Benjamin Boone: The Poets Are Gathering (album review by Christa V.)

This is an innovative album combining poetry and jazz together, the third of its kind that Boone has created. The two art forms have always been linked, andthis is a great way to bring them back together. Essentially each song consists of a poet reading their work while jazz music plays as a backing track, turningthe poetry into lyrics. All of the works chosen are powerful poems responding to current issues, particularly racism. The music suits each poem thematically,some end up sounding like pop or rap songs they merge so well. Standout tracks include “Deconstruction of Idols” which sounds almost improvised until1:50 when what sounds like a big band comes in. “Truths” is a gorgeous, melodical piece that’s wonderful to listen to. And the title track “The Poets AreGathering” builds tension so effectively and features really neat vocal edits throughout. Finally the album ends with “These Current Events,” a poem thatdiscusses the current times and the place of poetry in them. A perfect way to end a powerful album. Favorite tracks: 3, 5, 6, 7

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