RadioIndy is pleased to present Joel Holmes with a GrIndie Award for their CD "African Skies"
"African Skies" is a traditional jazz album with elements of world fusion from an extremely talented jazz pianist in Joel Holmes. Holmes collaborated with a number of skilled jazz musicians to create this album, including jazz legend Gary Thomas on saxophone and flute, outstanding Cuban percussionist Melena and the Emerald East String Quartet. The resulting arrangements are solid, all out jams. Many of the tracks on "African Skies" follow the traditional jazz sound reminiscent of Herbie Hancock, while others are in the world fusion realm, combining jazz piano with either African drums, or a string quartet to create a unique jazz fusion sound. The album and song titles suggest an element of spirituality and Holmes' compositions follow this concept nicely, making the entire album something of a journey. "African Skies" is also well-produced, with every element of each arrangement brought to life and failing to disappoint. "Impressions take 1" begins with an insane piano progression by Holmes that immediately puts him up there with great jazz pianists like Thelonious Monk and Oscar Peterson. Enjoy this one as it unfolds unfolds into a great traditional jazz number. "Chinese fishing song" features the Emerald East String Quartet, with a soaring violin coupled with Holmes on the piano, creating a unique jazz fusion sound. Gary Thomas carries "African Skies" and "Fatima" with sax and flute solos, respectively. "African Skies" is truly an original album that any jazz and jazz fusion fan should add to their collection.-Chris & the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
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