JazzTimes - 4/2002, pp.77-78
"...An expertly navigated celbration of creative independence....a master of limitless imagination who refuses to be constricted by rules or confined by expectations..."
NAPRA Review - 09-10/02, p.83
"...He stays within a bouncy world-jazz-pop framework and is entirely dedicated to wordless communication..."
Personnel includes: Bobby McFerrin (vocals, keyboards); Taylor McFerrin (vocals); Keith Underwood (bass flute, wooden flute); Gil Goldstein (accordion, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards); Chick Corea (piano);
Richard Bona (guitar, piano, percussion); Omar Hakim (drums); Cyro Baptista (percussion).
Recorded at Lake Of The Isles, Minneapolis, Minnesota; The Hit Factory, New York, New York.
Personnel: Bobby McFerrin (vocals); Richard Bona (guitar, percussion); Keith Underwood (contrabass flute, wooden flute); Gil Goldstein (accordion, Fender Rhodes piano); Chick Corea (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Omar Hakim (drums); Cyro Baptista (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Max Feldman; Kevin Killen; Michael McCoy ; Neil Dorfsman.
Recording information: Lake Of The Isles Studios, Minneapolis, MN; The Hit Factory, New York, NY.
Singer Bobby McFerrin is one of the most unique figures in contemporary music. His forays into jazz, classical, pop, and ethnic music make him one of the most diverse performers of his generation. On BEYOND WORDS the singer teams up with a superior ensemble of musicians to present 16 tracks of hopeful, uplifting music.
As you might expect, BEYOND WORDS is a cornucopia of ethereal sounds and genre combinations. The only "standard" tune on the album is Chick Corea's "Windows." McFerrin and the composer himself team up on this piece, and the interaction between them is full of rich chemistry and spontaneity. Other tracks such as "Kalimba Suite" evoke an African feel, undoubtedly fueled by Cameroonian bass player Richard Bona. There are no lyrics on the record (at least none that are discernable); McFerrin's approach to singing here is similar to some of his earlier efforts, layering numerous vocal tracks on top of one another, creating brilliant washes and punchy syllabic grooves.