The Best Is Yet To Come

Afro Blue celebrates 10 years of excellence with their third album release!

Songlist

  1. Mas Que Nada (5:11)
  2. A Sleepin’ Bee (3:08)
  3. How Insensitive (5:40)
  4. Tell Him Not to Talk too Long* (3:48)
  5. Nature Boy (7:16)
  6. I Have a Dream* (3:36)
  7. Children, Go Where I Send Thee (5:00)
  8. Tell Me a Bedtime Story (6:03)
  9. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (5:01)
  10. Everyday I Have the Blues (6:36)
  11. Lightning (6:19)
  12. St. Martin De Porres* (5:58)

Listen to Afro Blue below.

About “The Best Is Yet To Come”

The Best Is Yet To Come is Afro Blue’s third CD recording, and features an eclectic assortment of repertoire recorded between January 2010 and May 2011. In keeping with Connaitre Miller’s dedication to highlighting the exceptional talent of her students, this set includes an original composition and exquisite playing by jazz pianist, Amy Bormet, and elegantly powerful contributions by Christie Dashiell, 2011 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards winner for jazz vocal soloist. Miss Dashiell is featured in both the ensemble setting and in a duet with guitarist Joshua Walker, as well as displaying her talent as an arranger.

Three selections featured on The Best Is Yet To Come were penned by the great jazz pianist and composer, Mary Lou Williams and arranged by Connaitre Miller as a commission by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Afro Blue performed these selections to open each night of the three-day Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival’s 15th anniversary in May 2010.

“I Have a Dream” – Dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. This arrangement opens with an unaccompanied solo by Reginald Bowens. Bowens represents a young Martin Luther King, Jr. receiving his dream while praying to God. Christie Dashiell’s solo entrance represents the Holy Spirit carrying Martin’s dream throughout the country. Her nimble improvisations dip and sway, personifying the Holy Spirit going in and out of homes, touching people on the street, and spreading the dream far and wide. The choir’s entrance signifies the coming together of many people who now share Martin’s dream, and have made it their own while continuing to share it with others.

“Tell Him Not to Talk Too Long” – Is also dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr, who was said to not want a long funeral full of long speeches. The accompaniment of the last verse is representative of a traditional New Orleans funeral march as the casket is being carried through the streets.

St. Martin de Porres – Was the first black saint, and lived from 1579-1639. Having been brought up in extreme poverty, he was dedicated to serving the poor. Some of the special gifts attributed to St. Martin de Porres were the ability to lay hands on the sick and help them recover instantaneously, to communicate with animals, and to levitate and bi-locate.

Although Afro Blue is known as an a cappella ensemble, the group is occasionally accompanied by rhythm section, as is heard on this recording. Additionally, this anthology holds: the popular Sergio Mendes composition “Mas Que Nada,” performed here in its native Portuguese; the swinging “Everyday I Have the Blues,” popularized by The Count Basie Orchestra and Joe Williams’ 1956 recording; a vocal rendering of a Christian Jacobs piano interpretation of “In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” plus more to please even the most discerning jazz listener. While the title of this collection bears the same name of a jazz standard written by Cy Coleman, it is not a reference to that composition, but rather an affirmation for the future of the ensemble. Although 2011 was indeed a banner year, we believe that “The best is yet to come!”

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