Shannon Graham and the Storytellers Shannon Graham and the Storytellers

Shannon Graham and the Storytellers Shannon Graham and the Storytellers
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Orchestral, lyrical, dramatic music that tells stories, saxophonist/violist/composer Shannon Graham writes evocative film scores without the moving pictures. Instead, thought-provoking titles and themes ask questions and propose intriguing answers. "So Much Like A Dream" is a lullaby that ebbs and flows, with a dreamy line on astringent, distorted guitar. It gets interrupted by an up-tempo piano figure, which, like a dream, moves from pleasure to fear, with a return to warmth and happiness. There are playfulness and joy in "Stop That Dog"; it's a good example of how Graham's pieces incite the listener to see — not just hear — the action embodied in her musical stories. As beautiful as her orchestrations, Graham's voice adds further emotion, such as her heartfelt vocals on "You Are The Answer." Her ten-piece avant-chamber-jazz group deliver every one of the 17 pieces with an on-the-money performance, digging into the rhythmically insistent charts with gusto. This is enjoyably good, well-crafted, eventful music. (Independent)