Jerry Elcock – True Inspiration
Spiritual Vacation on A Disk...Being able to find new and great artists and present them here to the readers of The Fedora Chronicles is pretty exciting. So far this year we’ve had Jamie Cullum and Kim Kearse. Adding to the list of great lesser-known artists is Jerry Elcock with his album “True Inspirations.” A very well produced album with a clear and powerful blend of R&B, Jazz and a powerfully emotional spiritual edge - a few songs gave me goose bumps with it’s uplifting Christian message.
Africa – The Album starts off strong with this first song, and it’s a
harbinger of good to come...
Innocence – This beautiful song captures the essence and emotion of new love, a good slow song with slight up-temp. The Sax during the bridge was an great addition… could have been a little longer. (As a personal note, I think every album needs more sax…)
Cheaten’ – Social commentary on what’s wrong with modern life hidden in a very up-tempo rap/jazz hybrid.
Sunshine – Tribute song to a special woman in Mr Elcock's life, either his wife or girlfriend, illustrates how that one special woman inspires men to be better people. “Forever My Love” follows along the same lines but is a softer slow dance song, if more people knew about this album, then you would be hearing this played at a lot of weddings this spring. (If my wife and I get married again and renew our vows, this is the one I would choose as our “first dance…” I might buy a copy of this disk or two for those getting married this spring just for this song…)
Trust In Your Faith – This is what Gospel music in the 21st Century should sound like… look for this album on future “Praise and Worship” compellations in the future. Destiny – This song starts strong with a East Africa/Indian/Middle Easter rift and that rhythm remains through out this faith and praise song.
“You’re The One” is another love song that goes into another up-beat direction, remonisent of the urban R&B love songs of the 1980’s and Robert Palmers “Every Kinda People.” “Choose You” and “Make This Love Happen,” continue with those lines.
“This Is It” is a remake of the Kenny Loggins song, this updated version of Mr. Elcock has some elements of the original yet the Jazz/Urban elements he makes this song his own.
“Go Home” book-ends this album perfectly, taking us back in part to the tribute of his homeland in Africa, his faith in God and appretation for the woman in his life.
There were rifts in
this album that reminded me of the music by Alan Silvestri for the “Romancing
The Stone,” Soundtrack which also seems to be approprate since a lot of
the themes of the songs on this album was about discovering or rediscovering the
essensence of who the artist and performer is as a person. Also, with the lay
out of the songs of this album there’s a greater narrative being told, as if
this was a sound-track of Jerry Elcock’s journey during the past few months or
years while making this album, less about the destination and more about the
pilgrimage which brings him full circle from the first to the final track.
This review wouldn’t be complete with out a special nod to the production of this album. Some albums of lesser known artists seem to sound flat and monotonal… as if being recorded in a sound studio contained in a Tin-Can, an echo chamber or to the other extream: inside a foam box. Not so with this album, every instroment can be heard with out playing with the settings on my sound system with out overwhelming Mr. Elcock’s voice. Every aspect of this album can be heard, giving it a “hyper-reality” quality to it with out seeming over produced.
While this isn’t the perfect jazz album and can’t be defined easily as “Rythem and Blues,” or “Urban Music,” nor can it be pigeon-holed as “Praise And Worship,” it’s a new blend of all of these genre's with a few songs infused with African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern sounds on some or most of the tracks. It’s an entertaining album, fun and uplifting, a tropical vacation or adventure on a single disk.
Written content copyright Eric "Renderking" Fisk,2006.
Copyright © The Fedora Chronicles.