- Artist: Brian Blade Fellowship
- Format: LP
- Release Date: 11/10/2014
Perceptual is his second outing with the Fellowship ensemble and is a satisfying follow-up to the band's Blue Note debut. With Myron Walden and Melvin Butler on saxophones and bass clarinet, Chris Thomas on bass, Daniel Lanois, Dave Easley, and Kurt Rosenwinkel on steel and electric guitars, and Jon Cowherd on keyboards, Blade and company create Jazz textures that evoke America's wide-open spaces. Think of Pat Metheny's Bright Size Life and American Garage and you'll get the band's futuristic folk vibe on the title cut and the sly, shifting tempos of "Crooked Creek" and the three-part suite, "Variations of A Bloodline"-a poignant, musical comment on ethnic strife. Blade's melodic gifts got him work with Joshua Redman, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Joni Mitchell, who lends her wispy vocals to "Steadfast"-an elegiac meditation on the late-1990s rash of U.S. school shootings-and the CD's coda, "Trembling." If you ever plan to travel across the U.S., this recording will make an excellent soundtrack.