Album Review: Perseverance from Melvin Smith

Album:  Perseverance
Artist:  Melvin Smith
Label Name: MISMWO Music

Leader and saxophonist Melvin Smith has honed his chops on both commercial and spiritual recordings and performances.  The jazz improviser in him comes through on his latest offering Perseverance from MISMWO Music.  Produced by Smith, the recording has the liberating spirit of John Coltrane fused with a warm sizzle slanted to instill an after-hours decompression in the listener.  Smith's music fits into one's lifestyle as a way to unwind and soak up the peaceful aesthetics he offers.

The calming atmosphere of "Letter to the Ancestors" is bolstered by the buttery texture of Smith's whimsical musings as organist Greg Lewis embellishes the track with teased knots and loose furls etched along the melodic patterns.  “Beatitudes - Interlude,” a Bobby Watson original, has a soothing sonorous that caresses the listener with a pure tenderness.  "One By One," an Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers original, changes the course of the recording with an upbeat tempo as the jaunty rhythm of Jeb Patton's piano keys are paired with the buoyant pulse of Corcoran Holt's bass.

“Gettin’ It” is a funky Melvin Smith original that showcases his rapturous toots and the wavy ripples of Lewis's organ.  Smith reimagines Sam Rivers composition "Beatrice" infusing the clarion peal of his saxophone with the dribbling chimes of Lewis's organ.  Patton's keys create a frothy rumpus in conjunction with Jeremy Warren rapid drumming through the title track, as Smith's saxophone soars and ebbs intermittently, scrolling a series of improvised blazes.

Perseverance is a meaningful and expressive tribute to Smith's musical mentors, his family members, and his supporters.  The tracks have the effect of decompressing the listener, fitting into one's life as a way to unwind and soak up the peaceful aesthetics he offers.

Melvin Smith - tenor and soprano saxophones
Jeb Patton - piano
Greg Lewis - organ
Corcoran Holt - bass
Jeremy Warren - drums


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