Beyond Words

McFerrin has made an indelible mark in the worlds of classical, choral, and pop music, but it is perhaps within the limitless boundaries of jazz that the singer can truly express his creativity to the

McFerrin has made an indelible mark in the worlds of classical, choral, and pop music, but it is perhaps within the limitless boundaries of jazz that the singer can truly express his creativity to the fullest. While this release finds McFerrin working his vocal magic on everything from jazz quartet settings to dramatic, overdubbed choral pieces, it is arguably on the simpler, less-produced pieces that the full breadth of the singer's four-octave abilities can be readily discerned. Joined by a trio led by pianist Chick Corea, McFerrin's warm voice effortlessly improvises around such compositions as "Invocation" and the duet "Windows" with a bebopper's sense of adventure. Still, there is a wonder at hearing a multi-tracked piece like "A Silken Road" and marveling at the fact that the gorgeous tapestry of voices are really attributes of a single person's muse.—SG