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Jacob Cooper & Steven Bradshaw — Sunrise
(Cold Blue CB0062, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-11-12

Sunrise Cover art

Ostensibly a CD single — a thirty-two minute single at that — this beautiful and inventive piece of music developed over the course of a year from a repeated long distance back-and-forth between these two collaborators, each from their respective home bases in the US northeast, initiated and made possible by Anthony B. Creamer III. “Sunrise” derives its lyrics and title from an early 20th century piece “The World Waiting for a Sunrise” that was popularized during the 1918-20 Spanish flu pandemic, and subsequently recorded by a number of different artists, but unless you are a dedicated deciphrer of artistic vocalizations, don’t expect more than recognizing a word here or there from the choral wall of voices that appears throughout the piece, which is Bradshaw’s contribution — I’m not sure if all the voices are Bradshaw’s (some treated to effects) or includes members of one of his several vocal groups, but I suspect the latter as the various voices sound distinctively different from one another. Cooper’s contribution is the overall production and coordination of the non-vocal instrumentation, which prominently features piano and slabs of mysterious noise (probably guitar or bass guitar generated via distortion effects) after a seachange around the sixteen-minute mark, which also includes contributions from woodwinds and violin carrying through to the piece’s conclusion, along with voices. The piece is evolutionary and changes to the fabric of the piece are slow moving, with the exception being at that point where all the additional instrumentation comes in, and another point much later in the piece where all nearly fades to black for a moment; ideas do evolve slowly but at a pace that will hold the listener’s interest and attention throughout. It’s a truly engaging creation that will evoke many repeat plays.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Steven Bradshaw, Jacob Cooper

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