First Listen: Richard D'Abreu Jr. is ready to "Look and Live"

Photo Credit: Corey Brown

(September 20, 2020) While gospel music progressively branches off in many different directions, from neo-soul to hip-hop, the precious sounds of gospel touched by jazz improvisation is rarely recognized on the charts.  Yet there are special exceptions like Richard D’Abreu, Jr., whose childhood was enriched with the sound of music.  Between studying jazz giants from his father’s record collection and his following his fascination with praise and worship, the Richmond, VA native was prepping for a unique ministry.  And D’Abreu surrounded himself with the proper college education, formidable mentors such as jazz pioneer Max Roach, and the practical experience as Minister of Music in several Baptist churches. 

Meshing the elements of traditional and contemporary jazz, gospel and the in-between, the saxophonist/keyboardist producer has now released his debut named after his ministry namesake, Jazz in the Spirit.

(September 20, 2020) While gospel music progressively branches off in many different directions, from neo-soul to hip-hop, the precious sounds of gospel touched by jazz improvisation is rarely recognized on the charts.  Yet there are special exceptions like Richard D’Abreu, Jr., whose childhood was enriched with the sound of music.  Between studying jazz giants from his father’s record collection and his following his fascination with praise and worship, the Richmond, VA native was prepping for a unique ministry.  And D’Abreu surrounded himself with the proper college education, formidable mentors such as jazz pioneer Max Roach, and the practical experience as Minister of Music in several Baptist churches. 

Meshing the elements of traditional and contemporary jazz, gospel and the in-between, the saxophonist/keyboardist producer has now released his debut named after his ministry namesake, Jazz in the Spirit.

For our first story on D’Abreu, we are giving a focus to “Look and Live,” a pleasing gospel tour exploring smooth jazz, be-bop, blues and swing.  The orchestrations are handled with finesse by the backing musicians as they navigate all of the song’s intricacies.  But the absolute highlight is saved for the climax when the vocal ensemble delightfully matches scat adlibs with D’Abreu’s energetic improvisation. All in all, his appealing ministry successfully sends the gospel message while educating us in the finer points of jazz’s immense history. 

By Peggy Oliver

Richard D'Abreu Jr. - "Look and Live"

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