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John Finbury - American Nocturnes is expansive, meditative, lyrical, nostalgic / JWVIBE

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In late 2019, just before the world as we knew it went astray, veteran composer John Finbury was nominated for a 2020 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for his extraordinary collection Sorte! Featuring Brazilian singer/songwriter Thalma de Freitas. Whether consciously or not, he and the grand ensembles he works with found fascinating ways to chronicle the year since with works that speak to different elements of our collective experience. 

Released just before the events that prompted a summer of protests and a reckoning on systemic racism, the seven track, jazz and Latin jazz influenced Quatro was fashioned as a powerful condemnation of those who seek restriction based on race and call for social justice. Released on the same day, American Nocturne: Final Days of July has a completely different vibe, much more expansive, meditative, lyrical, nostalgic, haunting and melancholy, with a completely different ensemble artfully balancing Finbury's jazz and classical passions. It's a beautiful and thoughtful, hard hitting reflection on America in 2020, infused with tradition, lament and longing – and ultimately, with gently graceful pieces like "Halfway There," "I'll Pray for You" and "Storybook Ending," a few glimmers of hope amidst the sadness and despair. 

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