Boomkat Product Review:
First new LP in 20 years by the gifted but long-overlooked Beverly Glenn-Copeland, whose ‘Keyboard Fantasies’ (1986) was among the past decade’s most prized and praised reissues
‘The Ones Ahead’ firmly builds on Beverly’s career renaissance spawned by reissue of the DX7 & TR-707-crafted ‘Keyboard Fantasies’ with a compelling set that tends to roots as folk singer working within jazz, classical, blues, and gospel idioms, while also acknowledging the distance travelled over the interim. Beverly speaks to a rich artistic life that encompasses work as a writer on Sesame Street and 25 years entertaining kids as character Mr. Dressup on Canadian TV, not to mention musical endeavours since 1970, spanning an eponymous debut of folksy soul-jazz to the ambient new age bliss-out of ‘…Keyboard Fantasies…’. The results here pour out with a inimitable blend of Afro groove, opera, gospel, and spiritual jazz that recalls Tim Buckley and Scott Walker as much as Alice Coltrane meditations, Sonny and Linda Sharrock intensities, and Ernest Hood nostalgia.
Beverly’s omnivorous sound sprawls from pendulous modal soul-jazz in ‘Africa Calling’, via luxuriant torchsong in ‘Harbour (Song for Elizabeth)’, to recall an orchestral noir like Scott walker meets Barry Adamson on ‘People of the Loon’ in the first half. A gospel light guides the rousing ‘Stand Anthem’, contrasting with Anohni-like drama in ’The Ones Ahead’ and a Disney-soundtrack-ish ‘Prince Caspian’s Dream’, signing off with a lush flourish in the ‘No Other’.