"The Heavens: The Atheist Gospel Trombone Album"
Three and a half stars
There's a lot about Jacob Garchik's solo brass album that probably shouldn't work. First comes that subtitle, a vivid contradiction that reads a little like a Stephen Wright joke. But then there's its execution, where a musician of little faith deigns to reconcile his love for gospel by building a nine-part brass suite in his home studio. And yet against all odds, it works. Divinely.
A multitracked meeting of eight trombones, two baritone horns, a couple of very nimble sousaphones and a slide trumpet (all played by Garchik), "The Heavens" is a brisk listen at just under half an hour, but there's a remarkable amount of ideas and flat-out fun packed into those minutes.