Saturday, April 6, 2013

In review--Wishing Thinking on Magnetic Stars

The Joe Locke Quartet
Lincoln Symphony Orchestra
Wish Upon a Star

When I was in second or third grade, the music teacher introduced me to musical timbre and I fell in love with musical instruments as well as, instrumental arrangements.  Enters jazz vibraphonist Joe Locke and his collaboration with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra on the lush recording Wish Upon a Star and I remember those early days of my love affair with music. When music audiences think of jazz or pop musicians recording with symphonies, they usually recall walls of strings arrangements from the 1960s and early 1970s, but this recording offers a lot more musical flavors, jazz grooves, and musical twists than those 1960s collaborations.  In fact, this partnership shows us where enchantment meets with adventure.  I would use the adjectives beautiful and exciting to describe the six arrangements that appear on the CD, including two originals penned by Locke, Available in Blue and Sword of Whispers.
The petulant Moon River (Henry Mancini) which normally causes my eyes to mist (thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s “lost girl” performance of Holly Golightly who sang this song in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s), actually takes on an adventurous turn so I don’t have time to give my tear ducts a workout.  A slow and dreamy passage with harp, vibraphone and strings breaks out into a jazz groove.  Similar, the sweet Disney tune When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio) and the tune, Where is Love? (Oliver), also gravitate towards new emotional territory on this recording.  But that's not to say that the musicians perform without soul and heart since these songs fill to the brim with both.
The main focal point rests upon Locke’s vibraphones as this instrument carries the vocal lines or main melodies then the jazz quartet provides rocket fuel and the symphony orchestra provides a painterly canvas to pile on the textures with spectacular results.  If you love music, really love music, then you’ll adore Wish Upon a Star.  With these good vibes, your wishes might just come true.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks you so much for the wonderful and insightful review.
    Tom Marcello
    Manager / Joe Locke