*Remastered deluxe-edition featuring bonus material* The Cradle starts with First Step, perfectly setting the tone for the whole album, it is a beautiful, soulful slice of musical calm gently propelled by Ford-Young's resonant bass and elevated by sublime flute and Wurlitzer electric piano solos. The seductive title track The Cradle was written way back in 2011 during a time of great personal change that led the composer to a feeling of newness and nurture. The magical, winsome Desert Ride is inspired by many rides through the grandly cinematic Mojave Desert. You can experience how incredibly full of life it's harsh landscape is if you slow down to its tempo. The gentle, sublime Mama is a tribute to mothers of all kinds, beautiful and heroic. Drum Talk was largely improvised, Ford-Young and the band agreed on a topic and recorded their conversation. Choosing their notes based on how Josh's drums were tuned. Like Glass is named for the special properties of Glass. Like some music, glass is delicate, yet has structure. The first of the two bonus tracks Still Dancing was written during the early days of 2020 in response to the challenges we all were facing then. It's a reminder that the figurative dance continues and that real dancing is essential. And the second, The Searcher, also written as a response to 2020, is a gently hypnotic song about the introspection and growth that can spring from a difficult situation.
This then is The Cradle, a quiet self-contained masterpiece, life-affirming and elevating in equal measure and the first offering from a wonderful new voice in spiritual jazz and the latest members of the global Gondwana Records family.