Album: New by James McGowan Ensemble


Canadian master musician James McGowan and his ensemble takes on a new musical adventure like none other…a highly musical storytelling journey of an album titled “Reaching In”…it is not to be missed…a unique twist on music itself.

“Reaching In” is a classical music album…but it absolutely flattens any stereotypical expectations that one might have had…it’s no ordinary classical album, maybe the instruments playing in the album are ones that we’ve come to know and love like the guitar, cellos, violins, piano, drums…but that is just it, that is what we know, but how these instruments are arranged in a way to create this new wave of classical music storytelling, that’s something we’re not prepared to, it’s absolutely mesmerizing


The album starts with the…we’ll call it a narrative music track, “Imagine Part 1″…an intro to this unique album…we have another 2 parts of “Imagine”…and it serves to create a storytelling narrative that is extremely thought provoking and fourth wall breaking…a true masterpiece.

The way James composed and arranged this album is nothing short of amazing…with the conventional, he created the unconventional…with a huge factor of diversity.

…like with a track like “Internal Conflict”…it takes a polyrhythmic approach to classical music, fusing in a jazz guitar and drums and going for a mysterious and tense vibe…

…while a track like “Grief and Despair” is exactly what the title would imply…a very melancholic, sad and downtempo track, more akin to a movie soundtrack…the music ebbs and flows ever so smoothly, striking a sense of darkness that is absolutely wonderful…it’s a weird thing to say, but it hits the emotional bullseye in the exact center, we could only appreciate how it changed our moods and really brought us emotionally down-in the best way possible-and in a way that only a master composer like James could.

The album keeps things always fresh with each track…exploring many patterns of movement, many emotions and many harmonies that will haunt us for a long time.

The mix of classical and jazz is superb in this album.

…and again, the diversity here takes things to a whole new level…so be on the lookout, with each track, comes a completely new beast.


Speaking of diversity…”Imagine Part 1″ took a very classical soundtrack direction, while “Imagine Part 2” takes a very unique take on a jazz/big band fusion, once again with a narration that is deep and insightful and acts as a social commentary on the life we live now.

James always keeps things varied, diverse and interesting with each track…always putting us on our toes, wondering “what will come next? how will he top this?”…somehow, he keeps surprising us and keeps raising the musical bar, till the very last second of “Reaching In”.

The album ends on an extremely high point of musicality with the track “Acceptance”…incorporating hand percussion was absolutely on point…excellently composed and conducted…the album ends with an explosive melodic experience.

Well…what are you waiting for? “Reaching In” needs to be experienced, right now…

This album could not be recommended enough, it’s absolutely mind blowing and entrancing…we wish all the best to James…and we can’t wait for the next one…



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