"Instrumental Praise" - Come Blow your Horn
J. Plunky Branch might be a modern day Gabriel, blowing his horns to praise God and awaken spirits. "Instrumental Praise" is a CD of saxophone renditions of well known hymns and gospel songs by J. Plunky Branch. Through the marvels of digital technology and multitrack recording techniques Mr. Branch has produced a unique soundscape of solo and multiple saxophones to bring new life to some classic and traditional gospel music.
Plunky's solo sax ensemble or saxophone choir is often backed by organ or synthesizer on well known pieces such as "Amazing Grace" and "The Lord's Prayer." And on Negro spirituals like "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning" and "I Will Trust In the Lord" the saxes are unaccompanied, creating a haunting vocal-like quality similar in texture to the a capella group, Take 6. On these numbers Plunky's solo group could be called Take Sax.
The music on this CD reflects the beauty and creativity of the African-American religious experience. The songs themselves are so widely known that as even as instrumentals their messages of hope, praise and the love of God will be evident. While the sound of the music is "different" because it is rendered on saxophones, the improvisational techniques and soulfulness of the performances capture the essences of Black gospel traditional and at the same time induce new religious listening experiences.
Instrumental Praise is a collection of gospel hymns and spirituals that could be played at church or as the background music for prayerful reflection while meditating, doing household chores or driving. Listeners will be encouraged to sing along, adding their own vocal interpretations to those of the instruments. Gospel radio progammers might use specific songs as featured additions to playlists for regular rotation or some of the songs could be used as background music for announcements or related advertisements.
Two songs on the CD composed by Richard Smallwood, "I Love The Lord" and "Total Praise" are noteworthy for their choir-like saxophonic renditions. Andrae Crouch's "Soon And Very Soon" forms the basis of a medley of three songs unaccompanied except for a hip-hop drum beat. On "Give Thanks" and Milton Marriott's original "The Benediction" Mr. Marriott's organ accompaniment gives these selections a classical chamber orchestral sound.
If God has said "Come blow your horn," J. Plunky Branch has answered the call. He uses brass pipes and keys, his breath and God-given talents to isssue a call to worship. His Instrumental Praise is inspirational!
1. Leaning On the Everlasting Arms
2. I Will Trust In the Lord
3. I Love the Lord
4. Keep Your Lamps
5. Somebody Prayed For Me
6. Amazing Grace
7. The Lord's Prayer
8. Hymn Medley
9. Total Praise
10. Soon and Very Soon
11. Give Thanks
12. The Benediction