Deep River: The Spirit of Gospel Music in Jazz (Pacific Vista Productions) 
Jim Cullum Jazz Band

By Bob Mitchell

Deep River is an elegant musical and spiritual experience. This is a toe-tapping, knee-slapping, and hand-clapping extravaganza. Musicianship is dazzling and I am sure the angels who hear it will have a difficult time keeping their wings still. Yet, at times, it is slow, and reverent. It will touch your soul and put a smile in your heart.

 If you like traditional acoustic jazz, it does not get any better than this. Deep River is an exciting celebration of two original American art forms, Jazz and Gospel. Cullum's cornet is fresh and masterful. The happiest clarinet reed in jazz belongs to Evan Christopher. His notation floats like a butterfly throughout the project. Pianist John Sheridan, establishes himself as a brilliant and original arranger. The rhythm section is extraordinary. This group is so "tight" that when I looked up the word, my dictionary contained a photo of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band. Other guests in this outstanding project are Clark Terry, Nicholas Payton, Topsy Chapman, Brian Ogilivie, Alan Vache, Randy Reinhart, Jimmy Johnson, and Nina Ferro.

 Clark Terry's work is first rate in "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen." "When The Roll is Called Up Yonder," "Free Bird/Glory Land" and "Down By The Riverside" are exuberant. "Eyes on The Sparrow" and "Go Down Moses" with Topsy Chapman are soulful, yet swinging.

 To obtain a copy contact Pacific Vista Productions, Inc at 1-800- 417-4837 or write to 101 H Street, Suite D, Petuluma, CA 94452.

 Note: This group has a weekly public radio broadcast called "River walk." Check WFPK listings.