John MacMurchy leads ART OF BREATH on their album Volume 2, a musical journey that crosses borders and musical traditions; deep grooves, Brazilian rhythms, and straight-ahead jazz. This music is both highly accessible and highly sophisticated with a broad appeal.
The album starts off with 'Calliope', a declaration of love set in a lush soundscape, highlighted by a gorgeous nylon guitar solo. Next is 'Meu Coraçao Canta', which translates from Portuguese as 'My Heart Sings' and describes the joy in writing for, and working with musicians and beautiful people. 'The Remains' is about the damage we do when we play with other peoples’ affections in an effort to hide our own insecurity. 'Voice of America' is an anthemic and ominous musical criticism of American foreign policy. It features Bruce Cassidy doing things on the EVI that apparently you’re not supposed to be able to do. 'WTF' is a response to both the mass shootings and vulgar chaos sown by the Trump administration - organized chaos and wild energy. 'February Brings the Rain' features vocalist Jocelyn Barth with a one take, live off the floor, no overdubs performance of the famous Bobby Troup song. 'Slippery When Wet' explores the delight in sliding between time signatures. 'Autumn Brown and Blue' deals with being deeply in love with a friend as the days grow shorter and the light fades. This arrangement features Olivia Esther on horn. The song is extremely demanding of singers and this first and original interpretation is handled with grace and depth by Jessica Lalonde.
The album features writer/arranger John MacMurchy on Saxophone and Clarinet, Jocelyn Barth and Jessica Lalonde on Vocals, Bruce Cassidy on Trumpet and EVI, Olivia Esther on French Horn, Dan Ionescu on Guitar, Stacie McGregor on Piano, Alan Hetherington on Percussion, Ross MacIntyre on Bass, and Daniel Barnes on Drums. Collectively, these musicians have worked with The Boss Brass, Guido Basso, Blood Sweat and Tears, Linda Ronstadt, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Warren Vache, Jon Hendricks, Cleo Laine, Tony Bennet, Howard Alden and many more.
"Swings hard and heavy — full of driving bass, searing guitar, yawing trombone and sci-fi keyboards...retains a laser-cut precision, its many facets lending the tune a gemlike brilliance."
- Brian Zimmerman, Jazziz Magazine
"21st Century samba and beyond."
- George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly