The Good Book Suite (release date: November 20, 2021)
By Robert M. Marovich
Pianist-composer Quentin Walston’s The Good Book Suite is a four-part instrumental jazz piece with a spiritual foundation. A trio of piano, drums, and bass interprets Bible passages that brought Walston and his family through the financial and emotional ebbs and flows caused by the pandemic.
The first two parts of the suite borrow their text from Isaiah 41:10. The incrementally dramatic tensions that ultimately envelope the opening section, “Fear Not,” resolve and transition peacefully into the optimistic “I’m With You.”
Matthew 28:30 fuels “Till the End.” A foreboding string bass gives way to a sonic landscape with apocalyptic flourishes and no apparent horizon. Walston’s piano anchors the piece until it is the last sound left to bring closure. “Till the End” transitions into the final section, “Of the Age.” Opening with cautious optimism, the trio plus organ blossom into confident assurance of the suite’s premise that if God is with you until the end of the world, who shall be against you?
The Walston trio offers quality playing throughout the suite. It is difficult to tease out one track, as they are meant to be heard together, but for the sake of argument, “Of the Age” is the most compelling for its melody and dynamics.
Quentin Walston’s short but affecting spiritual suite will leave the listener longing for more.
Four of Five Stars
Pick: “Of the Age”