Ohio based Alternative Jazz Band Soundoctrine has always held a reputation for pushing the experimental envelope to the edge. They routinely glide from funk laden arrangements based on alternate time signatures to sensual soul ballads to Contemporary Jazz which have earned them international acclaim and a recurring role on the Weather Channel's playlist. Their third studio project "Inspire" marks an impressive advancement toward their ability to stretch into other genres, while maintaining their spiritual base. Showcasing a variety of musical styles reminiscent of their debut "Perseverance," Soundoctrine teams up with several indie champions of Soul & Classic R&B to bring a spellbinding array of fusionistic grooves. "Just Think" opens the album and features the vocals of the incredible Marlon Saunders (marlonsaunders.com) who's bio list a who's who of sterling artists Marlon has worked with from Billy Joel to Michael Jackson. This bouncy groove, is arguably the first legitimate R&B song composed in a 9/8 time signature. Co-written by Marlon & "Inspire's" producer Jere B, the song's lyrics address the possibility of humanity living together peacefully in love & harmony. "That extra beat on 'the 9'" says Jere B, "is the opportunity to stop and Think About It!" "Brother's Keeper" is also a groove written out of time. This beat is 7/4 and features the vocal talents of Larry 'Big L' Johnson & Niayana Pure Music Recording Artist, Stefano NuSoul on lead vocals. The track is a blend of Africa meets Ohio and showcases the swaying back & forth ground voices of Tara Amil, Donna Thomas, Bea Thompson & Michaela Write who centralizes the need for the family unit to return to the place of solid unity. "Marriage" is the first song which causes you to remember that it's a Soundoctrine Album after all. A slow grooving ballad that instrumentally celebrates the many joys of married life. "While writing the tune," Jere B explains, "I wanted to contrast the husband's dialogue (played by longtime SD saxophonist Keith McKelley) with the wife, which was magically performed by our dear friend Ragan Whiteside (raganwhiteside.com) and then weave the all important element of Holy Spirit through it with the piano, played by Cliff [Barnes]." The wonderment of this piece is the fact that neither musician was in the room at the same time. This is not uncommon in today's recording environment, where 'overdubbing' is the norm, but the fact that neither Keith nor Cliff has ever recorded with Ragan before - and - the fact that both Keith & Ragan, due to time and location emailed their parts in, without ever hearing the other's take is a powerful testament to their musicianship and the production prowess of Jere B. "Marriage" is a very bright light on this collection of great tunes! "Sacred Place" is another reminder that Soundoctrine IS a jazz ensemble. Featuring heavyweight mainstay, Paul Douds on various guitars, he and keyboardist Cliff Barnes, take turns at chilling the listener completely out, coaxed on by a subtle beat, lingering percussion and quiet synth pads. Guest Musician and Phat Funk Clique violinist Darryl Looney (phatfunk.com) shows up at the bridge to twist the journey into an unusual dream like escape with a weird key change that may question the 'chill' but doesn't disturb the groove. Experimentation Abounds! "Meant To Be" showcases the lyrical and singing harmonies of a returning Stefano NuSoul and upcoming diva deluxe, JazMarie (who presently holds the crown as Disney's official Princess Tianna at their Florida theme park). Their excursion through the song's courtship and eventual wedding is sweet, tender and reminds you of a melodic Stevie Wonder vibe tapping into early Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell mystic. McKelley's sexy saxophone provides ample ground for a honeymoon experience to seal their matrimony for eternity. "Relax - The Freedom Remix" again features the saucy vocals and lyrics of JazMarie, intertwined with the prolific rap and vocalisms of Errin Thompson. This untiring funktafied groove is pure escapism with a wisp of classical jazz is virtually non-descriptive, but sure to have many dance floors sweating. "Originalternativefunkjazzfusion" is a term that Soundoctrine has continually used to describe their sound since 2003, but could never truly define it. After one listen to this track, you can tell they still actually can't, but come pretty