I have barely reviewed any new music Fridays this year and have not been that impressed with many new albums, but this day was stacked. “Promises” likely takes the crown for being the best release this week. I may like this a little more than the new BCNR.
To be honest, I barely know anything about classical music or what makes a composition great. I’ve only had some experience with third stream and music that has classical elements. However, this album inspires me to venture into more classical music. I never thought an established electronic artist, one of the most acclaimed tenor saxophonists, and a symphony would come together to make an album.
All nine movements are incredibly beautiful. Sanders’ sax solos are my favorite characteristic of the album, and I cannot believe he stills sounds this great decades into his career. Every movement starts with a bell-type sound and instrumentally builds to create enthralling and unpredictable pieces. The transitions between each movement is also impressive; I didn’t even realize one movement ended at times. Additionally, each movement builds off each other and foreshadows movements 6 and 7, the most thrilling movements of the album. Movement 8 is much more calm and could have been shorter but is a great contrast from the movements prior. The last movement is an understated and subdued end which benefits the album’s effect. The listener is left mystified by “Promises,” especially for its impact in repetition and atmosphere. I can only see this album get better with time. “Promises” is a true highlight in the careers of all acts involved.