Nominally this is jazz but as far as jazz goes, it makes Bob James sound like Metallica; it’s more like music for a trendy evangelical church, though choral singers will probably love it, too.
Vocal group Commotio figure highly. Chilcott recently worked with Congleton Choral Society, who loved him.
The CD reminded us of the King’s Singers, and that was before we knew Chilcott sang in the group. In the sleeve notes, he writes that the model for his pieces with a jazz combo was a set of George Gershwin arrangements that Richard Rodney Bennett made for The King’s Singers in the early 70s.
Chilcott is one of Britain’s most popular composers and his choral music is performed worldwide. As can be heard on this CD, he embraces a wide range of styles and the music has lots of life and energy.
A couple of tracks, Marriage To My Lady Poverty and though My Love and Art Fair are unaccompanied the remainder are jazz combos; there is some good playing on the piano and sax along with the niceness.
The unaccompanied pieces are actually our favourites. We’d have thought this an essential CD for people who sing for a hobby, or for those who go to churches like New Life and enjoy the pop / jazz church music.
Tracks include Ophelia, Caliban and Miranda, written by Chilcott for a youth choir festival, and covers of Scarborough Fair (which is lovely) and The House of the Rising Sun.
Out on Naxos, 8.573383.
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