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Toward the Hill of Joy

Swinger kicks off a collection of fantastic Jazz pieces from George Brandon and the Blue Unity Ensemble with a majestic drum solo, before the horns arrive full of rhythm to re-introduce Towards the Hill of Joy in an unmistakable style.

Originally released in 2011 the work has held up well and will certainly make its mark once again in the world of Jazz with Little Fox offering a classic style with a very nice tone, catchy and most enjoyable.

The first three tracks present a lovely compilation of styles before the mellifluous voice of Norah McCarthy joins in with Do Something, a call out to change what you’re thinking. Maybe rearrange the things you do to have a better life; After all, ‘you gotta do something for the whole world’! A telling piece; even ten years on, the sentiments are still very much in vogue in today’s world.

Introduction is a catchy piece introduced with some very quirky, captivating and intriguing piano before it blossoms out into in a timeless style, simply allowing the free flow of both the music and the emotion.

Once again Norah McCarthy raises In My Own Way above the bar with her vocals. A very nice piece which showcases the talent of the entire ensemble in an understated style. The words are interesting. Make sure you a take a seriously good listen.

More than a touch of drama is introduced with Antar and the piece is only just begun. McCarthy joins in with a sultry vibe making this a deep dreamy, moment in time, thoughtful, introspective and immensely enjoyable. In many ways one of the more intimate pieces on the album. The excellent sax work is a standout.

The penultimate piece of an outstanding work sees Jorge Sylvester on Alto sax turn Interlude into a dreamy, delicate piece that perfectly describes an ‘interlude’ which is in this case a short, beautifully presented piece; perfectly simple and perfectly born into life.

For jazz lovers everywhere, Towards the Hill of Joy, an intriguing title for a jazz album, will have wide appeal. It does not pretend to be anything other than what it is, seriously good jazz played to exceptional standards by the Blue Unity Ensemble lead by George Brandon.

Released 2011. Re-released 2022.
Running Time 67m
Artists George Brandon and the Blue Unity Ensemble. Vocals Norah McCarthy.