In the Midst
In The Midst A palindrome year happens only once in a while. 2002 is such a year. Read it forward or backward; It still says 2002. The last time such a year happened was 1991. The next time will be 2112. So a palindrome year comes once a century. Likewise the music of In the midst may come once every 100 years. Genius requires creating a brand new direction for a field. If that is so, Duke Ellington did that in the 20th century. In the midst may be doing it in the 21st century. But let the people judge. Already ten year olds geared to hip hop crave more of the In the midst sound. Adults of different races drift toward the sound like folks following the piper's flute. Look closely at the CD cover. See Cliff, Jay, and Bruce abstractly placed on a splashing of musical instruments and buildings in a jazz city. God's angel dust flows from their sound and DeVonne Gardner's voice in the midst of their CD. But let the people judge. The people already know the band. * Bruce Frazier earned his masters degree in mathematics from Temple University, but when it comes to music, he is a doctor, operating a smooth trumpet in churches, jazz groups, and chamber ensembles. Lately, Bruce has become an arranger and producer. His energy drives the creation of liturgical jazz-a 21st century sound that has God in the midst. * Jay Fluellen earned his doctorate in music from Temple University. He composes, arranges, and accompanies. As organ master at St. Thomas Episcopal church, he both writes compositions for choral ensembles and conducts. As pianist for the Dr. Jay trio with Ella Gant, vocalist, he turns to jazz. Every now and then someone coaxes him to sing. His tenor voice has thrilled Philadelphians since his days at the Creative and Performing Arts High School. But with In the midst, Dr. Jay contributes keyboard virtuosity to co create liturgical jazz. * Cliff Kellem plays both the string bass and bass guitar. He has worked with many of the world's greatest musicians and also casts roots in the church. Cliff composes and arranges-another multi talented soul in the midst of a new music. * When just a teenager, DeVonne Gardner sang solos with Duke Ellington in his sacred concerts. She is amongst master musicians who know how to support her gifted voice and fabulous range. The people know the band well and have a hungry ear for their combined creation. Liturgical jazz marks this CD for history. But let the people judge. Written by, Jerry Fluellen, Jr.