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Ross and the band treat rhythm as both fundamental and unfixed, while dousing the music in harmonies derived from modern gospel.
—New York Times
Ross’s playing erupts through the layers of lush arrangements like consistent currents of electricity, high-powered and full of luminous energy.
The bright future stretching before Ross has as much to do with that emotional expression as anything that happens between his mallets and those metal bars.
Vibraphonist and composer Joel Ross continues to refine an expression that’s true to his sound and generation. The award-winning artist returns with his third Blue Note album, The Parable of the Poet, an expansive album-length suite of seven evocative movements.
Ross saturates his live sets with a lyrical intuition that is equally grounded in melody and phrasing. He is known for playing to the energy and mood that has been set, and, as a result, each of his performances remains unique to its given night. Ross draws inspiration from traditional Black music and embraces improvisational work, which allows for a range of layers and possibilities during each show.
Ross topped the DownBeat Critics Poll in the vibraphone category in 2021—after several years of winning the Rising Star category for the instrument—and was named Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year in 2020 and 2021 by the Jazz Journalists Association Critics Poll. He is also one of the youngest artists to earn a coveted Residency Commission from the Jazz Gallery and a spot in the Jazz Gallery All-Stars band.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.