Jiva - Day into Night (2007)

Jiva
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The first few bars of Jiva's sophomore CD, Day Into Night throw the listener somewhat of a sonic curveball.  At first it feels like a throwback moment starring that Toni Basil's 'Oh Micky" or Devo's "Whip it."   Nicely, however, acclaimed Atlanta producer, Khari Simmons and crew bring the pliant sounds into focus and let the listener know that they are in for a different kind of musical ride, and that Jiva is a different kind of new wave. They do so by continually reminding the listener via this CD that their work as a group is informed by a litany of influences.

Day Into Night, beginning with the CDs first track, "Mantra 2 (Visions of A New World)," is a percussion laden experience. "Mantra," which stars baritone Alex Lattimore, caused this listener to see shades of Jon Lucien, which is wonderful, especially in the wake of this jazz master's recent passing.

The first few bars of Jiva's sophomore CD, Day Into Night throw the listener somewhat of a sonic curveball.  At first it feels like a throwback moment starring that Toni Basil's 'Oh Micky" or Devo's "Whip it."   Nicely, however, acclaimed Atlanta producer, Khari Simmons and crew bring the pliant sounds into focus and let the listener know that they are in for a different kind of musical ride, and that Jiva is a different kind of new wave. They do so by continually reminding the listener via this CD that their work as a group is informed by a litany of influences.

Day Into Night, beginning with the CDs first track, "Mantra 2 (Visions of A New World)," is a percussion laden experience. "Mantra," which stars baritone Alex Lattimore, caused this listener to see shades of Jon Lucien, which is wonderful, especially in the wake of this jazz master's recent passing.

Some of the standout tracks on the CD are "This Love," "Day Into Night," and "Like a Star."  Rhonda Thomas really makes "This Love" soar with her lyrical heartiness.  She has uniqueness to her voice that defies easy genre-fication, which is great because this CD traverses so many soundscapes.  The title track is smooth, but not too smooth.  Julius Speed's clavinet play comes alive on this song and this creates just the right amount of texture to make this song soar.  "Like a Star" is a gem of a song that show's off Jiva's ability to harmonize like no other song on the CD. On it, Paige Lackey Martin invokes Randy Crawford and makes you feel the optimism of the depicted long distance love affair.

Day Into Night evokes a range of good feelings. For the most part, the CD is warm and breezy and full of happiness. It is a wonderful work of musical art because it seems to draw on many different influences with great subtlety, while remaining distinctly its own.   It is obvious that the good members of Jiva are preservationists of a dying aesthetic: one that places spirituality and musicianship together as inextricables.  As did Donald Byrd, The Mizell Brothers, Bobbie Humphries, Idris Muhammed, Roy Ayers, and The Fifth Dimension, Jiva again, with Day Into Night, has put together a CD which is both pleasing to the ear as it is pleasing to the soul.  This CD gets better with every play.  Highly recommended.

By Drake Phifer

 
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