Faces of Souls
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra
Leo Records CD LR 877 $14.97
The legendary Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, led by founder/director Mark Harvey since 1973, has been called “stunningly beautiful and adventurous,” (The New York City Jazz Record), “captivating” (Jazz Improv), “spellbinding” (The Boston Globe), and “one of the best jazz ensembles in the world” (Jazz Podium, Germany). In 2020, the band released its 16th CD, Faces of Souls, featuring seven masterful compositions by band leader Harvey. The title track takes its inspiration from the Shaw Memorial in Boston, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ powerful sculpture of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his 54th Massachusetts Regiment, who were among the first African Americans to fight in the Civil War. A companion piece, Consecration, also evokes the Shaw Memorial. The other five pieces expand on the album’s themes of social justice and democratic values: Of the People, an allusion to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Sisyphus for the perennial struggle toward progress, Meltdown (conveying the turmoil and exhaustion of our current zeitgeist), Greta for the young climate activist, and Lament for the City, for the late Kip Tiernan, a tireless advocate for the dispossessed in Boston.
Jean Buzelin writes in CultureJazz.fr, August 16, 2020: “The complexity and precision of the writing, the magnificence of the arrangements, the subtlety of the timbre, the space that is open to soloists…contribute to a music that is perfectly easy to read, avoids being too busy or inflated, and never comes at the expense of swing…Mark Harvey has an uncanny mastery for balancing and opposing orchestral masses, and he daringly creates unusual associations and complex rhythms. His orchestra “rings”, the nuances stand out, the colors vibrate, the power is expressed fully."
For more accolades, see Troy Dostert’s review of Faces of Souls in The Free Jazz Collective: https://www.freejazzblog.org/2020/09/aardvark-jazz-orchestra-faces-of-souls.html.
Eminent jazz writer and historian Bob Blumenthal will interview Mark Harvey and play excerpts from Faces of Souls during a livestream CD celebration on November 15, 2020 at 7:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public; information about reservations will be posted on the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra website.
Noteworthy Sheet Music is pleased to offer the CDs on behalf of Mark Harvey. To order Faces of Souls for $14.97 plus a $4.99 shipping and handling fee, please use the Noteworthy Sheet Music Contact Us form to let us know which CD(s) you would like to purchase, along with your email contact information and USPS mailing address. We will then send you a PayPal invoice for the sale and, once we receive notice from PayPal that you have paid for the item(s), we will ship your CD(s) to the address provided, for delivery in 7-10 days. Please note that due to high international shipping rates, we generally ship only to addresses in the USA.