The composition and arranging skills of Anthony Fung are well highlighted on this strong and varied session. There is a core team of Edmar Colon/ts-ss, Joshn Johnson/as, Simon Moullier/vib, Isaac Wilson/p-synth and Mats Sandahl/b along with some guest saxes, percussionists, vocals and a string quartet to boot.
The strings meld with the band with rich soprano sax, vibes and piano rising to a dramatic conclusion on “A Call For Peace” while the strings yearn and serve as satin drapery for Erin Bentlages’ voice on “Forever.” Modern bows and pizzicatos portray a modern vs medieval mix of worldviews on “St. Augustine and The Devil.”
For the jazzier material, the sweet high tones create a hazy cloud on “Ilekun” and the reeds sigh over a lovely canter on “The Flash.” Peppy drums and piano get into a staccato groove on “Walk the Walk” and the peppy modal “Guanabana” features Latin piano and percolating percussion. Lots of wonderful ideas, and even though Fung doesn’t play anything here, this album lacks the sterility of a “composer’s band.” Seek this one out.