Across eight tracks that mesh spacious, jazz-laced composition with fourth-world and adult-contemporary tonality, Toronto saxophonist Joseph Shabason sketches an auditory map of the transcendence, unity, conditioning, and eventual renunciation of his upbringing in an Islamic and Jewish dual-faith household. The resulting album The Fellowship bears the name of the insular Islamic community Shabason’s traditionally Jewish parents belonged to from a time before he was even born; a mental and spiritual push-pull which continued shaping, even controlling, his outlook well into his adulthood. As a listening experience The Fellowship follows a chronological arc that spans three generations covering his parents’ early lives, his own spiritual and physical adolescence, and his subsequent struggle to eschew the problematic habituations of such a conflicted past. On The Fellowship, as on prior albums that bear his name, Joseph Shabason does what only the best instrumental music makers can: tell a story with emotional clarity that conveys even the subtlest of feelings, all without singing a single word. As wordless as ever-- with as complex a theme as ever-- this album may be his most emotionally articulate yet. Most importantly, those lost in the woods of repression and self-doubt that organized religion can be at its worst now have The Fellowship to help guide them into a softer light.
…ravishing…Coltrane, Eno, and Metheny are touchstones, but Shabason’s abstraction is sensual, his language emotional…lethal in it’s softness.
…the most calming, dreamlike track you’ll hear today…beautiful…magical transportive healing vibes.
I love it…very original…so exciting.
…rich, healing, ambient jazz…
…layers of gorgeous, organic soloing.
…his music will caress your senses. It is both soothing and stimulating…Joseph Shabason takes you to another dimension. Your reduced stress levels will thank you.
I love this record