It's not everyday that the world is introduced to a Brazilian hymnal jazz album. With their album debut, Reminisce
, the H&J Quintet
(comprised of husband and wife Hanna Kim and Joseph Seo, along with their friends Seyun Park, Tristan Garrity, and Marcelo Maccagnan) have put a unique spin on six familiar hymns alongside an original composition ("Pray For Boston") and live track ("My Father's World"). While the idea of hymnal jazz might sound intriguing to some and too niche for others, the result is a creatively executed record that is enjoyable, reverent, and even nostalgic to those familiar with these hymns. On songs like "My Father's World" and "What a Friend We Have In Jesus," the airy flute hooks are incredibly catchy and will keep you humming or whistling after the music stops. The flute often carries that "old familiar melody," while the other prominent instrument, a bluesy electric guitar, takes more of an improvisational approach. The contrast between improvisation and melody, although not always seamlessly transitioned, gives the album good replay value. There are a lot of intricacies, such as creative drum fills and agile flute notes, that show these musicians are masters of their craft. The overall sound is warm and even enchanting at times, so if this style piques your interest definitely give it a spin. This is a perfect album for working and studying while subtly keeping your mind on Christ.
- Review date: 3/19/18, written by Christopher Smith