris Thomas in the Crescent City a year later. With Myron Walden (alto saxophone and bass clarinet) and Melvin Butler (tenor saxophone), the Fellowship Band’s sturdy unified bond (“we think of the band as a collective instrument,” Cowherd says) has evolved with every album, and Body and Shadow, which also features Denver-based guitarist Dave Devine, is an extension of that evolution.
Blade and Cowherd wrote, arranged and produced the songs for Body and Shadow, which was recorded at the historic Columbus Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island. The experience reminded Blade of recording the band’s debut with producer Daniel Lanois at the Teatro, a former movie theater in Oxnard, California.
“It is always great to be in the moment and in process with the band,” says Blade. “We come in with all our grand plans and then there’s this yielding to, ‘Okay, here’s what’s actually being captured.’ Maybe not what I thought but another feeling, another energy, which is unpredictable. There’s joy in the whole mystery of what we are hoping to create. You step into the process to see what you’re made of, individually and together. Since we’ve shared so much time together, that trust and the sort of inherent knowing of what’s needed for each other kicks in pretty quick.”
“I think we have a lot of hope for the world and ourselves and the desire to create something which will move or touch people,” Cowherd adds. “There’s a spiritual background to the band. We come from a foundation of playing music that is inspirational and I think we all want it to be intellectually interesting, too.”
Brian Blade, drums
Jon Cowherd, piano, harmonium, mellotron
Chris Thomas, bass
Melvin Butler, tenor saxophone
Myron Walden, alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Dave Devine, guitar
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was born on July 25, 1970 in Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother, Dorothy Blade is a retired kindergarten teacher and his father, Brady L. Blade, Sr. is the pastor of the Zion Baptist Church in Shreveport. During his childhood, Brian would hear Gospel music in his everyday life, as well as the music of Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind and Fire, and the Staple Singers. In elementary school, his music appreciation teacher, Lucy Bond, introduced her students to the music of Maurice Ravel and in this class, Brian would play the recorder and various melodic percussion instruments associated with the Carl Orff pedagogy.
The multi-talented young veteran is already widely respected in the jazz world as drummer/composer/leader of Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, with whom he has released three albums. He is also known as the drummer for many heroes of the music world, including Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Wayne Shorter, Seal, Bill Frisell and Emmylou Harris. Blade is always searching for the balance that gives a song a personal story with an outward reaching resonance. One such song of memories is entitled, "Second Home," a tribute to his teacher, John Vidacovich, and the city of New Orleans where Brian met Fellowship band mates Jon Cowherd and Chris Thomas. He lived in the crescent city for seven years while studying with musical masters Ellis Marsalis, David Lee, Jr. Bill Huntington, Mike Pellera, George French, Germaine Bazzle, Steve Masakowski and John Mahoney. Mama Rosa marks a new endeavor for Blade: a lovingly crafted, emotionally affecting song cycle that's deeply rooted in a rich vein of personal experience. "All That Was Yesterday", "You'll Always Be My Baby" and "Nature's Law" show Blade to be a soulful and expressive vocalist and a songwriter capable of rendering evocative stories that resonate with insight and empathy. "Revealing more of ourselves is always daunting," says Blade, "but I feel like I need to keep challenging myself and peeling away layers to get to the core of who I am and what I have to offer."
From about age nine to age thirteen, Brian played violin in the school orchestra and continued to play until following in the footsteps of his older brother, Brady l. Blade, Jr. who played the drums in the Zion church.
During high school, both Brady, Jr. and Brian were students of Dorsey Summerfield, Jr. and performed as part of Dorsey’s professional group, the Polyphonics. During this time and through his experience with Mr. Summerfield, Brian began listening to the music of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Elvin Jones, and Joni Mitchell.
In 1988, Brian moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University. It was at this time that Brian would become friends with Jon Cowherd. Both Brian and Jon were able to study and play with most of the master musicians living in New Orleans, including: John Vidacovich, Ellis Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, Bill Huntington, Mike Pellera, John Mahoney, George French, Germaine Bazzle, David Lee, Jr., Alvin Red Tyler, Tony Dagradi and Harold Battiste.
There were many inspiring musicians living and visiting New Orleans who helped Brian in his development. Some of these friends are Chris Thomas, Peter Martin, Nicholas Payton, Antoine Drye, Martin Butler, Delfeayo Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Harry Connick, Jr., Gray Mayfield, Marcus Roberts, Victor Goines and Daniel Lanois.
In 1998, Brian and Jon Cowherd began recording their own music with the group Fellowship. The band members are Chris Thomas, Myron Walden, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Melvin Butler. They have released 3 albums together – Fellowship and Perceptual, both on Blue Note, and the 2008 Verve recording, Season of Changes.
Since 2000, Brian has been part of the Wayne Shorter Quartet with Danilo Perez and John Patitucci.
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