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  • Writer's pictureArashk Azizi

For Every Living Thing by Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo

Updated: Jul 10

“For Every Living Thing” by Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo is a multi-stylistic album containing ten amazing songs.

One of the signs of high-quality music, for me, is when I have difficulty categorizing it. Music genres and styles are generally created from the distributor’s side to make it easier for the audience to find new music that fits their tastes. Musicians who have something to say and have their own style and expressive tools don’t really care if they fit into a genre or style; they create music based on their artistic and expressive needs. That’s exactly what Ed Johnson and his team have done in this album.

The effect of Bossa Nova in the album is clear, but so is the effect of Jazz, especially in the solo sections. In pieces like “Where and When,” the free improvised-like solo sections with brasses and guitar are undoubtedly Jazz influenced. But when you take the pieces as a whole, they do not fit neatly into a soft Jazz style.

Besides Jazz and Bossa Nova, the influence of Pop, acoustic singer-songwriter, and even a bit of soft rock in pieces like “Balancing” is evident. This phenomenal mix of musical styles can be called multi-stylistic music, where the musicians don’t limit themselves to the borders of any genre and instead break them freely to create sublime art.

Considering this multi-stylistic approach, it is not to say that the album is a collage of different genres. There is a smooth acoustic background present throughout the album, a kind of soul that acts as a common field for the melodies to roam around.

Each track in the album has its own characteristics. It starts with “Little Baião,” which leans towards soft Bossa Nova. Second comes “No Stopping the Beat (New Day Rising),” a piece full of positive energy. The counter melody played on guitar here is on a pentatonic scale with an African music influence. The main melody on the vocals almost follows the same pattern, while the percussions create a combination of Jazz and rock rhythms. “For Every Living Thing,” the title track, comes as the third piece in the album. The general mood of this piece is very close to smooth Jazz with a mind-blowing solo in the middle.

“Coral Sea,” the fourth track, is a soft and smooth piece with vocals playing alongside instruments, creating a soothing instrumental blend. Next is “Where or When,” a rendition of the classical hit with an amazing arrangement. “Balancing” is relatively more energetic among the other pieces in this album. It has a rock-style vocal melody with jazzy percussion and jaw-dropping solos. “Out of Time” starts with a brass section and creates a TV show-like intro. The piece grows into more pop-style music and ends on a high note. The eighth track is “Love as One,” a love ballad with a soft atmosphere and lovely piano intermissions. 

The album ends with two more renditions of classical hits: “Lua Soberana” and “Meu País,” both masterfully arranged.

In the end, I want to point out the brilliance of the instrumentation in the album. The use of brass instruments alongside woodwinds and guitar, with a soft and controlled performance, has given the music depth and made it colorful. Ed Johnson has done an amazing job combining different instruments with different timbres while keeping the unique soundscape of the album as a whole.

Produced by: Ed Johnson, Scott Sorkin

Compositions by: ED Johnson

Lyrics by: Tara Caldwell, Lissy Abraham, and Ed Johnson. 

Additionally, the album includes renditions of classics such as “Where Or When” (Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; arranged by Ed Johnson), “Lua Soberana,” and “Meu País” (composed by Ivan Lins and Vitor Martins).

Featuring Novo Tempo

Brass player: John Worley

Woodwind artist: Kristen Strom 

Guitar and mandolin: Scott Sorkin,

Piano and Vocals: Jennifer Scott

Trombonist: Jeff Cressman

Bass: Rene Worst

Drums: Mark Ivester and Jason Lewis 

Percussions: Jeff Busch and Michaelle Goerlitz

Backing vocals: Jennifer Scott and Tara Caldwell.

The writer was initially contacted via SubmitHub.

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