– reviewed by Chris Mann
who has read my reviews of
Endurance will know how deeply I appreciate SounDoctrine’s
‘Alternative Christian Funk’.
the release of 2010’s ‘Inspire’, we have a new set of positive
messages to groove to – it will be my pleasure to take you through
opener ‘Just Think’ features the fabulous vocals of Marlon Saunders
and is a midtempo tune which enjoys a stripped-down production. The
offbeat time signature could make the song tricky to get into on first
hearing but stick with it – those vocals and some very nice keyboard
touches will reward you. I like the way this song runs into
‘Brother’s Keeper’- another example of leader Jere B’s ability to wed
a meaningful lyric with a head-noddin’ beat. It’s far from being a
basic 4/4 dance beat but you’ll be drawn in. Enjoy the vocals and
some nice percussive accents. I’d love to hear this with live horns –
one day soon, Jere.
now ‘Marriage’ is right up my alley. A slinky funk groove with
Incognito-style keyboards and Ragan Whiteside’s lovely flute carrying
the melody. The immaculate layering of a sax, flute and keyboard line
reminds me of Jeff Lorber’s sound too – and that is one of the highest
compliments I can offer. This song is outstanding!! We swing into
another instrumental - ‘Sacred Place’ - and there is a lovely vibes
sound courtesy of Cliff Barnes (no, not the dude from Dallas) and some
lovely ‘clicky’ rhythm guitar from Paul Douds. The lazy Latin feeling
makes me imagine recording sessions running late into the summer night
– ok that’s just me romanticising but the music takes me there. Take
a listen and see what I mean…
Right in the urban groove, with a touch of jazz, is the ballad ‘Meant
to Be’ and here the vocals of Stefano NuSoul and Jasmine Thompson will
capture you while Keith McKelley’s soprano sax adds the sweetest
touch. It’s a very sensual track – let’s even say sexy. ‘Relax (The
Freedom Mix)’ should really be a single. It’s very cool indeed – for
the R&B market fair and square with irresistible hooks and Errin
Thompson’s great rap and vocal stylings. This should be on TV
commercials and heard pouring out of some serious street machines.
atmosphere stays upbeat for the funky and zany instrumental
‘Originalalternativejazzfunkfusion’ – which articulates how Jere B
feels and plays his music and represents the parts of himself that he
pours into SounDoctrine’s music. How do I know that? He told me.
‘War NO More’, in contrast, is very brooding and ominous. Its slow,
menacing rhythm and a searing guitar sound that would not be out of
place on an Ernie Isley record make the point all too clearly. War?
It’s a nowhere trip – a disaster.
title track is closer to what people will think of as a gospel song.
It builds to a full choir chorus, supported by piano and strings.
Some very passionate vocal performances are drawn from the long list
of Youngstown’s finest. My view that SounDoctrine is a home for real
‘soul music’ is borne out by the appearance of The Edsels on the
lovely ‘Love Wins Again’. It has touches of doo-wop, a modern rhythm
track, horns that you would think Willie Mitchell had arranged and
some real soul. Sometimes it’s good to look over your
‘Surrender’, a funky contemporary jazz stepper, was the first track I
picked up for my radio show and I still love it. Keith McKelley’s sax
undergoes some studio tricks and comes out with hints of Sanborn,
Marion Meadows, Nelson Rangell – all the cats you want playing on your
records really. Still in a stylish jazz vein, ‘Resurrection’ sways
along in ¾ time and I’m smiling at a doubled vibes and sax line while
Alton Merrell’s piano underlines the beat. The piano solo delves
deeper into jazz territory before Paul Dowd’s rock guitar in a DeWayne
McKnight style takes us off somewhere else…
‘Ellen’s Arrival’ opens with a TV sound effect before Jere B gets his
reggae drumming thing on. And he really does have it going on! A
competition was launched to find a lyricist who could put words to the
strong melody of ‘(That’s Why) It’s Called Love. The winner,
JeAnnette Singleton, did a great job and result is a reminder of what
the album – like the band – is all about. It’s intense and the rock
guitar fade serves to underline that fact.
is another strong record for SounDoctrine – it branches off in some
interesting directions but stays true to the message the band set off
to deliver with their first CD and the many live appearances they did
in order to spread the word. I call them a band but I think of
SounDoctrine more as family and Jere B as the head of the family. The
liner notes for almost every song credit Jere B with ‘all other sounds
and noises’ well, let me tell you, he’s making some very good sounds
and noises to my ear.
you’re not hip to originalalternativejazzfunkfusion – get hip!
and download available at
CD Baby, download available on iTunes, clips on
– Niya101010 – Producers – Jere B and Jerry Thompson