Master alto saxophonist Jorge Sylvester is joined by his ensemble Ace Collective – Nora McCarthy – voice, lyrics, poetry, Waldron Mahdi Ricks – trumpet, Pablo Vergara – piano, Donald Nicks – electric bass and Kenny Grohowski – drums – on this example of high-level 21st century jazz.
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The Jorge Sylvester ACE Collective is “an all-star jazz band that knows how to swing, to improvise with spontaneity and poise, and to respond to one another with telepathic immediacy and profound respect. Their new double CD release Spirit Driven, on foUR Records TM, is the result of a lifetime of spirit driven preparation by each musician – Jorge Sylvester: brilliant composer and arranger, virtuoso alto saxophonist; Nora McCarthy: daringly original, versatile, and fearlessly honest singer, composer, and poet. Waldron Mahdi Ricks: impeccably artful trumpet player, a jazz master in his own right; Pablo Vergara: astoundingly imaginative pianist, musically fluent on an encyclopedic, global scale; Donald Nicks: journeyman artisan of the bass, unfailingly, and always tastefully, providing the musical foundation; Kenny Grohowski: uncannily precise and inventive drummer and percussionist.” Spirit Driven, the group’s first recording, is a highly rhythmic and spiritually motivated compositional journey through the various cultures that make up the Caribbean Islands encompassing their significance and contribution to the present day advanced musical concepts in jazz and avant-garde/free music. It uses the “word” in the form of poetry and lyrics to convey each song’s spiritual and historical message. “The music continuously flows and develops with a lithe bodily grace and expressive range, transfiguring its structural complexity and technical virtuosity into an intimate and honest gesture of oneness with each listener, only possible by virtue of consummate musicianship.” – Ramsey Ameen