Jay Hoggard: Raise Your Spirit Consciousness

The title might suggest dreamy meditation but in fact the vibist covers Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter and Thad Jones


A quick glance at the tune titles on this latest release from Jay Hoggard, a vibes man who has kept company with many of the music’s heavyweights, gives the impression of a programme of spiritual jazz. But that proves not to be the case.

The leader supplies half of the titles, which rub shoulders with those of Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter and Thad Jones. His own confections are of a fairly simple nature, not to say naïve at times and do suffer in comparison to the works of the more famous names. Also when tackling the familiar, as with In The Beginning/Praise God, from Duke’s Sacred Concerts, the results are often less than enhancing.

The band are tight enough but there is an air of taking care of business about all 12 performances, the solos being delivered in similar fashion to the ensembles. Having said that, we do get a decent reading of A Child Is Born before the incongruous Primordial Aqua Mist, a freely improvised piece.

Holy Spirit Consciousness; Peace To My Children; I Want Love, I Don’t Want Hate; Come Thou Font Of Every Blessing; Bird Of Beauty; Toe Dance For A Baby; In The Beginning/Praise God; Worship God In Spirit, Truth And Love; Deluge; Both Feet On The Ground; A Child Is Born; Primordial Aqua Mist (76.23)
Hoggard (vib); Dwight Andrews (ss, bcl); Nat Adderley Jr. (p); James Weidman (org, p); Kenny Davis (b); Pheeroan Aklaff (d). January – July 2022.
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