Journey To Truth 0695

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rovi.MR0001898252 Used
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Review

Review Text Journey to Truth is an ambitious album. Tenor saxophonist Steve Williamson attempted to forge a song cycle in the manner of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Coltrane is quoted in the liner notes). In addition, he also wants to update the Coltrane feel with hip-hop beats and rhymes, as well as make a declaration about the state of urban America. The album is divided into three segments: "The Journey," a mostly instrumental suite of straight-ahead jazz tracks, "The Pffat Factor," which contains the bulk of the hip-hop-flavored tracks, and "That Fuss," which focuses the most on sociopolitical issues. Unfortunately, the three sections fail to cohere, which is less an indictment of Williamson's talents than a statement of how wildly divergent the three sections ultimately are. The first segment is the best and most focused. Williamson is an impressive, accomplished player, and the music, simple with some slight modern touches, shows him off to advantage. "Oh Africa Africa Africa," in particular, contains some impressive solos over a beautiful backing track. It's the middle section, with beats and rhymes courtesy of ?uestlove, Hub, and Blackthought from the Roots, that is the most problematic. The rhythms are nicely constructed, but they don't fit the mood established by the first half, and the songs don't seem especially distinctive either. By the time of the third segment, Williamson picks up with some of his best music, especially the gorgeous "Blakk Planets," but the deadly lack of momentum in the middle diminishes its impact. Williamson's goals are admirable, but if he had followed the pattern set up by the standout tracks, he really would have had a masterpiece. Instead he made an interesting but flawed misfire. ~ Victor W. Valdivia

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Meditation - 3:23
  2. 2. Journey to Truth - 8:48
  3. 3. Oh Africa Africa Africa - 6:08
  4. 4. Affirmation - 3:27
  5. 5. Celestial Blues - 7:56
  6. 6. Who Dares - 6:56
  7. 7. They Don't Wanna Hearit! - 7:31
  8. 8. Rough - 6:42
  9. 9. Pffat Time - 6:02
  10. 10. Antigua - 4:53
  11. 11. How Ya Livin? - 5:37
  12. 12. Blakk Planets - 6:32
  13. 13. Evol Lover - 5:57

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