Jon Bap, “Yesterday’s Homily” Review

 

To keep it simple, Jon Bap’s “Yesterday’s Homily” is a modern jazz fantasia. With avant garde qualities in which the voice and instrumentation work together beautifully, the album presents itself to be something of a breath of fresh air in a territory most artists wouldn’t take the risk of treading. The artist, Jon Bap, is a Dallas based musician representing for independed record label Dolfin Records. His previous releases (“Let It Happen” & “What Now”) were released under Portland-based label Fresh Selects and Brooklyn-based label Astro Nautico, respectively, & this new record of his is to be released on the 6th of October. In regards to the contents of the album, there is not a dull moment when experiencing the soundscape that “Yesterday’s Homily” provides.

The album opens up in an ensemble of free form jazz that easily captures the attention and interest of the listener. It’s grandiose in an artistic sense. And then you’re hooked. For lovers of jazz, “Yesterday’s Homily” provides a considerably warm welcome. The distinct nature in which the record is produced, mixed & mastered compliments the instrumentation to a tee, from the guitar strums to the gestural-like drumming that’s glazed over most of the piece. Other than jazz, you hear a lot of New Jack Swing influence, especially in the single “Queen Chimera, Pt I” (Recorded in a not so common 5/4 time signature). Though even within the New Jack Swing styles that glisten over “Yesterday’s Homily”, one can’t help but recognize the surrealistic energy of Jon Bap’s musicianship.

While something like a risky amalgamation of sounds, the arrangment as a whole works wonders. It challenges contemporary trends in music without trying to and does a pretty damn good job at it. It’s adventurous, it feels organic as well as experimental and doesn’t miss many steps. The vocals approach with an eloquence that manages to take the album further conceptually. Ultimately, Jon Bap doesn’t waste a word but delivers in a near improvisational way. It’s fair to say that the atmosphere of “Yesterday’s Homily” from start to finish is more intriguing than it is unfamiliar, and the level of consistency in that aspect makes the record a relatively easy listen. It’s a highly recommended listen if you’re in search of something euphoric for your ears.

 

8.7/10

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