CD discoveries of the week. One of the most peaceful and enriching albums I’ve heard so far this pre-holiday season is Ike Sturm’s JazzMass. Bassist Sturm composed and arranged a suite for voices, strings and a jazz ensemble that is sweeping and uplifting.

Sturm, of course, is the music director for the Jazz Ministry at Saint Peter’s Church in New York. I don’t usually go for jazz albums with religious themes, since in many cases they tend to be less about jazz and more on adulation. But here, Sturm artfully finds a balance by using the pure joy and spirit of religion as a platform to present some very exciting jazz. I’m going to dig this one especially when the snow starts to fall outside my window.

- Marc Myers,

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AuthorPhil Price