Published May 15, 2020Although bassist Joshua Crumbly has had quite the success as a sideman, collaborating and touring with the likes of Kamasi Washington, Leon Bridges, Lizz Wright, Ravi Coltrane and Anthony Wilson, this hasn't led him to stray away from telling his own personal narrative. Crumbly takes that confident leap with his debut solo album, Rise, proving not only his strong musical talent, but also his ability to create a sense of connection and openness with listeners.
Rise is an album of songs fuelled by times of hardship, revealing Crumbly's emotional depth, and all without the use of lyrics. Rather, he communicates these intimate moments of difficulty through the blending of diverse sounds (jazz, rock, soul, electronic) and crossover of instruments.
"Noah," dedicated to Crumbly's beloved college friend who passed away, exudes a warm ambience, as does the meditative "Remembering," with floating melodic figures. "New Rock Thingy" is upbeat in comparison; the guitar-playing expertly blended with the synth of the track.
There is this underlying notion of togetherness present throughout Rise, with tracks bringing forth emotions that we as human beings have all experienced — loss, despair, gloom. With that, comes a renewed sense of optimism and hope; the realization that we are never truly alone!
Crumbly has crafted a comforting piece of work; one that manages to unite us, as well as inspire a brighter mindset. (Open Book)