Photo : Diane Allford

James Brandon Lewis is first of all a tenor sound like they don’t make anymore : powerful, incarnate, vibrant, a breath of life connected to the deepest earth forces as well as to the spirits of the great ancestors, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler or Sonny Rollins. It is also an unrivalled energy, the pursuit of a constant self-improvement, a quest for intensity that, rooted in the legacy of the libertarian jazz of the 1960s, never ceases to extend its own limits. It is finally, but more secretly, a rich and intuitive musical thinking embracing all the aspects of life, to the point of drawing on molecular biology to give birth to compositions which even so, sound with the same fervor as religious hymns do. For there is also, after all, something of a preacher in this son of a pastor, the worthy inheritor of an African-American spiritual radiation echoing through each of his notes.

Love is connection, love is gratefulness. Love is passion. Love is daring. This is the best definition of the second album by James Brandon Lewis and his Red Lily Quintet : “For Mahalia, With Love”. Much more than a tribute, this album is a conversation with Mahalia Jackson in which the leader’s voice gives birth to melodies carried by the incredible power and empathy of the Red Lily Quintet.

Mahalia Jackson’s music has enthralled millions of Americans since the 1940s like no one had ever done before her. James Brandon Lewis raises an essential point in the notes accompanying this album : “It is important to be seen rather than loved or hated, for a presence enables us to overcome subjectivity.” That is the key to the music of “For Mahalia, With Love”: James Brandon Lewis did not create it so that it could be adulated or embraced, but as an exchange. “It is actually a three-way conversation between Mahalia, my grandmother and me” he explains.

What the Red Lily Quintet refers to with this music is just a miracle. Today, this band must be recognized as one of the strongest expressions of band alchemy that have emerged in New York City over many years.

Line-up :
James BRANDON LEWIS – Saxophone
Kirk KNUFFKE – Cornet
Silvia BOLOGNESI – Bass
Tomeka REID – Cello
Chad TAYLOR – Drums

6:00 PM


FULL PRICE : 30 € (excluding Weezevent commission)

REDUCED PRICE : For more information, please contact the Maison des Arts et de la Danse – Jean Moulin : 05 55 35 04 10 / or the Grand Théâtre of Limoges : 05 55 45 95 95 /