close! Original? Definitely! Alternative? Totally? Funky? Oh Yes! Jazz? Ultimately! Fusion? Completely!! "War No More" is a gritty, ultra spirited protest song that instrumentally questions past & present administrations for the U.S. initiation into the Iraq war. Jere B transparently conveyed his feelings on the band's website (Soundoctrine.com) in the webisode featuring the piece. Each instrument (played by Jere B, except Organ & Postlude Piano (played by Cliff Barnes) contains a hint of ire at the irony of so many dying for so little reasons not completely - and truthfully - explained by the United States government. "War No More" is a defining moment in this set, which sits comfortably as a musical contrast in the midst of songs obviously dedicated to Love, Peace & Unity. "Inspire," the title track, immediately follows the ominous prologue by switching on a light and re-shifting the focus back to the album's theme. The song dramatically offers the wonderful talent found in Youngstown Ohio by showcasing upcoming Indie Artists TaRee, Regina Perry (co-writer & arranger), Ayana Symone, Larry 'Big L' Johnson, Janet Write, Bea Thompson, Janis Jones, Stefano NuSoul, Pastor Juan Rivera, Lori Matta, Donna Thomas, Kent "Blue" Wallace & Bernadette Treece. This moving "We Are The World" type piece contains a 'choir' conducted by co-producer and collaborator, Jerry Thomas featuring the vocals of: Roberta Robinson, Bernadette Treece, Lori Matta, BeaThompson, Jerry Thompson, Jackie Caffey, Connie Thompson, Roger Taylor, Cecilia Gilliam, Bo Crosby & Kent Wallace. The song's highlights include a Spanish / English narrative between Pastor Juan Rivera & Roger Taylor and a beautiful acoustic solo by the gifted Angel Lopez. "Love Wins Again" is the ultimate 'Old School Groove' certain to get the feet tapping and heads bobbing! New Yorker Carlton J. Smith, highly touted worldwide as "Soul Brother Number New" is the apparent heir of James Brown's throne and proves it as he growls and stomps his way through this tour de' force. Says Jere B, "You can actually hear him dancing during the takes! We couldn't keep him still!!" "Love Wins Again" also showcasing the still powerful legendary Edsels of "Rama Lama Ding Dong" fame. Their soulful backing vocals, standing on the shoulders of baritonist Marshall Sewell carries the track through an anthemic soulish-gospel-blues excursion. Get Ready to continually hit 'REPEAT' on your music player ! "Surrender" affords the listener another moment of chill time as co-writer Keith McKelley caresses his saxophone through the musings of Cliff Barnes Rhodes Piano while Paul Douds massages away the day's stresses with his acoustic guitar. Grooves like these are what gave Soundoctrine their name. "Resurrection" is Jere B's musical statement of his faith, written in an non-denominational, unorthodoxy format that defies traditional composition, yet retains a unified melodic fabric from beginning to end. "Exactly!" he laughs! The song highlights the incredible Alton Merrell on Piano, who's energetic solo is why he is rated among the top new keyboardists of jazz today. Paul Douds' dynamic guitar solo is engaging and fierce in it's apologetics approach to celebrate the Resurrection and simultaneously challenge all doubters and McKelley's spirited sax keeps the melody at the fore. This is the true faith touted by it's uncompromising defenders. "Ellen's Arrival" is Jere B's personal tribute to his mother who passed away on April 26, 2008. As he explains on the band's website, the song is meant to celebrate her arrival in heaven from the perspective of our ancestors, rather than to mourn her loss from earth. "(That's Why) It's Called Love" completes this Journey, by leaving the listener no doubt of the album's theme. Preceded by a prelude by Nia Joi, 1 Corinthians 13 is the basis of lyrics written by newcomer JeAnnette Singleton (who won Soundoctrine's contest to contribute to this tune). Kent 'Blue' Wallace's majestic voice commands the listener's attention at every turn while longtime SD vocalist Janet Write whispers the song's refrain. Another SD staple, Janis Jones adds venerable adlibs and a "Chaka Khanish" background vocal that drives the love nails in deeper into the psyche. Guest Musician, Nadir, of Distorted Soul fame (distortedsoul.com) weaves a Hendrix/Isley guitar stew throughout the track and has the final say as the album closes. Now it's Time to Listen All Over Again! INSPIRE 10/10/10.