Jubilant Sykes' is a world premier classical soloist whose sound is reminiscence to Paul Robeson. The baritonist who is much in demand as a soloist with orchestra has appeared with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Houston Grand Opera, sung in La Calisto with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and performed under the direction of Lorin Maazel, Raymond Leppard, David Zinman and Christoph Eschenbach. Skykes' purity and range are extraordinarily exhibited on the self-titled CD produced and arranged by Terence Blanchard, a distinguished composer, producer, and trailblazer whose musical precision and expressive style distinguishes him as one of the most ingenious musicians of our time. Together they handsomely deliver slave spirituals structured around innovative arrangements and jazz chordals.
The joyful noise is a meeting of the minds for the youthful and talented duo, and too from an historical perspective, for African American folk music and jazz are closely related. Thus, the emotional impact and intensity reverently cascading throughout their performance, an unending stream of simplicity, is a glorious treasure.
With the sophistication of the modern jazzman, Terence imitates the sounds of human voices on his horn as Jubilant pours forth his heart and soul adding a mysterious feeling of flight to the arrangements by rhythmically singing around the beats creating greater tension, thereby making each piece more pure and more beautiful.
The greatest dilemma of this production is deciding which song to listen to first.