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MP3 James Bruno - This Is The Life

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MP3 James Bruno - This I
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A conceptual, spiritual and ethereal instrumental jazz/progressive rock disc that weaves tempos and complex themes with abandon.

11 MP3 Songs in this album (47:34) !
Related styles: ROCK: Instrumental Rock, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

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Like the soundtrack to an as-yet-filmed movie about the life of Jesus Christ, thatâs the best way to describe James Brunoâs epic solo release, "This Is The Life", a genre-defying and surprisingly joyous instrumental disc, with hints of Jeff Beck, Branford Marsalis, Jean Michelle Jarre, various prog ensembles, Brian Wilsonâs Smileâeven a touch of Radiohead.

From ethereal to jarring, and melodic throughout, "This Is The Life" weaves tempos and complex themes with abandon. An instrumental work inspired by Christian faithâthough âchurch musicâ itâs not. Nor is it suffused with ancient African and Middle Eastern rhythms, as one might expect; this is fresher, far less somber, and rather American-sounding, in contrast to recent popular interpretations of the Gospels (the soundtracks to Gibsonâs Passion of The Christ and Scorseseâs Last Temptation of Christ).

Itâs easy to place Brunoâs song titles within the context of the Gospels, and let imagination fill in the gaps. The opening track, "Young Emmanuel", conjures images of the Saviorâs childhoodâperhaps a bit French-accented, with marching drums, slide whistles, bells, and a calliope ambianceâfollowed by His baptism on the short, but lovely, "Initiation".

On "Truth or Dare", Jesus literally whistles through a wilderness of wild sax, drums and sundry satanic temptations, until a Clockwork Orange-esque dirge pulls the listener down, into the depths of His conscience and agony. Angels attend Jesus on "Devine Attention", one of the more uplifting tracks on the disc, leading to the celebration of "Church in the Sunshine", a strait ahead jazz tune which combines Spanish guitar, angel voices, hand claps, and the upper register of a Fender Rhodes, all to transcendent effect.

On "No Secrets", one can hear Christ whispering into the ears of his disciples. "Gethsemane" is indeed a garden of tranquility; surprisingly, this track doesnât wallow in anguish, as one might expect, with Jesusâ abductors about to arriveâthat is, until the final, resonant note. "The Collar" bears the mark of an imaginary, and chaotic, Billy Cobham-Ornette Coleman session; and the short but excellent "A Cross to Bear" smacks of Gilmour and Wright from Pink Floydâs psychedelic period.

The penultimate track, "Peace Out", reminds the listener that Christâs crucifixion is indeed good news, the fulfillment of prophecy and scripture; it begins like an outtake from the Trainspotting soundtrackâone can easily envision Ewan McGregor swimming through the sewers of his heroin-induced hallucinationsâbefore a bluesy harmonica carries the listener over another ethereal and pleasant rhythm, one that Alan Parsons, or the great Vangelis, might admire.

"Good Cimmerian", the final track, (so named as a play on words, according to the artist), feels indeed like the final ride, the ascendancy of the Savior; Bruno holds off on the perfunctory angel voices for an important guitar melody on top of a unadorned acoustic rhythm, with some surprisingly fitting sax. When those angel voices arrive, it is the culmination of all thatâs come before; the Alpha and Omega are fully realized, the listener fully satisfied.

This music is fully orchestrated, heavy on presence and captivating in production. Brunoâs stellar imagination, under the influence of his faith, has conjured a visionary work, beyond formula and worthy of multiple listens. The entire disc is one you could peace out to with the headphones cranked, or leave on ârepeat allâ in the kitchen, as you lovingly prepare and sumptuously devour a splendid mealâof course, after offering thanks to God.

The disc is released by The Underground Music Group LLC, Bruno's newley formed independent record label. As his second project is already in progress, we can look forward with eagerness and enthusiasm to it's release in 2009.


âBarry Fitzsimmons is the author of the novels âLife Askewâ (©2002 AuthorHouse) and âPromo Cowboyâ (forthcoming).


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